Tauranga’s Phil Campbell has started his Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship campaign with a third placed finish at the Otago Rally held over the weekend.
After a troubled build-up to the event, Campbell and co-driver Mal Peden set a consistent pace across the opening day, starting off with a fifth fastest time on the opening stage of the day, then moving up to fourth place the following stage. The fifth fastest time on the power stage gained an extra bonus point.
As the afternoon progressed, Campbell was able to move The Roofing Store Ford Fiesta AP4 up into third place, a position he would hold through to the overnight halt.
Day two saw a small electrical problem that caused an intermittent misfire. Knowing he had a large margin over fourth place, Campbell was able to back off, with the intermittent nature of the problem leaving him unable to fully commit to the fast roads around the Oamaru region.
By the end of the seven special stages that made up day two, Campbell was relieved to come home in one piece with a solid haul of points that came with the third placed finish.
“It’s a great start to the championship for us, ideally we would’ve loved a bit more speed to challenge the guys at the front but Otago hasn’t always been a strong event for us and it’s great to put a solid amount of points on the board at the opening round. When we get to Whangarei, it’s an event we’ve gone well at and hopefully we can challenge for the top spot up there,” said Campbell.
The whole Campbell Rally Sport team now turn their attention to the ENEOS International Rally of Whangarei, which takes place on May 3-5.