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New Zealand’s highest profile rally of 2020 will feature eight special stages and just over 120km of competition. The new City of Auckland Rally will showcase some of the planned route and spectator innovations that would have been included in the WRC event planned for Auckland in early September. The Saturday, November 14 rally starts at 7.50am from the Kumeu Showgrounds in Auckland’s north west. The route heads through the Kaipara Hills (15.72km) and Puhoi (22.59km) stages before a refuel zone and the much-anticipated return of rallying to the Riverhead Forest for a 16.38km stage. Cars return to Kumeu for service and then repeat the loop of three stages. The final service is at Kumeu at 2.33pm, before the route takes crews through the city to South Auckland for two runs over the full-length 6.22km configuration of the purpose-built Jack’s Ridge venue, constructed at Whitford by the Hawkeswood family. The action begins at Jack’s Ridge from 4.30pm and prize giving at the hospitality area will be at 6pm. The competitive distance is 121.81km, with 283km of touring. The following day a shortened 2km version of the venue is being used for the Battle of Jack’s Ridge Rallysprint, which was recently confirmed as having four hours live TV coverage on the SkySport network. The Auckland rally is the only event on the 2020 New Zealand calendar to offer a two-pass reconnaissance, which takes place Friday, November 13. Entries have opened today, although organisers have already confirmed the participation of Hayden Paddon, 2019 NZRC title winner Ben Hunt, Emma Gilmour, Jack Hawkeswood and Kingsley Jones.
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