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Sky Sport to broadcast inaugural Jacks Ridge Rally sprint live

Sky Sport will provide exclusive live coverage of the Battle of Jacks Ridge rally sprint on Sunday November 15 as the sport evolves with a new-generation urban event.

Featuring the best rally drivers in the country and some of the biggest names in New Zealand motorsport, the Battle of Jacks Ridge promises to be the biggest domestic event in New Zealand rally history and it will take place just minutes from downtown Auckland.

The event will see competitors blast around 2km of purpose-built gravel road, featuring high speed jumps, technical corners and close proximity to spectators on former New Zealand champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s Whitford property.

With the Hauraki Gulf, Rangitoto Island and the Auckland City skyline as a backdrop, Jacks Ridge is a spectacular location to watch rally cars compete on a World Rally Championship-calibre power stage, located just 20 minutes from the Auckland CBD.

Sky Sport will broadcast the final runs live during four hours of live coverage that will be unlike anything ever seen on New Zealand soil before.

The coverage will be fronted by an all star line up including Sky Speed hosts Stephen McIvor and four-time Bathurst winner Greg Murphy and will feature 16 separate cameras capturing every piece of the action.

Rally New Zealand chairman Peter Johnston is hailing the partnership with Sky Sport as the future of the sport in New Zealand.

“For Sky to broadcast the event this way is a massive coup for the sport,” he said. “From the moment we first spoke to them, Sky has been very supportive and has recognised what we can achieve together.

“The coverage will be world class and will give viewers the closest possible experience to be being there in person.”

Sky Sport presenter and former Supercars star Murphy spent some time in the latter part of his career rally driving and is super keen to be involved in the event.

“I have a massive love of rallying,” Murphy said. “I was so excited about the WRC coming to New Zealand and then so disappointed when COVID-19 prevented that from happening.

“There was so much work that went into securing the WRC by a lot of people.

“I was involved in some conversations around what we could do to give the rally community something that was as close to world championship quality as possible and to make use of this amazing stage.

“So when it was proposed we do the Battle of Jacks Ridge I was only too keen to lend a hand.

“It is going to be an amazing event and I am thrilled that I can play a role via my broadcast duties with Sky Sport and potentially drive in the event as well.”

New Zealand’s most successful rally driver Hayden Paddon will be the star attraction and is an ambassador for the event.

“Like everyone I was disappointed that Rally New Zealand was not possible this year but I cannot wait to compete on that world class stage and in front of Kiwi rally fans,” Paddon said.

“Jacks Ridge is a phenomenal rally stage and will make for one heck of an event.

“I’ll be there and I can’t wait to test myself against the best cars and drivers in New Zealand.”

The Battle of Jacks Ridge is already attracting huge interest from New Zealand’s best drivers while leading motorsport figures are also lining up for a crack at the rally sprint.

Find out more by visiting https://www.rallynz.org.nz/ and sign up to the Gravel database to get sent the latest info.

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