Hawke's Bay's Chris Joblin has joined the growing list of retirements from the Targa Rally after crashing during a Monday afternoon stage.
His exit, which left co-driver and fellow Wairoa man Robert Mayhead requiring treatment for a back injury, was one of three on Monday, while of the 183 cars which started yesterday 177 finished.
Mr Joblin, driving a Toyota Altezza, came to grief after hitting a bank on a tight bend near Te Kuiti in the early afternoon.
The Lion Foundation Rescue Helicopter, which was returning to Hamilton after picking up an injured snowboarder at Turoa, was diverted to the scene.
Mr Joblin was not injured although Mr Mayhead was given pain relief at the scene for his back injury and later taken to Waikato Hospital.
Later in the day another crash added to the Targa mix as hundreds of cars raced on rural roads around Taranaki.
The smash happened on Stage 11 of the event when Palmerston North's Mike Borren wiped out a power pole in his Ford Escort.
Borren and co-driver Grant McCaskie were taken to Taranaki Base Hospital, where they were treated and discharged.
It is not known if they would continue the rally. The incident caused 60 cars to pull out of the stage.
On the race front, Jim Richards holds an unofficial lead of 15 seconds from Tony Quinn, who is 26 seconds faster than Neil Allport after Day Two of the six-day rally.
Best of the locals is the team of Stu McChesney and Denis Churcher who are running second in their Pre-Classic 1969 class in a Ford Anglia.
The competitors, who race on closed, sealed public roads linked by touring stages, will arrive in Hastings, at the Hastings Racing Club, about 4.20pm tomorrow after completing two stages near Waipukurau.
On Friday they will set out over four special stages in the region before returning in the afternoon for a second overnight stay.
The cars will go on display in the city centre from about 2.30pm to 6pm, and are scheduled to set out for Wellington on Saturday from 6.45am.