Propecia Rally New Zealand got underway this afternoon with a ceremonial start in the centre of new rally base, Hamilton.  The proceedings started with a rally show, where fans braved occasional drizzle and queued anxiously to meet the WRC stars and collect autographs, before the official Ceremonial Start of the rally at 7.30pm.

Seven times world motorcycling champion, Valentino Rossi, received a huge roar as he drove over the start line, and the popular Italian promised the crowd he is here for fun and to finish the event, and won't be concerned about his speed.

The rally proper gets underway tomorrow morning as crews head west of Hamilton to tackle the rally's new stages.

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