Talented Auckland-based rally driver Ben Hunt is a two-time New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) winner (2015 and 2019).
This year marks his sixth rally season competing in his Subaru WRX STI and he is keen to defend his driver’s trophy in the 2021 Brian Green Property Group NZRC. There are five rounds this season – two in the South Island and three in the North Island.
Hunt’s team had completed the customary down-to-the-bare-shell reconstruction of the Subaru WRX STI last year, before the 2020 NZRC was cancelled due to Covid-19. The Subaru had only been driven in last November’s City of Auckland Rally and the Battle of Jacks Ridge, so its competition kilometres have been minimal leading into the Otago event, allowing Hunt more time to spend with his recently arrived baby daughter.
Hunt and his long-term co-driver Tony Rawstorn have now had 11 years in the car together and their experience has paid dividends. The successful partnership has been well cemented since Hunt won the Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship in 2009. After that achievement, he and Rawstorn added the national 2WD championship, Junior National Rally Championship and the 2015 and 2019 NZRC driver’s and co-driver’s trophies to their collective cabinets.
They also contributed to winning the NZRC Manufacturer’s Trophy in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
In recognition of his rallying talents, Hunt was offered the use of a brand-new Subaru WRX STI, which he had converted to a rally car.
At the beginning of the 2019 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. Then, three years later, Subaru officially handed over its keys.
You can see Ben & Tony in action during the 2021 New Zealand Rally Championship.
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