Holder overcomes dramas to claim Gisborne Rally Rookie Title
Holder Brothers Racing
30 August 2012
Holder overcomes dramas to claim rookie title at Gisborne Rally
Tauranga-based rally driver David Holder topped off a stellar season by collecting the MotorSport NZ rookie driver title at the final round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, powered by Brother (NZRC) held around Gisborne 25 and 26 August.
The 23-year-old arrived in Gisborne, with co-driving older brother James, having already claimed the open twowheel- drive (2WD) championship. Up against three older drivers in the rookie category, Holder also took the opportunity to learn a new vehicle as he looked ahead to next year’s NZRC. Success didn’t come easily for the talented youngster who had to battle to make it to the finish.
“We were lucky enough to be given the chance to drive the Stadium Finance Ford Fiesta at Gisborne,” says Holder. “It’s definitely a different machine to drive than the trusty Toyota Levin we usually use, a heap more comfortable to ride in and seems to go round the corners pretty good too.” The two-day rally started steadily for Holder who took no risks throughout Saturday’s 169.28 km of seven special stages, which comprised largely new roads for most competitors. He finished the penultimate stage in fifth position overall to lead eventual rally winner Brian Green by just 0.1 sec. Unfortunately the power steering pump failed early on the last stage.
“Suddenly the steering went heavy and I knew something was wrong. Being a loaned car we were a bit over cautious and so we stopped to check it out. It turned out to be a burst fitting and there was nothing we could do so we carried on…..fair to say that my arms got a good work out for the rest of the stage!” Although the Holder brothers lost nearly three minutes completing the stage, with on-phone guidance from Kayne Barrie Motorsport, they nursed the Fiesta through to the end of the day service where they were assisted by the service crew of fellow Fiesta competitor Phil Campbell to have the car fixed and ready for the action on Sunday.
Feeling more comfortable in the car as Sunday’s competition got underway, Holder set a solid pace to emerge with a 19.0 second lead for the first two stages over nearest 2WD competitor Ben Hunt. Holder continued to work his way up the leader-board to head into the lunchtime service stop before the final stage holding a very respectable fourth place overall and third overall in the NZRC field. “We were pretty excited at that stage to be fair; we’d lost time with the power steering on Saturday and didn’t expect to be able catch-up again. Even though others had problems as well, to be sitting in an overall podium in NZRC was definitely a highlight!” Holder says.
But excitement quickly turned to despair - immediately after clocking out of the service park the brothers realised that they hadn’t filled the Fiesta with fuel! Unable to go back into service, they decided to risk making it through the final stage on the small amount of fuel they had. It wasn’t to be - 13 km into the stage the car ground to a halt, leaving the boys stranded and looking like their rally had come to an end. “Pretty gutting, and embarrassingly enough we stopped not far from the TV crew in the stage,” says James Holder. “I was running down the road to ask spectators for gas and they were filming so it would have looked pretty hilarious.
“We didn’t give up though and when the sweeper car came through we managed to get some gas from them, jumped in the car and took off again. We ended up getting a 5 minute penalty for borrowing fuel but we’re still stoked to have reached the end.”
David Holder says: “Now the challenge is to demonstrate to sponsors the value of working with Holder Brothers Racing in order to be ready next year’s championship and our plans beyond that. “We’ve been blessed to have a great team of supporters behind us this year, so a big thank you goes to Stadium Finance for leaning us the Fiesta this weekend and to Stella Traffic. Without Stella we wouldn’t have been able to make all of the championship rounds.”
Holder Brothers Racing also thanks all their supporters for their assistance throughout the year, including Stella Traffic, Stadium Finance, Kayne Barrie Motorsport, Attentive Design, Speedy Signs, Mount Wheel Alignment and Service Center, Bay Panelbeaters, Mount Repco, Mount EDL, Sew Hot Monograms, Letts Buildings, Monit Rally Computers and also Rising Stars Scholarship supporters, Gull Fuel, Dunlop Tyres and Rally New Zealand. Please follow the team’s regular updates including video footage at www.holderbrothersracing.com.
Photo credit Geoff Ridder.