Competitor Update – 22 February 2016

International Rally of Whangarei

Supplementary Regulations and entry forms are now available of the Whangarei website. Please see:

APRC registration

  • A reminder that registrations for APRC – including Pacific Cup – are currently open at the reduced registration fee. This applies to registrations received on or before 29 February 2016.
  • Details and the registration form are available here.
  • Alternatively registrations for APRC will close the same time as close of entries for the first APRC rally, Rally of Whangarei, on Monday 4 April 2016

AP4 Regulations

Murray Brown
APRC Coordinator
+63 908 310 5888

World-famous stages for New Zealand’s International Rally

Mike Young, Rally Whangarei 201516 Special Stages over 275 kilometres on what are widely regarded as the World’s best gravel rally roads await competitors in the 2016 International Rally of Whangarei.

The fast cambered roads of the north will host for the tenth consecutive year the opening round of the 2016 FIA Asia Pacific Rally championship, the six round series also visiting Australia, Malaysia, Japan, China and India. The event is also the second round of the 2016 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.

“We’ve got a great mix of the iconic Northland roads from past World Championship Rally New Zealand events, along with the new roads to the North of Whangarei we’ve recently introduced to the itinerary which competitors have really enjoyed” stated event director Willard Martin.

The competition will start in central Whangarei on Friday evening with the Hella Pohe Island Superspecial Stage at Pohe Island. Competitors will tackle two runs over the 1.25 kilometre spectator stage under lights providing a spectacular evening of rally action to kick-start the event.

Leg one continues on Saturday heading north of Whangarei for eight special stages and 154 kilometres, revisiting some of the new roads used in last year’s event that proved popular with competitors and spectators. Easy access and multiple prime spectator viewing positions are available on the Maromaku, Towai and Ruapekapeka tests, ranging from 16 to 27 kilometres in length. The 14 kilometre Helena Bay test starting on the Northern Coastline before heading up and over a twisting hillclimb and narrow ridge line will be the feature test of the day also doubling as the Power Stage for the National Championship crews. Lunchtime service at the new Central Service Park in Whangarei at the Toll Stadium is followed by a repeat afternoon loop of these signature Northland tests.

Pontus Tidemand, Rally Whangarei 2015Leg two on Sunday heads south and west of Whangarei, beginning with the demanding Springfield test, 29 kilometres of roller coaster gravel roads ending on Ruarangi Road. Followed by stages at Waiotira and Tangihua, Sundays competition takes in former roads from the World Championship Rally New Zealand events, holding a lot of history and also the fast cambered sections famous of the Northland region. A repeat of this loop after a visit to the Central Service Park completes Sundays 121 kilometres of stages before the ceremonial finish and customary spraying of the champagne on the podium back in Whangarei.

“We receive fantastic support from the city and residents of Whangarei and Far North districts which enables New Zealand to host a round of the Asia Pacific Rally Championship on these wonderful roads. Time and time again international drivers rate the experience of competing on the Whagnarei stages as among the absolute best in the world,” commented Martin.

The International Rally of Whangarei has hosted many of the world’s best teams and drivers with recent visitors to the event including American Superstar Ken Block, Australian WRC driver Chris Atkinson (winner in 2011 & 2012), current Asia Pacific Rally Champion and 2015 winner Pontus Tidemand from Sweden, and New Zealand World Rally Championship driver Hayden Paddon, a three time winner of the event.

Former APRC drivers Podium in WRC Sweden

Pontus Tidemand, Rally Sweden 2016Current APRC driver’s champion Pontus Tidemand scored his best result on his home rally, the WRC Rally of Sweden in the weekend with second in WRC2.

Tidemand lost 50sec in the opening day with a broken driveshaft on his Skoda Fabia R5, but despite a determined recovery, the Swede was unable to reel in eventual WRC2 winner Elfyn Evans.

“I am happy with second place – that is my best result at my home rally to date. It was also my debut rally with my new co-driver Jonas Andersson. We worked in fantastic harmony right from the word go, and I am really looking forward to the coming rallies with him”, said Tidemand.

Tidemand’s Skoda team-mate and former APRC driver Esapekka Lappi from Finland delivered an impressive performance on the closing power stage on Sunday, on which he not only got the best time in the WRC 2 category, but in the final metres also overtook Anders Grøndal (N) for third place in WRC2.

Hayden Paddon, Rally Sweden 2016New Zealand’s Hayden Paddon matched his career-best result on his debut in Hyundai’s new i20 by finishing second overall and became the first non-European driver to finish on the Sweden podium.

He survived a late scare after hitting a wooden post metres from the finish of the last stage. The impact damaged the radiator and Paddon and co-driver John Kennard filled a small hole to stem a fluid leak before driving cautiously on the 85km liaison section to the finish.

“A podium is a fantastic result for me and everyone in the team. We were hoping to have had a less stressful finish to the rally but unfortunately we had some water leaking from the radiator after hitting a wooden post in the stage, which required some quick repairs. Thankfully, we were able to find a temporary fix and get back to service with our second place intact! Late drama aside, we have had a good weekend and I have felt very comfortable in the New Generation i20 WRC. We made the most of our road position when we had to, and refused to get drawn into a fight for the lead. In the future, we will fight more for the win but there’s a bit more work needed on my driving and on the car set-up. We’re not far away and, for now, we’ll happily take second place.”

Competitor Update – February 2016

International Rally of Queensland

  • Rally Guide 1 is now available on the rally website
  • There will be a new location for Rally HQ at Waterfront Hotel at Diddillibah, close to Maroochydore. This new location also has a selection of accommodation types close to HQ to suit teams.
  • A pre-event service park is planned adjacent to Rally HQ and walking distance to the accommodation options.
  • If you are wanting to make use of this pre-event service area, the Clerk of Course must be advised by 30 April.

2016 APRC Brochure

  • If you have not already seen a copy or found it on the APRC website, a low resolution copy of the 2016 brochure is available on the web site –
  • A higher resolution copy is available for printing purposes, on request, from Brian Young

Australia and New Zealand AP4 Technical Regulations

  • As was agreed at the 2015 APRC Working Group meeting, the AP4 class of cars have been approved for competition in all APRC rallies, and are therefore eligible to score points for some competitions of the 2016 Asia Pacific Rally Championship.
  • AP4 regulations can be obtained from the link on the APRC website, or directly from the CAMS or MSNZ websites.
  • If you have any questions regarding the AP4 regulations, please direct these to Julian Leach, FIA Technical Delegate for APRC

Fuel Supplies

  • I will taking orders for fuel supplied to the first APRC rallies.
  • This will strictly be on request. Any orders must be placed well in advance of each rally.
  • Please contact me for further details.

As always, any questions on any of the above, please contact me directly.

Murray Brown
APRC Coordinator
+63 908 310 5888