Over 120km of competition has been confirmed for the inaugural City of Auckland Rally next month.
The event will utilise the Auckland-based special stages that were set to host the World Rally Championship before its coronavirus-induced cancellation.
The rally has already enticed the entries of several top-flight New Zealand motor racing talent, from WRC winner Hayden Paddon to 2016 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen.
The rally kicks off from the Kemeu Showgrounds before heading north to the Kaipara hills for a 16km stage.
Competitors will then tackle the lengthy 23km Puhoi stage near the banks of the Puhoi River. From Puhoi, drivers will then contest another 16km stage through Riverhead Forest in the north-west.
Together, these three stages act as one loop and drivers will repeat the cycle one further time in the afternoon.
Two runs on the purpose-built 6km Jack’s Ridge stage on former NZRC champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s farm will conclude the rally.
“We are thrilled to be able to use some of the most iconic roads in Rally New Zealand’s history for the City of Auckland Rally,” Rally New Zealand chairman Peter Johnston said.
“Many of these stages haven’t been used for a long time but they are steeped in rallying history. Competitors today will get the chance to drive on stages that were used in the 1980s and 1990s.”
Johnston said the organisers worked hard to bring a world-class event to Auckland even without the WRC.
“We are gutted that COVID-19 forced the cancellation of Rally New Zealand this year, but we are fighting hard to bring the event back in the future. The City of Auckland Rally gives us a chance to showcase what an amazing event we could run down here.
“The Jacks Ridge stage is a world-class WRC power stage and would have been a real highlight on the WRC calendar this year had we been able to run.
“It is going to be a fantastic experience for our best drivers here in New Zealand.”
The City of Auckland Rally will be held on November 14, the day before the Battle of Jack’s Ridge rally sprint.