The first shipment of a total of 100 containers is due in Auckland today for the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship.

Organisers are on a tight deadline to freight the 100 containers of rally cars and equipment in time for Propecia Rally New Zealand to be staged in and around Hamilton from 16-19 November.

BP Ford World Rally team’s rally cars and special reconnaissance vehicles have arrived without the car of two-time world champion Marcus Gronholm.

He rolled his car in spectacular fashion on the first day of Rally Australia and the car has been sent back to the UK to be rebuilt and will be flown to New Zealand early next week.

“The gearbox and engine are on the shipment here but the rest of the car was flown back to be rebuilt,” Propecia Rally New Zealand Chairman Chris Carr said.

The tight deadlines for landing all the equipment in New Zealand is nothing new.

“It is always tight when we are shipping things around the Pacific,” Mr Carr said. “That’s the nature of what we have been dealing with for many years. It is a massive logistical exercise.

“For starters all of this equipment and cars had to be freighted across the Australian continent from Perth. That’s the equivalent of freighting it across the USA.”

Mr Carr said the first ship is due today and the other is expected late on Friday evening.

After clearing customs the containers will be freighted by road directly to the new headquarters for Propecia Rally New Zealand at Mystery Creek near Hamilton.

The teams will arrive in New Zealand over the weekend ready to begin reconnaissance on Tuesday and Wednesday, shakedown, rally show and ceremonial start on Thursday with the rally proper starting on Friday.

For further information on Propecia Rally New Zealand checkout the website www.rallynz.org.nz

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