Competitors in the production car classes of Rally New Zealand, which starts on Thursday 6 May, enjoyed the chance to scale the Auckland Harbour Bridge during one of their first days in New Zealand.
 
With the experienced guides from AJ Hackett Bungy and Bridge Climb ensuring their complete safety, the high speed rally drivers experienced thrills of a different kind during the fun tourist activity.
 
Hayden Paddon, the top Kiwi in this Production World Rally Championship class, commented: “I’m not really one for heights, but it was actually really good fun and not that scary at all. The views are fantastic and it was great to have such a fantastic day to show off New Zealand’s largest city to all the international drivers in these two support championships to the main World Rally Championship.”
 
The Super 2000 World Rally Championship class was represented on the bridge climb by Swede Emil Axelsson, co-driver to Patrik Sandell in a Skoda Fabia S2000, and Finns Jari Ketomaa and Mika Stenberge who drive the Shanghai FCACA Rally Team Ford Fiesta S2000.
 
The Production World Rally Championship class participants were:
- Japanese driver, Toshi Arai, former PWRC champion with co-driver Daniel Barritt from Great Britain
- Italian driver Gianluca Linari and co-driver Massimo Salvucci
- New Zealand’s Kingsley Thompson and Malcolm Peden
- Nicholai Georgiou from Great Britain
- Two-time New Zealand rally champion Hayden Paddon
- Brazilian paring Paulo Nobre and Edu Paula
- Mexican Michel Jourdain and his Spanish co-driver Oscar Sanchez of the Nextel-Televisa Deportes World Rally Team
 
Several of the PWRC and SWRC crews have a test day on Monday before the rally’s official reconnaissance commences on Tuesday and Wednesday. The event starts on Thursday with the official start ceremony in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour before three days of action take competitors through the Whangarei, Kaipara, Franklin, North Waikato and Raglan districts. More information on www.rallynz.org.nz.

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