This year the event sees more of a sprint format, with 9 special stages in a quick fire succession, meaning that it will be an all out fight for top honours, where any mistake will be hard to recover from.
With Hayden Paddon competing overseas, heading the field will be Richard Mason as he chases a record breaking 5th national championship title. One to watch will be Emma Gilmour as she continues to develop her 4WD Suzuki Swift. However, those in the know will be looking at how well the leading Rally Xtreme competitors go against the national championship contenders. Former Gold Star champion Geof Argyle will always be competitive on these roads, despite is older Evo 8 equipment. Then there are two inform competitors, in the form of Dylan Turner and Robbie Leicester to consider.
All of the battles between the series, and fights within classes will certainly make for hard driving, sideways action, and spectacular viewing.
And that doesn’t take account of the international aspect. New Caledonia-based Jean-Louis Leyraud is a veteran of Asia Pacific competition and will now add a taste of the Manawatu to his extensive resume.
While the rally starts at 8.30am from Manfeild Park in Feilding and finishes in the town centre at 3.55pm, it is the town of Apiti that is set to double, if not triple in size. It is set to again be the service centre for the rally during the day. Competitors will pass through twice as they traverse the back country roads between the two towns.
“The support we continue to get from the community and the council is greatly appreciated”, says John Clunie. “There is a lot that goes into these events, so to be able to support each other means we all benefit from ensuring this event continues to thrive. We certainly thank all of the residents, volunteers, council officers, sponsors, and supporters who are involved”.
For more information, including timings and spectator maps visit www.daybreaker.co.nz
Live results will be available on www.chrissport.co.nz