Major Driver Announcements - Battle Of Jacks Ridge
Check out the awesome line up of competitors that we have recently announced as confirmed for the Battle of Jacks Ridge!
Defending national rally champion Ben Hunt will contest the Battle of Jacks Ridge in November in his Subaru WRX.
The two-time national champion was nearly untouchable during the 2019 season – winning five of the six rounds and leading the sixth event by a large margin before mechanical trouble ended his bid for a perfect season.
He will look to carry that form into a battle with World Rally Championship star Hayden Paddon and the who’s who of New Zealand rallying in what promises to be an epic showdown on the purpose-built stage in Whitford on Sunday November 15.
The event and location are named in his honour but Jack Hawkeswood is playing down talk he will be the man to beat at the Battle of Jacks Ridge in November.
Jack’s father – 2017 national rally champion Andrew Hawkeswood – and his wife named the Whitford farm after their son Jack and have developed a world class special stage on farmland in the middle of the Auckland region and within minutes of the CBD.
It was set to house the World Rally Championship when it returned to New Zealand for the first time since 2012 but COVID-19 forced that event to be cancelled.
That gave birth to the idea of the Battle of Jacks Ridge, which will see competitors use 3km of the 6km-long stage in rally sprint format on Sunday November 15.
New Zealand’s top rally drivers will have a custom-built quad bike piloted by renowned rider Ian Ffitch nipping at their heels at November’s Battle of Jacks Ridge.
While World Rally Championship star
Hayden Paddon, event host Jack Hawkeswood and reigning New
Zealand Rally champion Ben Hunt loom as obvious contenders
at the November 15 event in Auckland, Ffitch could well be a
dark horse on his hill climb special.
“It is called the BRM1000 that was created way back in 2003 for Race to the Sky,” Ffitch explained. “It is powered by V6R1000 road bike engine.
“Ninety percent of it is custom-built around that engine. It started off as an original 500CC two-stroke frame that we grafted the engine into.
Papakura’s Kingsley Jones is the latest leading New Zealand Rally Championship contender to commit to November’s Battle of Jacks Ridge in Auckland.
Former national champion Andrew Hawkeswood built the stage on his Whitford property to initially be the centrepiece of the World Rally Championship Rally New Zealand event that had been set to run in September, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
While the full stage is over 6km long the Battle of Jacks Ridge takes place on just half that with high speed cambered gravel roads, spectacular jumps and technical corners set to test drivers.
Jones will see the event as a bit of a local rally given his close proximity to the Whitford farm where the Battle of Jacks Ridge will take place and is chomping at the bit to get his Skoda Fabian R5 out to take on his rivals.
Leading New Zealand Read the Rally Championship contender Emma Gilmour will line-up for the Battle of Jacks Ridge in November with her Suzuki.
The NZRC event winner will make the trek north from her Dunedin base to take part in the City of Auckland Rally on November 14 before tackling the purpose-built Jacks Ridge stage a day later along with a stellar field where she should be right in the mix.
South Auckland local and leading New Zealand Rally Championship figure Dylan Turner has confirmed his entry into the Battle of Jacks Ridge and will loom as a major contender in his Audi S1 AP4.
Pukekohe-based Turner has proven to be a major player at the front of NZRC events in recent seasons with his full commitment seeing him battle the country’s best over the past couple of years.