Talented Auckland-based rally driver Ben Hunt is on a fast track to repeating his 2015 New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) win this season, in his Subaru WRX STI.
It is his fourth rally season in this Subaru and after finishing third in the 2017 NZRC and runner-up last year, Hunt is keen to move up to the top of the podium.
There are six rounds in the NZRC this season – three in the South Island and three in the North Island. Hunt and his long-term co-driver Tony Rawstorn have now had a decade in the car together and their experience has paid dividends in their strong, consistent 2019 run, where they have won the NZRC component of the first four rallies. They now have a healthy points lead with only two rounds left on the calendar.
Hunt is no stranger to success, and he has been making a name for himself on the national scene since he won the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship in 2009.
Since then he has added the national 2WD championship to his name, been named the Junior National Rally Champion and then claimed the ultimate prize in 2015, winning the NZRC in a Subaru WRX.
In recognition of his rallying talents, Hunt was taken on as a Subaru of New Zealand Brand Ambassador in 2016 and offered the use of a brand-new Subaru WRX STI, which he had converted to a rally car.
At the beginning of this season, Hunt became the official owner of the purpose-built Subaru WRX STI rally car, when Subaru of New Zealand gifted ownership to him after three years in this production-based model.
His Hunt Motorsports team, alongside Speedhub Motorsport, spent countless hours transforming the Subaru WRX STI into a rally-fit machine. Now, three years later, Subaru officially handed over its keys.
Subaru of New Zealand Managing Director Wallis Dumper says it was a well-deserved transaction.
“Ben has been a brilliant ambassador for Subaru throughout the past three seasons with us. It is not an easy task to transform a road-going car into a competitive, rally winner but Ben and his team have done just that - achieving some outstanding results in the Subaru WRX STI along the way.”
2019 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship calendar
Round 1 Drivesouth Rally of Otago April 13 to 14 (Dunedin)
Round 2 International Rally of Whangarei May 4 to 5 (Whangarei)
Round 3 Lone Star Canterbury Rally June 2 (Christchurch)
Round 4 South Canterbury Rally June 22 (Timaru)
Round 5 Hyundai NZ Gold Rush Rally of Coromandel August 16 to 17 (Whitianga)
Round 6 Hamilton Car Club Waitomo Rally October 19 (Hamilton)