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The Hamilton Car Club has confirmed plans to run a very rare December rally to wrap up the COVID-19 interrupted 2020 season in New Zealand. The Newstead Lodge Clubmans Rally on Sunday, December 6 will comply with Motorsport New Zealand’s Clubmans Rally permit requirements – less than 80km of special stages and a maximum of 50 cars, while Stage Notes or reconnaissance aren’t permitted. In large part the event repeats the second half of last year’s Waitomo finale of the New Zealand Rally Championship with stages based to the west of Otorohanga. It’s also similar to the Waitomo Clubmans event which ran in 2016 and was won by Clinton Cunningham (Mitsubishi Lancer). A single-day format will see Sunday morning documentation, along with the start and finish venues based at the Ngutunui School. There will be six gravel stages totalling just under the 80km limit. The longest stage of 19.5km is the Pirongia West Road which will be used twice. The rally will also use sections of Te Rauamoa Road, Kaimango Road and Honokiwi Road to give competitors a good taste of Waitomo district roads and former Rally New Zealand stage venues. The compact itinerary will see a 9.30am start and 3.00pm finish. The planned route includes only 106km of touring.
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Colin Smith