Kiwis Dave Holder and Jason Farmer have wrapped up their debut FIA Junior World Rally Championship season with two stage wins on the final two special stages of Rally Turkey, which concluded on Sunday afternoon (Turkish time).
The pair, from Mount Manganui and Hamilton respectively, were the fastest JWRC crew through Sunday’s four special stages. Thanks to having to temporarily withdraw from the hot, tough and rocky rally on Friday when they experienced three punctures in quick succession, the Kiwis were able to hold on for seventh overall in the JWRC. Of the 12 JWRC competitors who started the Turkish event, only eight finished.
Holder says: “It was a pretty successful day for us being the fastest JWRC crew for the day and winning the last two stages. Jason and I are really happy with that, but can’t help thinking about what could have been if we hadn’t had the three punctures on Friday – we would have lead and won the rally, but that’s just part of it all!
“We did have one small incident in SS15 today – I say small because a bunch of our competitors had big incidents in the same spot. We touched a bank and rolled on our side, whereas there were a couple of very big crashes from the JWRC boys, so we were fortunate to only lose about 20 seconds and then carry on.
“All in all, one mistake for the event in pretty challenging conditions isn’t bad. I don’t think I’ll drive in stuff like this again in my career, but who knows – but very valuable and positive experience.
“We’re just really thankful for the people who have helped us to get here this year. It’s been pretty tough and a huge learning experience. We’ve got a lot of experience and knowledge to take away from this year and build on for future years. We’re really happy where we finished up, just a shame we couldn’t put it all together like this earlier in the year. Now we focus on next year!”
Holder and Farmer are the first New Zealanders to have contested the World Rally Championship’s entry category where they piloted a Ford Fiesta R2T, identical to the other 11 JWRC competitors and run by M-Sport Poland. Their JWRC adventure has taken them to the snow of Sweden, the twisting tarmac of Corsica, the high speed forests of Finland, and the hot, rough rocky roads of Portugal and Turkey. While Holder hasn’t finished in the top five of the JWRC drivers’ championship, he has set top three stages times at several events and this weekend’s two stage wins to highlight his capabilities behind the wheel.