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Campbell wins opening North Island Rally Series round at Jacks Ridge

2023 NIRS champion Phil Campbell has continued his winning way taking victory in the opening round of the Generator Rental Services North Island Rally Series (NIRS) held at Jacks Ridge on Sunday, 19 May 2024. Second fastest behind Campbell and co-driver Brianna Little (Ford Fiesta AP4), was Todd Bawden/Simon Perkinson (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) with Hayden McKenzie/Michael Goudie (Toyota Yaris AP4) in third, Quentin Palmer/Noel Moloney (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo5) fourth and Dave Strong/Rob Scott (Ford Fiesta S2000) in fifth.

With a revised season calendar, the opening round comprised four runs over the Jacks Ridge WRC Rally Sprint course in Whitford as part of Round 3 of the CPS Northern Rally Sprint Series hosted by the South Auckland Car Club event.

Campbell stayed in front winning all four Special Stages with Bawden and McKenzie fighting over second place. Bawden finished runner up to Campbell three times and McKenzie runner up in one Special Stage.

With eight classes making up the field, Tony Young (Datsun 1200) was quickest in Class A (2WD 0-1300cc) with Rodney James/Adam Miller (Toyota MR2) winning Class B (2WD 1301-1600cc). In Class C (2WD 1601-2000cc) it was John Whooley/Will Ward (Honda Civic) beating home Dale James/Madeline Buhr (Ford ST150).

Adrian Smith/Jack Packer (Ford RS1800) head Class E (2WD Classic), Campbell/Little lead Class F 4wd 1601- 2000cc) with Quentin Palmer/Noel Moloney (Mitsubishi Evo5) first in the popular Class G (4WD >2001). The Subaru H6 Class H was led by Jamie Odgers/Josh Rodgers (Subaru Impreza H6) with Bevan Wilson/Steve Mawer (Subaru Impreza) winning Class I (4WD pre-1996).

The Generator Rental Services ‘Drive of the Day’ was awarded to Quentin Palmer in his trusty bright yellow Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5, who was snapping at the top three heels.

“It was a fabulous day and great fun was had by all,” commented NIRS Coordinator Marty Roestenburg. “A couple of cars had incidents without injury and a couple of others had mechanical issues over a very technical and demanding 5km course.

“It’s great to get the 2024 season underway and we look forward to Round 2 at Stratford in five-weeks’ time.”

In early July the series moves to the undulating tarmac surfaces of Taranaki for Round 2, the SBT Group Taranaki Tarmac Rally based in Stratford. Entries have also opened for the late July running of the Ventia Rally of Dargaville Tunatahi.

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