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New Zealand’s premier rally championship will feature three competition categories for 2013, to include the number of hand-built cars being introduced to the six round series that starts in early April and goes through to early October. They are: Super Rally, Challenge Rally and Historic Rally.
 
Included in the Super Rally category, for all modern four and two-wheel-drive cars are the new era Peugeot, Mazda and Suzuki vehicles being constructed for competition. The Historic Rally field comprises cars built prior to 1 January 1987 and features classic Ford Escorts, Mazdas and Datsuns that were once the sports mainstay.
 
All teams entered to Super and Historic Rally score points toward the overall Gold Star title, previously won by recognised names such as Rod Millen (1977), Neil Allport (1986, 1989, 1992), Joe McAndrew (1993, 1994, 1996), Possum Bourne (1991), Hayden Paddon (2008-2009), and for the past two years: Richard Mason (plus 2005-2006).
 
The third category, Challenge Rally, caters to all those with rally schedule compliant cars that would like to compete in some or all championship rounds. Covering one day of the multi-leg events it dovetails in with the rest of the championship field without teams needing to partake in prior reconnaissance.
 
“It’s aimed at those who wish to be part of the pizzazz of a championship event without the commitment,” says series co-coordinator Laurie Brenssell.
 
“The aim is to lure all those cars sitting in sheds that are competition ready and just need a dust off. So it’s perfect for those who want a day’s fun and to still have time left in their weekend.
 
“Three categories make it easier for spectators to follow the series: Super Rally for the rock star cars, Historic Rally for yesteryear’s cars and Challenge Rally for those who want a day’s fun and still have a chance of championship competition.”
 
The series first round starts in Dunedin on 6 April for two days of Drivesouth Rally Otago. It then heads north for the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship round at the International Rally of Whangarei (17-19 May). The rest of the season is then one day events: Daybreaker Rally (Manawatu, 29 June), Canterbury Rally (10 August), 10th Anniversary Possum Bourne Memorial Rally, sponsored by Vantage (7 September) with the final being held at the Trusthouse Racetech Rally Wairarapa (5 October).
 
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