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The Stadium Finance South Canterbury Spring Rally on September 26 has attracted a 60-strong line-up at close of entries and features a strong turnout of modern AP4 and R5 cars at the front of the field.
Although local star Hayden Paddon and Dunedin’s Emma Gilmour have recently altered plans that would have seen them appear at the Timaru event, the entry list includes the AP4 machines of Canterbury drivers Matt Summerfield (Mitsubishi Mirage), Robbie Stokes (Ford Fiesta) and Josh Marston (Holden Barina), along with in-form Auckland visitor Jack Hawkeswood (Mazda2).
Kaikoura’s Regan Ross (Ford Fiesta) and Aucklander Kingsley Jones (Skoda Fabia) plan to be in action in their R5 cars, while other leading contenders include Marcus van Klink (Mazda RX-8), Deane Buist (VW Golf GTi), Graham Ferguson (Ford Escort RS), Wayne Muckle (Mitsubishi Lancer) and Sean Haggerty (Subaru Impreza).
There’s also a Group B theme to the event, with Jim Tennant entered in his Nissan 240RS and Barry Varcoe campaigning his Toyota Celica Twin Cam Turbo.
The 2020 rally is largely a shortened variation of the popular NZRC event that has been based from Timaru in the past two seasons – and was planned again this year before the COVID-19 calendar disruption and cancellation of the NZ Rally Championship.
The route features 130km of special stages based around a Fairlie service park, with an opportunity for crews using the stage notes to complete a single pass reconnaissance on Friday.
The event is set to be the third round of the South Island’s 2020 Mainland Rally Series, and only the third rally event of the year in New Zealand.
In further Mainland Series news, early details have been announced for the Lonestar Canterbury Rally which runs on Sunday, October 25 (the holiday Labour weekend in New Zealand).
A mix of Ashley Forest stages and public road venues in North Canterbury’s Amberley, Cheviot and Waikari districts will provide 124km of gravel competition.
The Canterbury Rally starts from Joe’s Garage in Rangiora at 8.30am and heads back into central Christchurch for a 6pm (approx.) finish at the Lone Star Restaurant.
This event will also offer a single pass Saturday recce opportunity for competitors who purchase the official stage notes.
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