Northland motorsport fans have got the country's leading rally drivers on their doorstep as the International Rally of Whangārei is held in the district today and tomorrow.
Two years after they were last used, the highly cambered and challenging gravel roads north and southwest of the city will test New Zealand's best drivers, after the 2020 event was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The event doubles as the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, and former World Rally Championship star Hayden Paddon will start with a nice buffer in the championship points and as favourite to win the rally. Paddon won the Whangārei rally in 2018.
The rally's ceremonial opening was held on the Te Matau a Pohe Bridge yesterday and there were two passes through the Pohe Island Super Special stage just minutes from the CBD from 1pm to 3pm.
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Today's action sees competitors head north out of the city, while Sunday's stages take competitors south and west of the city.
For more details, including stage times, go to https://www.rallywhangarei.co.nz