New Zealand’s premier rally championship kicks off mid-April with the first of six rounds that sees the series start in the North Island for 2008.
Maintaining naming rights, the Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship will again cover the length of the country over a six month spread.
Included are the two international category events: Asia Pacific Rally Championship near Whangarei and World Rally Championship near Hamilton.
Also new to the season are a number of minor detail changes that for the first time sees all competitors required use service station forecourt fuel for the four domestic rounds.
Adding to the carbon footprint initiative, the season will also see the inclusion of the Volkswagen Polo TDI hybrid entry, constructed and run by students of Unitec New Zealand, Auckland.
Championship co-ordinator Laurie Brenssell says the new season is additionally expected to throw some new talent in to the existing pool.
“We go through phases; now we’ve got some new people coming in who have performed well at local level and who are quite capable of being a force to be reckoned with at times during the coming season.  Names like Ben Jagger from the Northland (Ford Fiesta), Sloan Cox of Rotorua (Mitsubishi Lancer), and Brad Ayling from the Taranaki (Subaru Impreza) – they are worth keeping an eye on as they mix with our current stars.”
“Plus we have an unknown combination with the TORC hybrid entry – they could well shine also.”
The first round starts with the Trusthouse Racetech Rally of Wairarapa, on April 12 and 13.
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