The event is divided into 18 competitive stages covering 254km of the regions fast and flowing cambered roads. Revered by the world’s top rally drivers it includes stages known for their inclusion in past rounds of the World Rally Championship, such as Helena and Waipu Caves.
A total of 50 teams have entered, including six internationals. Top of the list is seven-time time winner Hayden Paddon with V8 Supercar champion Shane van Gisbergen also confirmed. Other countries represent include Japan, Australia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
A qualifying round for the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC), a total of 11 teams are also point scoring toward the Pacific Cup category. All are then able to enter for the overall championship title decider being held 24-26 November at Indonesia’s Danau Toba Rally.
Most entries are for the second round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship while 12 are contesting the Allcomers class.