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North Island Rally Series fires up with SBT Group Taranaki Tarmac Rally underway on Sunday

The second round of the 2024 Generator Rental Services North Island Rally Series (NIRS) gets underway this Sunday (7 July) as the SBT Group Taranaki Tarmac Rally takes place based at the War Memorial Hall in the centre of Stratford. Phil Campbell (Ford Fiesta AP4) will look to extend his points lead in the NIRS as the 100% tarmac event competes on the iconic Taranaki roads.

The 2023 NIRS champion took victory in the opening round at Jacks Ridge in May beating home both Todd Bawden and Haydn McKenzie. While the latter two haven’t entered the second round, Campbell’s competition will likely come from Quentin Palmer (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 5) and Nick Marshall (Ford Fiesta) across the seven Special Stages.

The event incorporates both Tarmac (unrestricted) and Regional (NIRS) competitors competing on Stage Notes as well as the Clubmans category who will compete blind (no notes) over the final four stages only.

Seasoned Targa campaigners David Rogers (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10), Jason Gill (VW Polo) and Cameron Ross (Subaru Impreza) will be very competitive for outright honours.

Hosted by the Taranaki and South Taranaki Car Club, there are 136kms of Special Stages and 192km of Touring Stages with the rally underway at 8:15am with the 12km Battery Town Stage One at Cheal Road before a long 30km Tricky Tree Stage 2 and then the first of three service stops back at the Stratford War Memorial Car Park.

The third stage is a repeat of Stage 1 before the Clubmans competitors join the field for the tight and technical Brake and Clutch Stage Four and fast and twisting Trundles Stage Five. These are repeated as stages six and seven, both approximately 20km long. The first car is due to finish at approximately 2:50pm.

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