Rally Bay of Plenty attracts NZ’s top drivers

New Zealand’s best rally drivers are heading to Whakatāne this weekend for the final round of the 2023 New Zealand Rally Championship, the Battery Town Rally of Bay of Plenty.

Current European and New Zealand Champion Hayden Paddon driving a Hyundai AP4 will have plenty of competition from the likes of Shane Van Gisbergen - fresh from his third win at the Bathurst 1000 in an Audi A1 AP4; 2019 NZ champion Ben Hunt, and Raana Hooran both driving Skoda Fabia R5s.

Representing the Bay of Plenty and starting in the top-ten are Mike Young from Opotiki in a Toyota Yaris AP4  and Tauranga’s Phil Campbell in a Ford Fiesta AP4.  

All sixty cars and competitors will be lined up at the start-line and rally-show from 3.30pm on Saturday October 14 in the carpark off Kakahoroa Drive, Whakatāne -next to the Warehouse - with the official flag-off at 5pm.

It’s a very early start for the competitors on Sunday morning, departing Whakatāne at 5.40am with twelve stages and 128 kilometres of competition ahead of them. The event is made up of short stages providing a variety of viewing opportunities. 

Prime viewing is at the TECT Park spectator and power stage (SS10) that can be accessed from State Highway 36 between Tauranga and Rotorua. The action starts at 2.30pm.

If you’re keen to get out and follow the event it’s best to download the official rally map available here: https://www.mbop.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Completed-Map.pdf

The cars will be servicing and the drivers having a short break at the Matata Rugby Grounds from 9.20am and at the Pukehina School from 11.50am.  

The finish of the event is Blake Park Carpark, Mount Maunganui with the first car expected to arrive just after 4pm.

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