National Rallying returns to the Coromandel Peninsula

The Coromandel Peninsula will play host to a round of the 2014 New Zealand Rally Championship in August, with the organisational team behind Rally New Zealand linking with the Thames-Coromandel District council to base an event from Whitianga.

The event will be held on the Coromandel, in the Mercury Bay area on Saturday 23rd August and will bring an expected field of 80 rally cars into the district, along with more than 1000 people involved in the event including competitors, service team, spectators and volunteers.

“The Coromandel will provide a fantastic location for a round of the National Rally Championship. We are delighted to bring the organisational team that puts together Rally New Zealand to the region for this event, and combine efforts with a motivated Council like Thames-Coromandel that’s embracing this opportunity, and sport in general,” says Peter Johnston, Rally NZ Chairman.

“This is an amazing coup for our District and we’re thrilled to finally be able to announce this after working with Rally NZ for several months now to make this happen,” says district Mayor Glenn Leach.  “The opportunities this is going to bring to our region are absolutely significant.”

The event, round five of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, will be based at the Mercury Bay Sports Multi-Sport Park with the competition taking place over 150 kilometres of special stage on forestry and public roads around the Mercury Bay region.

“We’ve had great co-operation from the Council and Ernslaw One Forestry Blocks in developing a route that works for the local district and our competitors. We’re in the final stages of planning, and I can guarantee competitors we have some very exciting announcements to make on the mix of roads. The Mercury Bay Sports Multi-Sport Park is also a fantastic location for our event base and Service Park. The facilities rival those used at World Rally Championship level.”

“Having more than 1,000 people staying in and around Whitianga for three nights will be a huge boost to our hospitality and accommodation providers,” says Mayor Leach. So the economic benefits this will bring in for our businesses and communities will be remarkable and I want to thank Rally NZ organisers for making the decision to come here,” says the Mayor.

“Rally New Zealand last visited this area in the 1979 Motogard Rally New Zealand, so we are excited at the prospect of taking our current generation of competitors to this region. With the support we have received from the Council and those in the region, we can assure rally teams and fans this will be a world class event.”

The Rally New Zealand organised round of the National Championship has previously been held in the Auckland and Waikato regions, with the 2013 event based in Pukekohe. “Securing a suitable date and access to areas that worked for the local communities has proved problematic, which has opened the opportunity to venture into a new location with our event,” says PJ. “We extend a large thank you to the Pukekohe Car Club and those involved with the 2013 rally for their efforts, and will look to bring rallying back to that region potentially in a new format in the future as we continue our work towards a return to NZ of the World Rally Championship event in 2016.”


For further information please contact:

PJ Johnson, Chairman Rally New Zealand,  021 950 250 or

Thames-Coromandel District Council Communications Manager: Laurna White on or 07 868 0200


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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