Thursday, Oct 12 07:08pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

David Holder gets big opportunity with factory Holden AP4+ drive

David Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer will return to the New Zealand Rally Championship this weekend at the penultimate round of the 2017 season. 


Holder will race Greg Murphy's Holden Barina AP4+ rally car at Rally Waitomo ahead of the season ending Rally New Zealand. Holder came into this season as defending champion of the NZRC title, but on-and-off drives in numerous cars, including the Hyundai i20 AP4+, meant he is out of the title race. 


With prior committments, Murphy invited Holder and Farmer to race the second of the Holdens alongside Josh Marston. The Saturday rally is relatively short with just six stages covering 207.8 kms. 


While success has been the forte of Holder in previous rallies, Holder said he's not going out there to set the world alight. 


“First and foremost, getting to the end of such a long, gruelling event is the priority," he said.


"It’s the longest one-day event we’ve had in the championship for some time. Aside from that, we’re aiming for a top five finish... not an easy task given the calibre of drivers we’re up against but Jason and I will be approaching the stages with a focus on consistency.


"The roads are all new, which evens the playing field for everyone This makes it even more important to make sure we get the notes right during recce without any previous experience or in-car footage to study.


"There’s certainly plenty to take in over the course of the rally. Jase and I can’t wait to get in our seats, and send a special thanks to Greg for the opportunity!"


Similarly, Marston said he's hoping for a clean rally in the sister Barina.


"Our goal is a trouble-free run to get some more time in the car, which only made its competitive debut at Otago at the start of this season and has continually been developed throughout the year," Marston said.


"We have been working really hard on car pace and the last two regional rallies we have done since Coromandel in August have shown that we are heading in the right direction."


Photo: Geoff Ridder