Tauranga rally driver David Holder still leads the New Zealand rally Championship standings, despite failing to finish Sunday's Rally of Canterbury.

Holder took the championship lead after scoring the first championship win of his career at the previous round in Northland.

After losing the intercom on the first stage, resulting in a stall after hitting a ford too quickly, Holder was in ninth after stage two.

By the end of stage five, he had climbed to second behind Emma Gilmour, despite a stall in the same place on the second run through of special stage one.


But he didn't make it to the end of stage six.

"When we went off we were trying to hold place for the day to gain some points," said co-driver Jason Farmer. "But we just made a slight mistake going into a corner, misjudged the braking point and rolled one and a half times."

Both driver and co-driver were uninjured.

"The damage is mainly superficial. It's all panel damage so we'll bring it home this weekend and we'll go from there. We'll be assessing what we need to do to get to the Rally of Gisborne [on July 2] but we are definitely going to be at Gisborne."

The car remained in the forest overnight and was retrieved yesterday morning.

Despite the roll, Holder is six points clear of Gilmour in the championship standings.

"We'll go to Gisborne with the attitude of staying in front of her and get some more good points," said Farmer.

"If it wasn't for the support of the sponsors, none of this would happen, so we want to thank them."

Gilmour and co-driver Anthony McLoughlin drove their Suzuki Swift to victory in Canterbury by 1min 15sec over Andrew Hawkeswood and Jeff Cress in their Mazda two, with third place going to Carl Davies and Tracy Millar.

Local driver Matt Summerfield won the opening stage before engine failure, handing the lead to Gilmour, who would lead the field for the remainder of the event.

Other front-runners to strike trouble included defending champion Ben Hunt with overheating and local driver Richard Baddock, who left the road.

Mechanical dramas also stopped Tauranga's Phil Campbell, Chris West, Glenn Inkster, Darren Galbraith and Shannon Chambers. In total, 20 cars failed to finish.

The top 10 was completed by Graham Featherstone, Lee Robson, Marcus van Klink, Kingsley Jones, Max Bayley, Sloan Cox and Jason Clark.

Hayden Paddon still holds third place in the championship, despite not contesting the event, while Marcus van Klink and Andrew Hawkeswood round out the top five.