Hamish Bond hit by car issues before driving debut at Otago Rally

Hamish Bond has experienced a lot in his remarkable sporting career, but a broken-down car is a first.

The Olympic rower and cyclist was set to drive in this weekend’s Otago Rally but he's quickly finding out the challenges of motorsport, with his Subaru set to spend the night at the mechanics.

"Well I just went a little bit wide around one of the corners I was told not to go wide around and I hit something hard here, pushed the wheel back and broke something in there,” Bond said.

“Not ideal."

The 36-year-old was driving test laps before making his debut at the Otago Rally this weekend.

"You've got to be ready to fix things on the fly and fortunately it happened today and not on the weekend.

"I think this is the fifth day I've been in the rally car, they may swear at me a little bit but I just have to smile and say sorry."

1News was meant to hitch a ride with the Olympic champ to see how far he'd come since our last catch up in December.

Bond nearly took out a fence post, so we left it to the professionals, riding onboard with 2015 runner-up Phil Campbell.

The pace is at a whole different level, especially when the field is all gunning for Hayden Paddon.

The eight-time Otago Rally champion is looking to defend his title, but he has stiff competition in McLaren driver Emma Gilmour.

Gilmour rounds out the star-studded field where she will be racing in her 18th Otago Rally

"It's a tough event. To get to the finish is an achievement in itself and to get to the podium is really rewarding," Gilmour said.