Hunt hungry for a full day’s rallying at Gisborne

30 June 2016 | Motorsport

Ben Hunt is feeling 100 per cent fit and raring to go for the Rally of Gisborne this Saturday.

His fractured ribs - injured at the International Rally of Whangarei - have healed and with his Subaru WRX STi recently tuned up, the Subaru of New Zealand Brand Ambassador is hungry for a full day of rally action.

Ben Hunt is feeling 100 per cent fit and raring to go for the Rally of Gisborne this Saturday.

His fractured ribs – injured at the International Rally of Whangarei – have healed and with his Subaru WRX STi recently tuned up, the Subaru of New Zealand Brand Ambassador is hungry for a full day of rally action.

“We haven’t had much luck in the past two rallies with the crash in stage six of the Whangarei rally and then a punctured radiator at Canterbury, so hopefully Gisborne will be our chance to give our new Subaru its maiden rally win,” Auckland-based Hunt says.

Straight after the Joe’s Garage/Lone Star Rally Canterbury, the Ben Hunt Motorsport team pulled the STi’s engine apart to make sure there was no internal damage, after debris in a deep ford damaged the radiator.

“Since then the Subaru has been on the dyno and through all our standard checks, so we are now ready and confident for this weekend,” Hunt, who recently won Motorsport New Zealand’s Rally Founders trophy, says.

The Rally of Gisborne is the fourth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC). The six stages that make up the event were all used in previous NZRC rounds and each one has its own feel and rhythm as the drivers make their way through the East Coast’s rugged terrain.

The event features predominantly long stages, with stage 1 (25.33km) run twice, along with a repeat of stage 5/6 (20.75km), plus the monster Wharekopae stage 4 (38.94kms) in the middle.

Hunt, the 2015 NZRC champion, says some of the stages featured when he was rallying in the 2WD category, “so there will be some familiarity with the way they flow and the rhythm will be familiar,” he says.

“It’s a real pity that the famous Motu stage has been dropped from the event this year. I loved it in there last year. It really was a stage that teaches you everything about your car – all its quirks and characteristics,” Hunt adds.

While he is still on a development path with his new-this-season Subaru, Hunt and co-driver Tony Rawstorn will be pushing hard in Gisborne, looking to tally up some top NZRC points.

“To get a few stage wins will be a really fitting reward to the team and our sponsors who have been supporting me massively this year. The big goal for the weekend will be to jump back into the top five in the championship and with 30 points up on offer I’ll be looking to take a good haul away from Gisborne.

 

BenHunt_CanterburyRally2016_PhotoGeoffRidder_GR13888C BenHunt_CanterburyRally2016_PhotoGeoffRidder_GR13874

Subaru of New Zealand Brand Ambassador Ben Hunt and co-driver Tony Rawstorn are looking forward to contesting the Rally of Gisborne in their Subaru WRX STi on Saturday. PHOTO CREDIT: GEOFF RIDDER

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