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Indian Team Confirms Three Cars as Route Confirmed

21 February 2008

Attention Sports Editors

Indian Rally Team Confirms Three Cars as Route is Confirmed

The MRF Rally Team has confirmed that they will be entering three cars for the International Rally of Whangarei from 6 – 8 June 2008 in the Whangarei and Kaipara Districts.

The Indian team who have previously run FIA Asia Pacific Champions Jussi Valimaki and Armin Kremer have confirmed Australian Scott Pedder to lead their attack on the third round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Pedder who was formerly a factory driver for the Mitsubishi Australia Team is a first time entrant in the APRC and the International Rally of Whangarei.

Joining Pedder in the team are Katsuhiko Taguchi of Japan and Guarav Gill of India who will be making their first trip to the Whangarei event.

"The news of the MRF team joining the field for the International Rally of Whangarei is a great boost for the event" said Chairman of the Event Laurie Brenssell. "Taguchi has vast experience in New Zealand and is a known hard-charger. Pedder has a proven pedigree in Australia and is looking to prove his speed on the international stage."

"At this early stage it is great to see so many leading competitors opting to compete in New Zealand and we expect more competitors to confirm their entry for the event in the coming weeks" said General Manager Paul Mallard. "With the route planning now complete and the event regulations undergoing final approval from the FIA, event preparations are moving well."

This week has also seen the finalisation of the route for the 2008 International Rally of Whangarei.

With the route in the Whangarei and Kaipara regions now set in stone, rally organisers are now working on the detailed planning of spectator areas.

"Completing the final check of the route enables us to start looking at how to deliver the best possible vantage points to spectators," said International Rally of Whangarei Route Co-Ordinator Willard Martin shortly after completing the final check.

"Obviously safety is paramount so we work out the best possible viewing spots by looking for areas that are safe and are capable of coping with the number of fans expected during the event. We have to consider how spectators get in and out of those areas, parking space, the ability to provide food and drink and obviously what sort of view fans can get of the action," Martin says.

"There is a fair amount of work done to ensure all safety measures are taken. We talk to safety advisors and look at all possible paths cars could take to ensure that we have spectators in safe areas."

International Rally of Whangarei organisers will continue to work closely with local authorities and residents to finalise this stage of planning.

"We have a really good relationship with both the local councils and also the local residents," said Willard Martin

"They have been very supportive in the past and their assistance this year has helped us to confirm the route at this early stage. We are very fortunate that the community is so keen to get behind this event and with their support we are able to deliver a fantastic product."

The prime spectator areas for the event will be the NAC Insurance Pohe Island Superspecial stage (run twice on Saturday and once Sunday), the famous Swamp Road Bridge run twice each day on Wairere (Saturday) and Brooks (Sunday) and the Quayside Town Basin in the heart of Whangarei.

The Quayside Town Basin is home to the Service Park, Rally Headquarters and Ceremonial Finish while the Cameron St Mall in the middle of Whangarei will be used for the Ceremonial Start.

Entries for the Rally are officially open in late March. For further information on the International Rally of Whangarei visit www.rallywhangarei.co.nz


ENDS

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