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Invercargill’s Transport World To Launch The Southern Lights Rally

On Friday 21 June, the central Invercargill location of Transport World will host and launch New Zealand’s top rally drivers into the night for the start of the world’s southernmost rally championship event.

The journey, covering 157km of Southland’s finest gravel roads, begins with a ceremonial start at 4pm at Transport World, which has secured the naming rights. This year marks the first time the rally has run since 2004, with the inaugural competitive stage set to take place through the forest section of Pebbly Hills.

Announcing their support of the event, Marketing and Sales Manager Hannah Whyte said Bill Richardson Transport World was excited to lead the event as the naming sponsor.

“We are rapt to see the event back in Invercargill after such a long time - it is a good thing for us and the region, and that is why we jumped at the opportunity to partner for the naming rights.

“Hosting a ceremonial start is a new adventure, and we are excited to have so many cars join us here at Transport World. Being under cover makes it a perfect Friday evening activity for family groups to meet and see their rally heroes before they take to our Southland roads.”

Bill Richardson Transport World has grown from one man’s passion for historic vehicles into a 15,000 square metre complex that showcases everything from a 1933 International D1 to the Ray Williams Land Speed Record Porsche 930 Turbo.

Night view of the Bill Richardson Transport World.
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The third round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship melds the nation’s best with others living their best life in a variety of vehicles, from the Hayden Paddon-piloted Hyundai to the 1989 V8 Ford Falcon of Invercargill’s Neville Mennell.

Following Friday’s launch from Transport World and the opening special stage, the remainder of the action takes place on Saturday. Centred around the service park locations of Winton and Tuatapere, the tenth and final special stage will be at the Teretonga Park Raceway from 4:25pm.

Supporting the Rally Race Group organisers are the South Otago Car Club and Southland Sports Car Club, in addition to the community-owned Invercargill Licensing Trust.

“Support from the Invercargill community has been humbling in allowing the dream of bringing this event back to life after 20 years,” said co-organiser Paul Fallon. “Of the community groups we’ve so far been connected with, they all come with a passion to make this happen, and that’s what makes having Transport World as our naming sponsor partner and location for our ceremonial start so special. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the rally has been invaluable, and we are thrilled to see the event return with such strong local backing.”

The Transport World Southern Lights Rally will conclude with a ceremonial finish from 5pm at Teretonga.

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