NZRC calendar for 2024 confirmed

The Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship has confirmed a six-round 2024 calendar that will see the first half of the season take place in the South Island and second half in the North.

Championship organisers have also confirmed the addition of the Southern Lights Rally, to be based in Invercargill and using iconic Southland roads as well as a significant date swap for the International Rally of Whangarei.

The 2024 championship begins at the traditional season-opening Otago Rally on April 13-14 before Rally South Canterbury a month earlier than usual on May 11.

The Southern Lights Rally will take place on June 22 before a nearly three-month break during the middle of the year.

The North Island rounds begin on September 14 with the Daybreaker Rally based out of the Manawatu while Rally Bay of Plenty returns on October 5.

The championship will finish with International Rally of Whangarei taking place on November 8-10.

“We are excited to confirm a six-round championship for 2024 that will see the calendar really split into a South Island half and a North Island half. That should really help competitors logistically as well as cutting down on our carbon footprint,” said coordinator Blair Bartels.

“We welcome the Southern Lights Rally – the first time the championship has visited Southland since 2004 – and look forward to getting back on some terrific roads in the Deep South.

“It is great to be able to bookend the championship with a two-day event at the start and again at the end, which should mean the title race will almost certainly come down to the final round.

“We are also very pleased to have some consistency with all five of our 2023 rounds appearing on next year’s calendar. Rally organisers did a great job with all of our events this season and we are delighted to offer them a place on the 2024 calendar.”

MotorSport New Zealand chief executive Elton Goonan said he was excited to see the calendar confirmed.

“It’s fantastic to see the New Zealand Rally Championship continuing to go from strength to strength,” said Goonan.

“A six-round championship with the addition of a new rally in Southland shows that rallying is alive and growing in New Zealand. The confirmation that Daybreaker and Bay of Plenty events are back again after a triumphant return this year, along with the rest of the great events that have become staples of the championship, will make for another brilliant NZRC season.”

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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