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Propecia Rally New Zealand Officially Underway

Propecia Rally New Zealand Officially Underway

68 cars rolled over the Ceremonial Start at Waitemata Plaza on Auckland’s waterfront tonight to signal the official start of Propecia Rally NZ, round 4 of the World Rally Championship.

Fireworks and music rocked the Viaduct as the large crowd watched the contingent of WRC drivers accept the Maori Challenge before they returned to their cars and an even bigger challenge over the next three days in the 20 special stages that await them.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for Australian Subaru driver Chris Atkinson, a first time visitor to New Zealand as a P1 driver in the WRC. Atkinson had earlier recorded the fourth fastest time in the Shakedown at Paparoa as teams and drivers put the finishing touches on their vehicles and set up.

Defending champion Petter Solberg will be first car away on Special Stage One at 9.30 on Friday morning, the first of eight special stages on leg one of the Rally. Day one sees the cars compete on the roads of the Kaipara District, around the hub of Paparoa.

Leg Two on Saturday continues around the Kaipara before the cars head to Manukau City and the Super Special Stage, beginning at 4pm with a number of ‘support’ classes including super quads and a celebrity match race between Athens Olympians Hamish Carter and Sarah Ulmer beginning at 6.20pm.

Sunday and Leg Three takes the cars to Raglan and surrounding areas, including the world famous Whaanga Coast stage that could ultimately make or break a podium finish for the leading cars.

Propecia Rally NZ, April 7-10.

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