Historic trophy up for grabs at Whangarei

One of the sport’s most renowned trophies is up for grabs at this weekend’s International Rally of Whangarei at round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.

The Motogard Trophy was first presented to the winner of Rally New Zealand in 1978 and was the silverware that was up for grabs at the country’s preeminent rally until 1982.

Previous winners include Russell Brookes and Chris Porter, Hannu Mikkola and Arne Hertz, Timo Salonen and Seppo Harjanne, Jim Donald and Kevin Lancaster and Bjorn Waldegard and Hans Thorszelius.

Mikkola, Salonen and Waldegard were all world champions and some of the greats of world rallying.

After a few decades in hibernation, the famous trophy was re-introduced and presented to the winner of the classic rally at Whangarei from 2016.

In the time since the likes of Marcus van Klink, Tony Gosling, Regan Ross and Jeff Judd have lifted the trophy.

Anthony Jones has etched his name onto the trophy the past two years – the only two-time winner – having edged John Silcock in a thrilling last stage finish in 2022.

But with Jones not competing this year, there will be a new name added to the list of winners this weekend.

The rally begins with a ceremonial opening in central Whangarei on Friday night before two days of action on the fast and cambered Northland roads over the weekend.


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The New Zealand Rally Championship is this country’s premier nationwide rally championship. It attracts New Zealand’s best drivers to compete in numerous categories for the prestigious MotorSport New Zealand-sanctioned rally championship titles. In 2024, there are six NZRC rounds, each with a unique character reflecting the diverse regions – from Northland to Invercargill