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Whangarei driver Ben Jagger along with co-driver Ben Hawkins expect to have a good strong showing at this weekend's Rally of Otago after improving braking and handling on the SeedForce Ford Fiesta after the opening round at Hawkes Bay.
Although achieving a well deserved second place at the first round of the season, the pair felt they were up against it with the car not performing as well as expected at the Rally of Hawkes Bay.
"We had some problem with the brakes at Hawkes Bay and I just didn't have the confidence in the car that I needed there - we've rebuilt the suspension, redone the set up and renewed the brakes so now the car feels like it's brand new." said Jagger.
With a formidable weapon underneath him 19 year old Jagger will be looking at a repeat performance of last year's Rally Otago where he assumed the lead in the standings after a class win there.
And to once again enter his home event the Rally of Whangarei as the leader will be the icing on the cake for the Northlander.
The NAC Insurance International Rally of Whangarei takes place over the 5-7th June and is the third round of the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship 2009 and also round three of the 2009 FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
However since the Rally of Otago 2008 three new strong contenders have entered the Group N 2WD class including the recipient of the very first Rally New Zealand Rising Stars Scholarship Ben Hunt.
Hunt should keep Jagger and Patrick Malley on their toes after showing good skills in the opening round at Hawkes Bay where he held second place for a while before Jagger moved in and overtook him.
With Hunt comes Dominick Unterberger and Daniel Harris who along with reigning champion Malley make five competitive Ford Fiesta drivers fighting for the win at Otago and the overall championship this year.
"The car has had a good going over before this rally so we will be doing all we can to get the win this weekend but will just have to see how it goes." said Jagger.