Locals to join British car rally

By Sonya Bateson

Hundreds of new and classic British cars will be making their way to Tauranga this weekend.

More than 200 people will be bringing their new and classic British cars along to Tauranga this Sunday for the first leg of the Great British Car Rally.

Joining the masses will be members of the local Bay of Plenty Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club, including president Graham Beaumont and vice-president John Broom, who will be driving their matching 1996 XJ-S 4.0 litre Jaguars.

Mr Broom said joining the rally was a fitting way to celebrate the club's 25th anniversary.

"We looked around to see what special things we could do this year that's out of the woodwork, so we joined this. Four or five of our members did the first of the rallies in 1997 and they're back to do this again. There are about nine of us altogether."

Mr Broom and Mr Beaumont will be travelling with the rally until Wellington and will be turning back when it continues to Christchurch. He said a wide range of British-designed and built cars would be taking part, from all eras, including Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Rover, Vauxhall, Ford, Austin Morris, Lotus, and MG, ranging from pre-war to present day.

Mr Broom said the group was supporting four charities, with all proceeds being split evenly between Starship Foundation, Save the Children, Christchurch City Mission and Stepping Stone Trust.

"It's for a good cause. The sky's the limit with how much we can raise, we've got a couple of 10-litre buckets we will be taking to the streets."

The Jaguar club members won't be the only locals taking part. Joining the hundreds of cars will be Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosbie, who will be travelling in Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Doug Owens' Rolls Royce.

The cars will be on display along the Strand from about 3.30pm to 6pm on Sunday and the mayor will host an official send-off for the ralliers on Monday at 10am at Masonic Park.

The Strand between Devonport Rd and Harington St will be closed to traffic from 2pm to 6.30pm on Sunday and from 6am to 10.30am on Monday for the event.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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