Whangarei Hosts Only International Rally Event for 2013
02 May 2013
Top Kiwi rally teams get to square off against off-shore rivals at this year’s International Rally of Whangarei, in association with the Brian Green Property Group over the weekend 18-19 May – the only time this year an FIA international category event will be held in New Zealand.
The opening round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship and second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship will bring teams from a multitude of countries including Japan, Sweden, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia and around New Zealand to Whangarei for the week.
Using Whangarei’s Quayside Town Basin as the event hub the adjoining car park will
become a mini village of shipping containers and service vehicles as teams prepare the cars for the 16 special stages and journey of 727.56km. The first four years the event was won outright by New Zealand competitors, once by Timaru’s Chris West and three times by Geraldine’s Hayden Paddon.
Paddon went on to win the FIA Production World Rally Championship in 2011 and will make a return to compete at Whangarei for this year.
Changes to the competition criteria will see teams split in two different groups with the offshore competitors and internationally eligible cars running ahead of most of the New Zealand championship contenders.
Televised coverage of the competition over roads throughout the Whangarei and Kaipara districts will be shown world-wide, through a network of broadcasters to 118 countries and 463 million households.
The rally itself gets underway on Friday 17 May with a pre-event autograph session in the Cameron St mall from 3:30pm. The ceremonial start begins at 4:30pm with all the competing crews and cars taking part before being parked for the night ahead of Saturday’s action. Leaving Whangarei from 8am the route takes competitors over roads around Parahi in the south-west, Waipu Caves and Brooks – including the ‘Hella’ jump on Swamp Rd. They return to Whangarei for the brand new 1.5km Pohe Island ‘Super Special’ stage before a 20minute service break at the Town Basin. The route is repeated in the afternoon with the cars then parked overnight following the service break.
Sunday begins at 6:55am and heads south through Waipu Gorge and on to Marohemo and Batley road, visiting Paparoa and Cassidy road before returning to Whangarei for a 20 minute service break. The teams repeat the stages in the early afternoon, returning to the Quayside Town Basin for a ceremonial finish from 3:15pm.