Champ needs new car, fast
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Kiwi rally whiz is desperately seeking a drive so he can defend his title
New Zealand Rally Championship winner David Holder does not have a drive for his title defence in 2017. However, he is hopeful of getting a few rounds in the Hyundai New Zealand i20 that WRC star Hayden Paddon will use for other races in the series.
Holder captured the 2016 domestic title with a round to spare in a leased Mitsubishi but needs a new car for next year.
WRC star Paddon, who is good friends with Holder, will drive a Hyundai AP4 at two of the six rounds of next year's championship while recent scholarship winner Job Quantock will also get behind the wheel for two rounds also.
That leaves two rallies where the car will be used by a yet-to-be-announced driver. It is thought Holder is likely to be that guy.
"It is definitely a dream if I could jump on board with that," Holder told the NZ Herald.
"It isn't something that I have got any information about.
"We have got a wee bit of stuff we are being patient on - hopefully coming on board with a manufacturer but really that hasn't gone any further yet.
"It was talked about early on but there is a bit to sort out yet."
Holder would like to be at all six rounds and is trying to sort out a car for the remaining rallies.
"There are a few cars around New Zealand that you can lease. Tony, from Stadium Finance, did buy an ex-Andrew Hawkeswood Mazda 2 " the first AP4 version " so there is a chance we could talk him in to it.
"Unfortunately, I don't fit in it very well so I am not sure if that would work or not.
"If we managed to get a couple of rounds with a manufacturer, we would look at leasing a car for the other three or four rounds and try to defend the championship that way."
While it would mean swapping between different cars, Holder is allowed to defend his title that way.
He would have to adjust from event to event, however.
The championship will see a huge growth in new AP4-style cars next year with around a dozen of the new design cars expected to contest the championship.
"If we are there, we are there to win it," Holder says.
"The next year coming is probably one of the most competitive years in the competition's history.
"We won the championship last year but we aren't the best in the world at the moment so I still have to keep developing and learning lots.
"With all of these new cars coming, it would be quite nice to sit on the sidelines and watch some of it.
"It will be a pretty exciting championship."
It is unlikely Holder will be able to lease an AP4 car as most are being built specifically for a set driver, so he will need help from a manufacturer to get behind the wheel of one.
"I want to be in an AP4 car because they are cool and you want to be at the top of the championship in the newest cars."
The championship gets under way in April with the DriveSouth Rally of Otago.
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