Fourth annual title for Witheford

Campbell Witheford won the North Island Off Road Challenger title for the fourth year running

A prominent Cambridge racer made his mark on the national racing stage recently, coming away from the North Island round of the Polaris New Zealand Off-road Championship with a first-place finish in his class.

It was the fourth-year running that Campbell Witheford won the North Island Off Road Challenger title, this time finishing off the competition with a maximum of 72 points having won all four rounds of the Challenger class. He now goes on to compete at the national final in Nelson on Labour weekend.

“I was quite stoked because I was quite low down in the points coming into that round,” said Witheford, who had lost points in the previous round due to a mid-race crash.

“I was following right behind the car in front of me and he hit a tree, so I went way up the back of his car… he actually started up and took off but mine didn’t want to start again!”

Thankfully Campbell had much better luck at the recent round. “It was a really good track as well, it got a bit rough in the end but it makes for slightly better driving conditions.”

Campbell’s four-time Championship-winning challenger car will be going up for sale after the final round in Nelson.

Witheford was pressed hard in every heat by a new arrival in the Challenger class, Mark Goldstone, who took a string of second placings in a car formerly campaigned by ex-champions Dyson Delahunty and Nick Leahy.

“He actually gave me a good run for my money!” said Witheford. “It was quite a good challenge, it wasn’t super close but it was probably the most competition I’ve had in quite a while.”

With less than a fortnight away from the big final, Campbell said he was halfway through building a trailer and hadn’t yet prepped the car, “It’s probably going to be a bit of a rush at the last minute!” he laughed.

“It’s going to be my last race in this car, so I’m probably just going to go all out, try and get as much points as I can.”

In the 2018 season Campbell will be driving a new vehicle in a different class, having recently purchased a Pro Lite race truck from the US.

“It’s a bit more open in suspension and motor wise… you’re allowed unlimited horse power and gear box and that, so that will be a lot faster.”

His four-time North Island Championship-winning challenger car will be going up for sale after the final round on Labour weekend. “It started off as a pretty basic car, and I think about every part of it has had a bit of a play with, being rebuilt and modified or whatever else… A lot of work has gone into it.”

Campbell hopes he’ll be able to finish the 2017 season taking home the national Challenger title.

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