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Tarmac rallying will get underway again in New Zealand on July 4 and 5 with the running of the Hawkes Bay Rally. Following the postponement of the scheduled May event and ensuing uncertainty, organisers are thrilled to be heading back to their Hawkes Bay stamping ground with two days of high adrenalin motor sport. Drivers and their support teams are itching to get behind the wheel and get their blood pumping again. The rally will start at Porters Hotel, Martin Square Havelock North on Saturday, July 4, and finish at the same place on Sunday, July 5. Leg one starts on Saturday morning. There are five big stages on Saturday with three of them 30km or more. The cars will be back at Martin Place for lunch at 11.40 and then again for their final service at 16.10, before parking up at Porters Hotel for the night. Sunday brings another five big stages with the longest being Ormandville at over 40km. Lunch is in Dannevirke at 12.25 and the final stage is the famous Middle Road stage, with the cars finishing outside Porters Hotel at 3.45pm. Amongst the field of around 50 competing cars are a bunch of local drivers including Robert Webster, Terry May, Stuart Richmond, Ivan Knauf and Nathan Apatu. But if you are looking for likely winners, the classic field will be a three-way fight between Anton Talbot, Mark McCaughan and Bruce Farley. In the modern competition it will be the pace of Leigh Hopper, up against the reliability of David Rogers, combating the guile and cunning of Martin Dippie in his Porsche. With a year that has so far brought a drought and virus pandemic, the return of Targa rallying should bring some welcome relief. Fortunately, the nature of Targa means social distancing is realitively easy to achieve. Naturally, spectators will need to practice the required social distancing as prescribed by the Ministry for Health. However, there should be plenty of space on those wonderful Hawkes Bay back country roads for everyone to enjoy spectating the thrills and spills of Targa rallying. For more information visit: www.targa.nz
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Luke Whitten

Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.
Luke is part of the third generation of the RallySport Magazine team and holds a degree in marketing & communications.

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