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Stokes set on extending lead in Mainland Rally Series in Canterbury this weekend

Robbie Stokes is looking to repeat his 2023 Canterbury Rally victory this Sunday, as well as extending his lead in the 2024 Mainland rally series. The 2024 Canterbury Rally is the third round of the season and so far, it has been all about Robbie Stokes, having won the first two rounds, Otago and South Canterbury rallies.

“We’re looking forward to competing in the forests this year as there are some pretty good roads in there,” commented Stokes. “We have had pretty good pace all season and there is no reason not to continue with it. We may try a few new things on the car.”

The rally, comprising approximately 140 kms of nine Special Stages and 137kms of Touring will be run in the Ashley and Okuku Forests in North Canterbury, plus a final stage at the Euromarque Motorsport Park, Ruapuna, in Christchurch.

The first car gets underway from Joe’s Garage, Alfred St, Rangiora at 8:15am Sunday morning for the first two stages in the Ashley Forest before the first of three services just below the Okuku Forest at Protranz Limeworks Quarry, Whiterock.

This is followed by two loops through the Okuku Forest (SS3 & 4) repeated and then two stages back in the Ashley Forest.

A late final tarmac spectator friendly stage will see a four-lap blast of the Euromarque Motorsport Park before heading into the Lonestar, Manchester Street in Christchurch for the finish at approximately 5pm.

The Autosport Club, the Canterbury Car Club and Euromarque Motorsport Park will be supporting The Cancer Society of New Zealand at this spectator friendly stage and all proceeds from the entry fee for spectators of $5 per person, capped at $10 per car, will go directly to the Cancer Society.

As well as the overall leaders board, there are seven separate Class titles for both driver and co-drivers to be decided on the best five results from the six rounds making up the MRC.

Mike Matheson (Toyota Vitz) continues to lead Class A (2WD 0-1300cc) while Jack Stokes (Ford Fiesta R2) is now tied with Thomas Paul (Honda Civic) for the lead in the very competitive Class B (2WD 1301-1600cc)

Dylan Thomson (Ford Fiesta Rally4) and Deane Buist (Ford Escort) are tied on 36-points each in Class C (2WD >1601cc). Stokes (Ford Fiesta AP4) also leads Class D (4WD), Nigel Ede (Subaru Legacy RS) Class E (Pre 1996 Classic 4WD), Stephen Gill (Ford Escort Mk2) leads the Historic Class F, and James Macdonald the Subaru H6 Class.

The 2024 Mainland Rally Series has the support of RDL Performance, Brita Safety Ltd, Palmside NZ Ltd, Christchurch Building and Decorating Ltd, Thomson Rust and Repair Services Ltd, Rally Drive NZ.

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