Mixed fortunes for Tauranga rally star
Round three of the New Zealand Rally Championship last weekend produced another rally of mixed fortunes for young Tauranga driver Phil Campbell.
Campbell gained his best result of the season on the opening day of Rally Wairarapa on Saturday, completing the opening leg of the rally in 13th place overall and only 55.7secs and one position behind 2WD class leader Ben Hunt (Nelson) in an identical Ford Fiesta ST.
During the opening half of Sunday's rallying Campbell maintained position and swapped stage times with Hunt until a broken gearbox linkage left the Fiesta jammed in fourth gear for two-and-a-half stages. After repairs to the gearbox at the final service, Campbell was then slowed by a broken axle.
"The last stage was mainly uphill and we lost a lot of time in one-wheel drive," said Campbell.
"We had to pull over for the cars coming past us and we got stuck at one point as well.
"I'm pleased with the pace we showed. Sunday morning was good and I'm getting faster and learning to trust how much grip the car has."
The delays on Sunday saw Campbell fall to 17th overall and to third place in the NZRC 2WD class as Christchurch driver Josh Marston in another Fiesta moved ahead.
The next round of the NZ Rally Championship is the International Rally of Whangarei on July 16-17 which is also a round of the FIA Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.
Richie in action
Young Tauranga racer Richie Stanaway is back in action this weekend at the fourth round of the German Formula 3 Championship.
Stanaway drives for the Dutch van Amersfoort Racing team and this weekend is effectively a home race for the team at the Assen TT track in The Netherlands.
With four wins from six starts so far this year Stanaway holds a four-point lead in the German F3 standings over Danish rival Marco Sorensen. There are two races this weekend - one on Saturday and the other on Sunday - as the German F3 Series is part of the support programme for Superleague Formula.
Also in action overseas this weekend is Mt Maunganui motocross racer Mason Phillips who begins his Canadian MX Nationals campaign.
Phillips is racing for the Kini Red Bull KTM team in the MX1 class on KTM's 350cc four-stroke machine. The nine-round Canadian series begins at Kamloops in British Columbia on Sunday.
Cooper on team
Suzuki star Cody Cooper (Papamoa) was a last-minute addition the BoP Motorcycle Club team at the "Club of Nations" event at Taupo on Saturday.
The interclub teams event is a fundraiser for the Motorcycling NZ team that will contest the Motocross of Nations event in France later this year - an event for which Cooper will be a strong candidate on current form.
Cooper's appearance at Taupo followed his overall win at round five of the Australian Champs in Queensland the previous weekend.
Cooper had excelled in the deep mud at Toowoomba's Echo Valley track and showed he is over the effects of a second-round crash in which he sustained bruised ribs and a collapsed lung.
He's now eighth in the champs after missing round three, struggling for fitness at round four and returning to winning form at round five. There are four rounds remaining.
"My aim now is to try and win as many races as possible. I can't really get back into the lead because I'm so far behind but the top-five and maybe the top-three is still possible," said Cooper.
At Taupo Cooper cleared out to win the combined MX1-Vets race by a 47-second margin but a problem with his bike put him out of the MX1-MX2 race before it started.
The Rotorua Motorcycle Club team won the event with Mt Maunganui-based Michael Phillips (Honda) playing a key role with his win in the MX1-MX2 race along with junior 250 rider Haki Waller and MX2 contender Scott Canham.
The Whakatane-based BOP Motorcycle Club was four points back in second place and one point ahead of the Pukekohe MotorCycle Club.
Each club was represented by six riders (one each in MX1, MX2, Vets and Junior 85cc, 125cc and 250cc classes).
MX2 racer Peter Broxholme (Honda) won the opening MX2-Vets combined race to earn the Tauranga Motorcycle Club team its best result of the day while the combined MX1-MX2 race was won by Phillips ahead of Mt Maunganui's Rhys Carter (Suzuki) and Broxholme.
Carter was the MX2 rider for the Taupo Motorcycle Club team and produced a first and second placing.
Queen's Birthday weekend speedway racing has become a regular fixture at the Waihi Beach Dirt Track Club.
This Saturday there will be saloon cars, stock cars, production saloons and mini stocks in action with hopes for 8-10 car grids in each category.
The regular dirt track classes - which race clockwise - at the Waihi track will also be in attendance.
Racing starts at 11am on Saturday with Sunday reserved as a rainout date if required. The Waihi Beach Dirt Track Club, which offers scenic hillside spectating, is located at 597 Beach Rd and admission is $5.
Also on the local holiday weekend motorsport calendar is the BOP Kart Club AGM followed by round three of the fun series at Te Puke's Fagans Valley Raceway on Sunday.