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After a three week break, the New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy has gone from it’s southern most round at Otago, to the hoped for sunshine of the northern most round, Rally Whangarei, the third event this season.

For Series leader Ben Jagger, he, as he did last year, comes into the event as series leader after a hard fought maximum score in Otago. Jagger went well at this event last year with two second places in the two legs and is sure to be hoping to go one better with an extra years experience under his belt.

A mere 24 points behind Jagger is one of three Nelson rookies, Daniel Harris. Harris has only twice rallied in the North Island but has shown incredible promise that far exceeds his eighteen years, so will be one to watch.

Another making his first trip to the Whangarei roads is Dominick Unterberger who, after two consistent runs, sits third in the competitive series.

Sitting fourth in the series is Rally New Zealand rising star scholarship winner Ben Hunt. After a DNF on the opening leg of the championship, Hunt has shown why he was chosen as a rising star and will be pushing hard for the victory.

Looking to turn his season back in the right direction is Patrick Malley. Malley dominated the opening round on his home Hawkes Bay Rally, but an early crash gave him no points in Otago, moving him from first to last in the points tally. Since then, co-driver Malcolm Read has had an operation and complications that almost took his life has seen Patrick’s mother, Linzi, temporarily take over the notes for Whangarei.

The Rally Whangarei uses 16 stages over two days on roads that were formerly used on New Zealand's round of the World Rally Championship.

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