Christchurch’s Dylan Thomson has taken a second consecutive class victory in the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship with a dominant victory at the International Rally of Whangarei.
Thomson and co-driver Amy Hudson came to the event looking to use Junior World Rally Championship competitor David Holder as a yardstick. Right from the opening stage, Thomson was within the second per kilometre he aimed to be in comparison to Holder’s superior R2 Ford Fiesta.
An accident on the opening stage of Saturday’s action meant Thomson and Hudson would received assessed times on the third and fourth special stage that cost him time. With that in mind, Thomson charged and was fastest of the NZRC two-wheel drive cars through the final stage before lunch, despite taking on cars with more than three times the horsepower.
The afternoon saw Thomson pushing, setting two new class stage records and narrowly missing out on another at the end of the day. He would end the day with an eight-minute class lead and the third placed overall two-wheel drive car.
Sunday’s stages saw rain falling and the tyre wear advantage Thomson had disappearing, he was unable to hold off some of his more powerful rivals, but was able to beat Holder on one stage on his way to eighth place overall and a class win of almost 15 minutes.
“Every stage was like the push through Kuri Bush at Otago, it was a seriously exciting event,” said Thomson. “I feel like we really were pushing the car as hard as possible, there was the odd place where I was probably overdriving the car but we only had one minor moment in the end.”
The Dylan Thomson Rallysport team now turn their attention to the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, where they will look to avenge an off-road excursion from last year.