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For the third consecutive event in this year's New Zealand Rally Championship, Stephen Barker and co-driver Brett Lightfoot will contest the Rally Whangarei in a different car. 

The pair started out the season in an Evo 4 before moving into their Evo 6 for round two in Otago. Now the team have purchased an Evo 8 which they have downgraded to Evo 7 specs for the remainder of the season.

“Unfortunately Mitsubishi has not yet created the Evo 12 it seems we will need by the time we get to Nelson (the fifth and final round of the NZRC),” joked Barker.

The car will be kept in Group N trim for the rest of the season so the team can test and develop the car before moving from the open class to the Group N 4WD championship in 2010.
 
Barker is hoping for a change of fortune after scoring points on just one of the four legs to date in the New Zealand Rally Championship. Now the team's aim is just to finish the season on a high.

Although now living in Hamilton, Barker was bought up in Whangarei and still considers the event his ‘home’ rally so it would be an ideal event to change his fortune.

“As well as being my home event, my major sponsors Rintoul Civil and Baker Boys Nursery are based in Northland, so it is important to get a good result for them.”

Barker, Lightfoot and all the other crews will start from the Cameron Street Mall at 5 pm on Friday night. The following day the teams will tackle eight high-speed special stages followed by a further eight on Sunday.

Rally Whangarei’s roads were voted amongst the drivers favourites when the roads were part of New Zealand’s round of the World Rally Championship.

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