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With M-Sport launching the latest R2 specification Fiesta Sport to run alongside the current Fiesta ST Group N3 car in European Fiesta Sporting Trophy series’, New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy series organisers have made the decision to retain the current Group N3 spec car as the only car to run in the New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy.

Like the current Group N3 car, the R2 Fiesta is based on the standard car which is then converted to the finished product with a kit provided by M-Sport, the company who prepare Ford Focus WRC cars for the BP Abu Dhabi Ford World Rally Team, Stobart Ford Rally Team and Munchi’s Rally Team.

Because of the less technically restricting regulations under the ‘Group R’ formula, the R2 car has more modified parts and as a consequence the costs are prohibitive to the cars running in the New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy.

The current Group N3 Fiesta ST has proved that it is a giant killer on New Zealand shores. The two-wheel drive non-turbo car stormed onto the scene in New Zealand when Mark Tapper finished seventh overall in the International Rally of Rotorua, a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship.

Since then, the cars have consistently recorded top ten finishes in the New Zealand Rally Championship and taken outright victories in regional rallies.

This year’s New Zealand Fiesta Sporting Trophy has been the best to date with five high quality entries. After three of five rounds, Ben Jagger has mixed consistency with pace to lead the championship from Rally New Zealand Rising Star Scholarship winner Ben Hunt. Patrick Malley holds third ahead of Dominick Unterburger. After a monster crash at the last round in Whangarei, Daniel Harris slipped back to fifth but will be sure to fight back up the field when the series resumes at Wairarapa.

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