Mount Maunganui's David Holder has taken the biggest accolade of his rallying career to date.
Holder sealed a victory at the fourth round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, Rally Gisborne, over the weekend.
The result has secured him the overall NZRC title with a round to spare.
Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer came to the event holding a six point lead in the championship race, but was well aware with two rounds to go and a fast chasing pack that all-out attack would be the only option. A pair of stage wins in the opening two stages despite having intercom problems proved the pair had the right plan of attack.
A third consecutive stage win saw Holder's lead balloon out over a minute but also crucially saw the demise of several of his championship rivals, putting him in a position to wrap up the championship.
With a rally win on the cards, Holder put together a strong pace across the afternoon without taking undue risks, securing two third fastest and a second fastest time across the three remaining stages, coming home with a lead at the end of the event of 1 minute 25.5 seconds. As well as his second rally win, a maximum haul of points including the power stage win on the opening stage wrapped up the championship with a round to spare.
"Winning the championship is just the most amazing feeling and it has been a huge team effort to get here, there are so many people that have made it happen. They believed in me and now we've justified that belief, which is just an amazing feeling," said Holder.
"The event itself went really well. It was frustrating when the intercom failed early, but we still managed to put the times up and set up the win, which was awesome."
The Holder Brothers Racing team now turn their attention to the final round of the NZRC, Mahindra Goldrush Rally Coromandel, on August 20.
Holder Brothers Racing would like to thank the sponsors that make their campaign possible; Stadium Finance, Farmline Machinery, Force Automotive, Reaction Racing, Endless Brakes, Monit Rally Computers, Amplified Customs - Signwriting, Attentive Design, Paramount Performance, Tauranga Beaurepaires, Dunlop, Motul Oil NZ, Sew Hot Monograms, Mount Wheel Alignment, Woodnet, VINZ, NZ Forest Leasing, Team Ralliart NZ and Hayden Paddon.