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Sub-titled ‘High Octane at Hampton’, this year’s Rally New Zealand features a fresh rally-plus-race blend of action for motorsport fans of all ages.
 
A two-day Rally New Zealand takes place on 7 and 8 May 2011 with the rally headquarters and service park located at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, midway between Auckland and Hamilton.
 
“We’re developing a crowd-pleasing mix of top level rallying and exciting on-track action and entertainment,” says Rally New Zealand organising committee chairman Peter (PJ) Johnston. “Essentially we’re building on the excellent day two of the 2010 running of WRC Rally New Zealand where fans enjoyed a great day of race and rally action at Hampton Downs.”
 
Johnston says the combination of exciting motorsport, displays, parades, food, refreshments and children’s activities make Rally New Zealand’s ‘High Octane on Hampton’ a must-do, family-friendly event in May.
 
“The 2011 event looks set to be a two-day extravaganza of motorsport.”
 
The rally side of this year’s Rally New Zealand sees three quite different fields of competitors in action at Hampton Downs as they run a series of super special stages, and on the top quality Waikato and Raglan roads which help make the rally such an iconic event on the World Rally Championship calendar.
 
Although Rally New Zealand 2011 is not a WRC round, rally enthusiasts can expect to see the best Kiwi rally drivers in the New Zealand Rally Championship class supported by strong entries for the Possum Bourne Memorial Rally field, which powers through the same special stages as the top tier competitors.
 
Johnston is excited to be bringing a whole new aspect to Rally New Zealand this year.
 
“New in 2011 – and expected to be a real crowd-pleaser – is the Rally New Zealand Historic Rally. Drawing on the worldwide growing enthusiasm for historic rallying, Rally New Zealand’s Historic Rally is open to genuine historic cars built before 1987. Fans can delight in the sights and sounds of these classic Ford Escorts, Mazda’s mighty rotary RX3 and RX7 models, Porsches, Holdens, Toyotas and Nissans.
 
“The Hampton Downs race circuit is a fantastic venue on which to run super special stages for the three fields of rally competitors. We’ll complement the rally action with a range of races, displays and entertainment to create two fantastic days for motorsport fans of all ages to enjoy,” says Johnston.
 
Rally New Zealand’s clerk of the course Willard Martin has been working on the rally route in recent weeks.
 
“We’ll utilise many of the rally stages used in last year’s and earlier Rally New Zealand events, taking the event through northern Waikato, Raglan and formerly Franklin, now Auckland districts,” says Martin. “As always, we appreciate the support and assistance of the many residents, businesses and councils in these districts who help make our event possible.”
 
Fans can sign up for regular newsletters via the event’s website, www.rallynz.org.nz, and also keep up with the latest news via Rally New Zealand’s Facebook page. Tickets for the two-day Rally New Zealand Hampton Downs extravaganza will go on sale in March with special early-bird ticket prices until 25 March.
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