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Organisers of the successful 2006 and 2008 NZ Silver Fern International Marathon Rallies, have made changes to their 2010 event, and will next week release preliminary information and event registration details, to intending competitors.
The most significant change to the event for 2010 will be the separation of the competing vehicles, with two new sections to better define the event in the eyes of the competitors and the public.
“The NZ Silver Fern Historic Trophy” and “The NZ Silver Fern Challenge”, will effectively become two major rallies within the one event.
The “true” Historic (classic) cars will now compete against themselves, while the Challenge (all-comers) competitors will do the same, with both having an overall winner. Added to this mix will also be the mini “Baby Fern” event taking in the first three days of competition.
“We want this to be our best so far, and we are continuing to listen to, and work with what the competitors want from our event” said Rally Chairman Hamilton’s Gary Smith. He added “the European competitors are much more traditional with their “Historic” competition vehicles, and if we want to continue to grow our event as a true International Marathon Rally, then we need to refine our event with these changes.”
The changes will also benefit the local competitors, many of whom want to be part of the adventure, but have found the expense of complying with the “true” Historic rules, too much. They can now use their Historic (classic) looking car, and fit more modern and cost effective components and still be part of the fun in the “Challenge” event.
The event has also had a minor date change, to better fit into the local motorsport calendar, and avoid clashes with the Westland Rally and the NZ Premier Race Championship meeting in early November, and to allow the Rally to be incorporated into Christchurch’s Show week.
Only a week later than originally proposed, the rally will now take place between November 14th and 20th  2010.
As proposed the marathon distance event will take place in the lower South Island, of New Zealand with around a 1060kms of all gravel special stages, and will include one monster stage of around 80kms in length.
Starting in Christchurch, the 2010 event will incorporate some of the popular 2008 stages in reverse, some exciting new roads, and some roads not used since the 1976 Heatway Rally, before finishing this time in Queenstown.
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