The Australian rally team VTRacing is ready to open their Asia-Pacific Rally Championship campaign at the International Rally of Whangarei to be held on New Zealand’s North Island on 17-19 May.
The Brisbane-based duo of driver Matt van Tuinen and co-driver Erin Kelly will be looking to mount a strong challenge for the FIA Pacific Rally Cup, which takes in the three Pacific region events of the APRC: New Zealand, New Caledonia and Australia.
In doing so, they will be taking on the might of the factory-backed Skoda Fabia S2000 cars run by Team MRF, but driver Matt van Tuinen is looking forward to the challenge, “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to compete on the International stage as part of an FIA Regional Rally Championship” he said. “Looking at it realistically our car is a bit older and with it being Group N it will be a bit slower than the MRF S2000 cars, and that team has two very fast drivers with Gaurav Gill and Esapekka Lappi,”
“But the Championship rewards consistency”, he added. “We know that thanks to the hard work of our service crew we have a reliable car so the aim is to go as fast as we can and be there at the finish”.
The International Rally of Whangarei takes in roads that have previously been used as part of the World Rally Championship’s New Zealand round, renowned for their heavy camber and roller-coaster nature.
The International Rally of Whangarei also forms Round 2 of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship and the VTRacing team will be looking to build on their points tally after taking 5th at the opening round in Otago last month.
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PHOTOS: Stu Bowes and NZSnaps.