Holder's Fiesta Takes Flight At APRC
Holder's Fiesta Takes Flight At APRC
Round two of the NZRC, and Holder Brothers Racing's international debut at the rally of Whangarei, proved challenging for the team.
With Dave Holder, and co-driver Josh Theobald, looking settled and fast in the Stella Pumps & Stadium Finance Fiesta, they had a fourteen second lead over the R2 Fiestas 15km into the first stage. However unfortunately at around the 18km mark this all came to an end with Holder making a mistake that would prove to be costly, sending them off the road in spectacular fashion.
“The start was very technical with a lot of blind crests and limited visibility due to dense fog, so we were just focusing on one corner at a time and getting comfortable in the car. We certainly weren't pushing ourselves because no one wants to go off on the first stage, it’s pretty embarrassing really” states Holder.
“Unfortunately for us the corner we flew off on had absolutely no room for error, and as it turns out we arrived at the corner with plenty of error and a lack of room. I just turned in far too early, clipping the inside bank immediately sending the car into a roll, all I was thinking is ‘You’ve got to be kidding me’.
“Miraculously we flew, just missing a massive boulder, into a tree slowing and diverting our flight path, essentialy breaking our fall, as we came to rest belly up thirty metres down the bank. Another few meters and we would have had a further free fall into the gully fifty metres below. It is quite honestly a miracle we walked away unscathed and with the car still in reasonable shape. Even adventurous people wouldn’t go for a stroll down there. The photos don’t really do it justice”
Tony Gosling co-owner of Stadium Finance one of our major sponsors, and also the owner of the Fiesta happened to be competing in the rally further down the field from Holder. “I knew Tony wasn’t far behind so made sure I was well out of sight behind a power pole when he went past!” laughs Holder. “Thankfully though, the Stadium Finance team have all been really supportive!”
For Theobald it was certainly a baptism of fire! His first event as a co-driver proved to be a memorable one. “To an extent it was still a natural atmosphere for me, I usually spend my time flying 737 planes, so the flying part was familiar only this time it was in a Fiesta!” reflects Theobald.
The team spent five hours ensuring the car was brought safely back onto the road without any further damage. “ It was an extremely technical recovery and we might not mention to the local Iwi that there are a few trees missing on that particular corner now” joked Holder “We had to cut down a few, and also shifted a number of large boulders to get the car back up safely. We finally got the car on the trailer at around 7pm which was well after dark, and just to top off an already trying day, I sent the service crew home while James and I tied the car on the trailer, and then managed to get the service vehicle stuck, which resulted in another hour lost unloading gear to make it lighter”
Holder’s focus now shifts to the rebuild of the Fiesta before the next NZRC round Rally Daybreaker in June. “I’ve got a mammoth job ahead of me, and unfortunately it will be an expensive lesson. I will try my best, and hopefully I can get it together in time”.
Follow the Fiesta rebuild and stayed
tuned for in car camera footage at www.holderbrothersracing.com
Thanks to our loyal sponsors:
Stella Pumps, Stadium Finance, Magnum Compliance, Gull, Rally New Zealand, Maurice Trapp Group, PRELIM, Chris Brown, William McKerchar, Bay Panel Beaters, Mount Wheel Alignment, Speedy Signs, Sew Hot Monograms, Repco Mt Maunganui, Ultimate Ford Tauranga and Attentive Design.