Rally driver Ben Hunt and co-driver Tony Rawstorn were airlifted to Whangarei Hospital after their car crashed on the Helena Bay stage of the International Rally of Whangarei on Saturday.

Both men were taken from the scene by Northland Emergency Helicopter (Nest), one as a precaution and the other in a stable but not serious condition, a Nest spokesman said.

The crash occurred at about 11.20am, only minutes into the sixth stage when the Team Ben Hunt Subaru WRX STI hit a bank and catapulted over the opposite bank.

After being medically assessed, both were cleared to return to the fray, and the team's mechanics also deemed the car capable of returning to action.

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However, with Hunt having three cracked ribs, he and his team withdrew from the rally's following stages.