Christchurch’s Dylan Thomson is ready to take on his home rally, the Lone Star Rally Canterbury, which runs this weekend as the third round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.
Thomson and co-driver Amy Hudson have made large gains since stepping up to the outright four-wheel drive class in the Specialised Auto Services Subaru Impreza STI, their fifth placed finish earning them the Dunlop drive of the rally.
Although the rally is a home event for Thomson, his short rallying career to date means half of the special stages that will be run on public roads north of Christchurch as far north as Cheviot will be completely new to him.
Entering the season with no expectations other than to learn the new car, Thomson sits a pleasantly surprising sixth in the points standings, although he still maintains that the season is about learning a four-wheel drive car rather than chasing a strong result.
“It will be a good rally for us to continue our learning curve in the Specialised Auto Services Subaru as we’ve got a mixture of roads we believe are quite fast on the public roads and then the famous roads in the Ashley Forest,” says Thomson. “I think we’ve got a bit of an ace up our sleeve with the Dunlop tyres too, including a free set for the drive of the rally at Whangarei, so a huge thanks to them for that.”
The Lone Star Rally Canterbury gets underway with a ceremonial start outside the Lone Star in Manchester Street, Christchurch, from 5pm on Saturday. The following day, teams will tackle 162 kilometres of special stages, travelling as far north as Cheviot, before returning to the ceremonial finish at Lone Star from 7:14pm.