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Mar 27, 2014 - 07:03 AM
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Champions Start Title Defence With Vinz International Rally Of Whangarei
Posted by: newsla on Mar 27, 2014 - 07:01 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Champions Start Title Defence With Vinz International Rally Of Whangarei


Champions start title defence with VINZ International Rally of Whangarei

 

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Leading the line-up entered for this year’s VINZ International Rally of Whangarei, the opening round of seven for the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) will be series defending champions Gaurav Gill and co-driver Glenn Macneall.

Competing to set the fastest time across rural roads north and south of host city Whangarei from 11 to 13 April the pair will be joined by eight other international entries and 39 New Zealand teams.
India’s Gill and Australian born Macneall have been regulars at the Whangarei event and finished runners-up to team mates Esapekka Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm in 2013. This time they start first on the road for the first of 14 special stages that run to the north of Whangarei on the Saturday and to the south on the Sunday.
They will campaign the same factory backed ŠKODA Fabia Super2000 that carried them to five event wins last season and the overall title.

This year they are joined by defending European Rally Championship pairing Jan Kopecky (Czech Republic) and Pavel Dresler (Czech Republic).

"We had a great season where we created history last year but now our focus is squarely on this year,” said Gill ahead of his return to New Zealand.

“We will not rest on our laurels and will continue to push to ensure that we are fighting for the title again.”

Other countries represented on the entry list include China, Japan, Malaysia and Australia – in a variety of cars including a Renault Clio and Mazda Demio.

Pre-event activity includes a driver signing session at Whangarei’s Cameron Street Mall from 3:30-4:30pm Friday afternoon. That leads in to the ceremonial start festivities with the first car crossing the start ramp at 5pm.
The rally itself begins 9am Saturday morning with six new special stages to the north of Whangarei. Teams return to tackle the short-sharp double-run 1.25km Hella Pohe Island Super Special Stage from 7pm.
The first time the event has run cars in the dark, lighting towers will illuminate areas spectators can take advantage of.

Sunday’s six remaining special stages will be run as a group of three – twice. Returning to Whangarei between each passing to have their cars serviced the event wraps up with a ceremonial finish at the Quayside Town Basin from 3pm.

Spectating at the rally start, finish and Quayside Town Basin service areas are free with access to rural viewing points costing just $10 per adult per day and $15 for the Hella Pohe Island Super Special Stage. Children under the age of 15 are free with a paying adult and paddock parking is available at some locations for a gold coin donation.
A share of all spectator ticket revenue goes to the local community groups that help run the spectator viewing areas.

A rally map is available free to download from the event website www.rallywhangarei.co.nz (in the spectator info section), or it can be collected from rally headquarters at Quayside Town Basin (from 9 April) or found in the rally insert published in the Northern Advocate on 9 April.

Spectators are reminded to follow the instructions of marshals and ensure they stand well clear of the road’s edge – inside the taped off viewing areas.


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