The only New Zealanders competing in the 2018 edition of the Tour de Corse, Dave Holder and Jason Farmer, have had an eventful day in FIA Junior World Rally Championship category, but are encouraged by their growing confidence on the unfamiliar tarmac surface.
During the morning, a spin and the associated delay getting back on the road dropped the Kiwis from seventh in the 14-strong JWRC field to 14th, but Holder didn’t let that stop him from doing his very best to show some consistent pace during the day’s remaining four stages.
“Day two was challenging, but ultimately a really positive day,” commented Holder. “Started off a wee bit slow on the first stage (SS5), getting some confidence in the notes. Then the second stage today (SS6), about two kilometres into it, still had cold tyres and lost the rear of the car on quite a slow 4-left corner.
“We spun around backwards and sent it off the road backwards into the bushes. We just got stuck, didn’t do any damage besides a scratch, but we weren’t allowed to push the car out straightaway because the marshal didn’t want to let us – we probably lost twice the amount of time we needed to there.
“Thanks to some spectators we pushed it back into a paddock and driving out. Finished that stage and the positive is we got back on it for the rest of the day, consistently getting about eighth place on the stages and setting some good split times. The confidence is growing on tarmac.
“There’s still plenty to learn, but ultimately think we made some good progress today. Tomorrow we’ll build on that again, but it’s a shame now that we’re so far back in the results that it’s not easy to see that progress.”
The pair have just two stages to complete on Sunday, although the first, SS11 is a monster 55.17km in length.
This is the second JWRC event for Holder and Farmer, from Mount Manganui and Hamilton respectively, with the twisty tarmac of Corsica offering a major contrast to the snow of Sweden at their first event.