SOUTHLAND born-and-bred rally driver David Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer, of Huntly, have received their trophies for winning last year’s New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC).
They were named NZRC Gold Star Champions for 2016 at the 2017 MotorSportNew Zealand Awards in Wellington on Saturday, May 27.
“It’s a privilege to be able to do rallying and to get to the top level. It comes down to the people around me and their support, so this award honours them, too,” Holder said.
Holder originally grew up on a farm near Invercargill, which was where he first got a taste for rally driving.
“I don’t get home as much as I’d like to. Mum and dad are proud parents to say the least. Rallying is predominantly in the North Island, so that’s the main reason why I’m up here.”
Holder secured the overall New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) title in July 2016 after he and Farmer won the one-day rally in Gisborne.
In April this year, they won the Otago Rally for their Hyundai Motorsport team.
Holder’s rallying career began with national circuit success in 2012 when he won at the New Zealand two-wheel-drive championship. He also won the Rookie Driver of the Year title in 2012.
Two years later he scooped the National Junior Champion title.
A major road block came when Holder crashed during the first race of the 2015 series in Whangarei. He and Farmer were bruised but otherwise unhurt, but their car was wrecked.
They were left trying to finance repairs, but the crash never shook Holder’s driving confidence. But the challenge of getting up and running again caused him to contemplate his future in the sport, he said at the time.
However, winning the national championships meant Holder now had his sights on taking his career overseas.
“Anything going overseas requires more money and the cost increases are our biggest challenge, but we’re hoping to do some events on the Asia-Pacific circuit and gain some experience, then take steps to eventually get to Europe,” he said.
The MotorSportNew Zealand Awards recognise the achievements of competitors, officials, volunteers and media at all levels of four-wheeled New Zealand motor sports.
Holder said the annual official awards ceremony was always delayed because of track racing not finishing until March 2017.
He and Farmer were also nominated for the prestigious Rally Founders Award, which was won by Hayden Paddon.