Geartech Central Region Rally Series poised for series closer
While national titles were all decided last month there will be late-season rally action this Saturday, with the Hawkes Bay Rally set to determine the Central Region Rally Series.
The Hawkes Bay Car Club is running an eight-stage event, which includes classic gravel stages such as Cricklewood Rd (used twice), Waihi, Hereheretau and the Mohaka Coach Rd, based around two visits to a Wairoa service park.
Stages six and seven then use tarmac roads closer to Napier and the event concludes with a 1.1km sprint around the car club's limestone autocross track.
Havelock North driver Stewart Taylor, the top seed for the rally in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, is looking to extend a run of success on his home event which includes a runner-up finish behind Richard Mason in 2011 followed by wins in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Te Aroha's Lance Williams (Subaru Impreza R4) is seeded second and is also the leader of the Geartech Central Region Rally Series.
Other top-seeded drivers among a 38-crew field are Mitsubishi campaigners Dylan Turner (Auckland), Graham Featherstone (Te Aroha), former national champ Geof Argyle (Feilding) and Napier driver Grant Blackberry. Competing on home territory will be former V8 Supercar star Greg Murphy. It will be Murphy's third rally outing for 2015 and he is seeded at car 20 driving an Mk 1 Ford Escort.
The rally starts with first run through Cricklewood Rd at 8.45am and is set to finish at the Hawkes Bay Car Club clubrooms at 5.11pm.