Sunday, Aug 18 07:59pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

Ben Hunt wins second New Zealand Rally Championship title

Victory in the Dayle ITM Goldrush Rally Coromandel has secured Ben Hunt another outright Brian Green Proptery Group New Zealand Rally Championship title.


Hunt and co-driver Tony Rawstorn took the win in their Subaru WRX STi by a mere 2.5 seconds over Audi S1 AP4 competitors Dylan Turner and Malcolm Read.


Hunt won the championship with a round to spare, the victory taking him to an insurmountable 176 points over Josh Marston and Andre Graves on 122 points.


Title number two nearly ended with a bittersweet finish after Hunt almost ran out of fuel on the final Super Special Stage.


“It was probably pretty lucky – it ran out of fuel on the first lap around [the final stage] so kinda coasted along but awesome to win here and win another championship,” Hunt told nzrallychamps.co.nz.


Despite winning the championship with a round to spare, Hunt said he’ll look to take his sixth consecutive win in the final at Rally Waitomo.


“It’s five from five so we might have to pull Waitomo out of the bag. It is a huge credit to the Ben Hunt Motorsport team and Speedhub Motorsport all my sponsors and everyone that helped us out.


“Everyone puts in a lot of time and effort and we don’t do enough of the other things we love doing but when you get results like this it makes it all worth it.”


Kingsley Jones and Waverley Jones were fourth in their Skoda Fabia R5 while young guns Dylan Thompson and Amy Hudson were fifth.


While the title race for the top class is over, the fight for two-wheel drive honours is only getting hotter. Anthony Jones and Tanya Gwynne took the rally win in 2WD in their Ford Escort. It means the pair are equal first with Mazda RX-8 pilots Marcus van Klink and Dave Neill.


The final round of the championship will be the Hamilton Car Club-run Rally Waitomo on 19 October.


CLICK HERE for Rally Coromandel results


Photo: Geoff Ridder