The International Rally of Whangarei, round three of this year’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship and FIA Pacific Cup, has received the support of nationwide specialist vehicle insurer NAC Insurance and confirmation of the continuation of support from the leading commercial transport LED lighting manufacturer and distributor Hella New Zealand Limited.
Taking place from 6 to 8 June, the event will be known as the NAC Insurance Hella International Rally of Whangarei, with both companies sharing the naming rights.
Chairman of the Rally of Whangarei organising committee, Laurie Brenssell, says both have a valued association with rallying.”Hella New Zealand has been a long-time supporter of motorsport in general, and particularly of this international rally, both when the event was held in Rotorua for nine years and when it moved to Whangarei last year,” says Brenssell. “We’re delighted Hella has confirmed its ongoing support of this high profile rally, which is a well-established and highly-regarded round of the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) and Vantage Aluminium Joinery New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC).”
Brenssell is equally pleased to welcome NAC as joint naming right sponsors. “Established in Whangarei 15 years ago, NAC provides specialist insurance for motor vehicles, motor bikes, light commercial vehicles and also performance cars. Like Hella, NAC Insurance’s has a natural alignment with a high performance motorsport like rallying and we look forward to working with NAC’s Jarrard Ahlers and his team.”
The NAC Insurance Hella International Rally of Whangarei is expected to bring several million dollars of income to the Northland region as more than 70 rally drivers and their teams covers over 600 kilometres of rally and touring stages south of Whangarei during the event’s two full days of rallying. Dedicated APRC TV crews ensure the scenic Whangarei and Kaipara roads used for the rally are seen by more than 20 million viewers worldwide as well as a New Zealand TV audience of several hundred thousand through APRC and NZRC television coverage.
“The NAC Insurance Hella International Rally of Whangarei is a significant event in the local and international rally calendars and plays an important role in our annual marketing activities due to the public exposure our brand enjoys,” comments Hella New Zealand’s marketing manager Ian Brahne. “Our commitment to rallying dates back to the birth of the sport in New Zealand with significant sponsorships of a number of events through the years as well as a long term relationship with Rally New Zealand and New Zealand’s round of the APRC both in Rotorua and Whangarei.”
Jarrard Ahlers, business manager for NAC Insurance, comments: “We came onboard with the Hella International Rally of Whangarei last year, sponsoring the super special stage at Pohe Island a short distance from the centre of Whangarei. This short, fast stage enjoyed strong support from local rally fans with thousands of people coming out to see the classic Subaru versus Mitsubishi action. Our successful involvement with the 2007 event has encouraged us to increase our support in 2008 taking on the naming rights sponsorship of the event with Hella, and continuing our sponsorship of the Pohe Island Superspecial Stages. We look forward to working with the organising team to build on the success of the inaugural event.”
More information on the NAC Insurance Hella International Rally of Whangarei can be found on the website: www.rallywhangarei.co.nz