Little Cars, Big Battle, at Rally Wairarapa

Press Release - 26 September 2013

Like all sports, motorsport competitors need a development path. You can’t jump straight into a fire breathing, gravel spitting monster, and expect to be fast straight out of the blocks. There is no substitute for seat time, as they say.

Proof of this has been the highly successful season of Ben Hunt this year. Having spent four years in a two wheel drive Ford Fiesta, contesting the Group N 2WD Championship class, and winning it in the last two, he has cut his teeth learning how to get the absolute most out of a small car with limited power. Now, having stepped up to the more powerful four wheel drive Subaru Impreza, he has been impressive this season as he sits third in the national championship, with a real chance of taking the overall title, but at least guaranteed a podium finish.

Josh Marston hunts down Phil Campbell in the battle of the Fiestas.
Photo Credit: Jody Seabright.


Following in Hunt’s footsteps are two drivers who have been battling each other all season this year. Phil Campbell and Josh Marston are both driving the R2 version of the mighty Fiesta and are locked in the closest duel seen in the Brian Green property Group New Zealand Rally Championship for many years.

After 5 rounds, and 958km of competition, these two are separated by less than 10 seconds total time difference, and just 3 points in the Group N 2WD title chase. Now it comes down to the last round of the season at the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa. The fight and commitment will be intense. Whoever wins here wins the championship title.

And with these little cars recording times in the top 12 overall, against the far more powerful 4WD machinery, you know they are being pushed to their limits.

However, keep an eye out for David Holder in the older generation Fiesta. Despite the considerable difference in power and handling to the newer R2 version, he has been able to keep in touch with the front running pair, as he too learns how to push a 1600cc car to within an inch of its life.

While Ben Hunt looks to chase down the leading trio of Hayden Paddon and Richard Mason for the gold star championship title, the proving ground has been shown to be no less fertile with three drivers pushing equally hard to make their mark.

They now have 134km and 9 special stages to do it in as they take to the roads of the Tararua and Wairarapa districts in the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa. As the final round of the national championship, there is everything to play for and no quarter given. Not only at the front of the field, but right through to the modern 2WD and the Classics competing in the Malcolm Stewart Classic Rally.

For full information on the rally, go to

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