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This year’s Rally of the North will leave its traditional October date and run earlier in the year on August 17.

The date change has come about after a clash with another rally. The change of date should see more predictable weather after last year’s event, which saw torrential rain in the morning before the event finished in near-perfect sunshine.

The event will once again make up round four of the Rally Xtreme series and round three of the Top Half Series. It is competed on some of the most popular roads in New Zealand around the events host city, Paihia. A popular format of eight high-speed special stages split by a lunch break in Paihia will see 195km of special stages, linked together by just 275km of touring stages.

With the large amount of cambered gravel roads of the region, Rally of the North will continue to run a mixture of last year’s route, old classics and new sections that are bound to keep competitors coming back. Road closure applications are currently with the council for the event after which the route can be confirmed.

In what should be a popular initiative with competitors, the first nine complete entries, including full payment, will receive a $100 rebate on their entry.

The event can already announce a first stage sponsor, with long-time event supporter LJ Hooker Manurewa confirming they will continue their support.

“It is shaping up to be another great event,” says Rally of the North spokesman Simon Bell. “We are really lucky to have so many fantastic roads to choose from and this year will be another great mix. We have included some of last year’s stages (On request from 2012 entrants) plus some old classics like Oromahoe and Ruapekapeka.”

Supplementary regulations will be published in the coming months for the event.

Press Release by BB Media

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