Hamilton’s Stephen Barker is preparing for his best chance at an outright rally victory to date when he takes on the Rally of the North based out of Paihia on October 10
After a strong finish to his debut season in the New Zealand Rally Championship, Barker will once again run the Rintoul Civil Evo in Group N trim for the single day event, something that may give the more powerful club cars an advantage on the fast flowing Paihia roads.
But extra motivation will come from the Bay of Islands not only hosting the rally but some of Stephen Barker Motorsport’s principal sponsors, Rintoul Civil, Baker Boys Nursery and DD Gold Embroidery.
It will also gives the opportunity for Barker, who turns 21 the day before the rally starts, to make up for a disappointing DNF late on the final day of Rally Nelson. “We found that the problem at Nelson was caused by a fractured spear which had been fractured for a while. Unfortunately with the limited budget we have had this season, we didn’t have a proper maintenance plan and overlooked it.” says Barker.
Barker last contested the event in 2007 driving a Toyota Starlet. A clutch failure ended that event. This year Barker and co-driver Brett Lightfoot are entered in the car giving them their best chance of outright victory to date, the Rintoul Civil Evo.
“This is realistically my first chance of an outright win. I will try and make the most of the opportunity, but I will assess the situation after the first two stages and go from there.” comments Barker