Tauranga rally driver David Holder is looking forward to racing close to home in the New Zealand Rally Championship this weekend.

Penny Homes Holden Rally Team drivers Holder and Josh Marston will drive the team's two Holden Barina Ap4+ cars in the two-day event.

Holder joined the team at the invitation of the team's regular driver Greg Murphy due to Murphy's Supercars' commitments. Holder and co-driver Jason Farmer, the defending New Zealand Rally Champions, finished their first event in the Barina at Rally Waitomo in sixth place. They are currently fourth on their respective drivers'/co-drivers' championship table and therefore one of seven crews with a mathematical chance of winning the 2017 championship title.

Holder said: "Now that we've got an event in the car under our belt, we're definitely looking to show a bit more pace this time round. We'd like to convert that pace to a podium result for the team which feels achievable. It would also be nice to reward Greg and all the associated sponsors' faith in us with a great finish!"

Both drivers are looking forward to the special stages ahead which take them from Tauranga to Raglan, then Lake Rotoma and back to Tauranga during the November 25-26 finale to the New Zealand Rally Championship.

Holder and Farmer start fifth on the road in the 54-strong field, with Marston and co-driver Andrew Graves seeded 12th.

The rally features a two-pass reconnaissance, which Marston says is helpful, especially with the stages that neither of the drivers have contested before.

Murphy, who'll be at the Supercars final round in Newcastle, said it will be great to see the work and effort from the team.


"I know how focussed Dave is leading into this weekend. He has been doing big hours working on the car and on his physical training, and he is very serious about this rally being in with a chance to win the championship again."