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Silver Fern Rally Ready to Roll

Silver Fern Rally Ready to Roll

The epay Silver Fern Rally is locked, loaded, and ready to fire a fantastic array of historic, classic, and modern rally cars, and drivers, on a 3000km circuit of the North Islands best back country roads.

With a number of teams using today’s shakedown in Maramarua Forest as an opportunity for some last minute fine tuning, the hills were alive with the sound of BDA Escorts and other fine machinery from the last 40 years of special stage rallying.

Tomorrow (Saturday) sees all of the competitors cars flagged away from the ceremonial start at Botany Town Centre. A pre-rally car show sets the scene from 12pm, with the first cars heading away from 3pm. NZ rally legends Mike Marshall and Rod Millen will be present to wave the cars away, while Roger Smith (NZ Manager for epay) will be on the flag.

“This is a fantastic way to start this event”, say Rally Secretary Paul Smith. “It’s an ideal opportunity for all the family to see the cars and meet the drivers in one place, at one time”. That is before the cars are used for their intended purpose, as gravel spitting rally weapons, being thrown as fast as possible along winding back country roads.

As one prominent motorsport commentator observed, this must be the biggest pride of Escorts to gather on our shores in one event. With 27 of them entered in a variety of incarnations, the chasing pack of Porsche 911s, Mazdas, Toyotas, and others will be looking to keep them honest. But with the top 11 seeds in the historic class all Escorts, punctuated by the lone Group B RX7 of Rhys Millen, the odds are that there will be an Escort on the podium at the end.

Following the ceremonial start tomorrow, the teams head from Auckland to Rotorua on Sunday, when the rubber meets the road for the first of 7 days competition.

While the real action happens on the gravel roads, much easier access to the cars and drivers will be available at the service halts, and the epay Zones at the end of each day’s competition.

“We have set up the epay zones to allow people to come and see the cars close up and mingle with the drivers,” says epay’s NZ Country Manager Roger Smith. “There will be a commentary and driver interviews, along with the latest end of day results. epay will also have event merchandise on sale and there will be giveaways.”

It is a prime opportunity for families, local media, and anyone interested in motorsport to meet the drivers and take photos. Each car will remain in the epay zone for 10 minutes, and the zone will hold up to 10 cars at any one time as the field comes through to their end of day service.

Following the first leg on Sunday, from Auckland to Rotorua, via Tauranga, the rally will stop at Gisborne, Napier, Fielding, Ohakune, and Taupo, before finishing at Hamilton’s Claudeland’s Events Centre at 3pm on November 17th

More information is available at Full results are available on

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