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The Takayama College of Car Technology  rally team entry was the first received by the Rally New Zealand office when  entries opened last Friday.    

They have competed in a round of the World Rally Championship every year since 1996, with students from the college providing the crew for the all-female team.  The students complete a two year course to study car technology, culminating in a national diploma in automotive maintenance.  

“The purpose of taking part in the World Rally Championship is to equip the students with a good education in the real world,” said Susumu Sakai, associate profession of the Takayama College of Car Technology.    

“We must compete on all three days and we must complete the rally. Our first priority is to finish the rally. We have never failed to finish a rally and we are very much looking forward to taking part in New Zealand.”    

The team will rally a Subaru WRX STi and also bring their own recce car, drivers, 14 students and also a  further 20 guests.    

“It’s an exciting venture that will certainly add considerable interest to the rally,” said event general manager Paul  Mallard.

“Obviously there will be much interest in the battle for the World Rally Championship, the Production Car World Rally Championship and the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship, but this is a novel and interesting entry. They have competed in Rally Japan and Rally Australia and we are delighted they’ve selected New Zealand.”    

Up to 70 entries are expected for this year’s Rally New Zealand.

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