The rally concludes on Sunday morning, Irish timewith the crews twice taking on Whitford Forest – Te Maraunga Waiho (8.82km) and Jacks Ridge Haunui (6.77km), with the final pass of the latter acting as the rally’s Power Stage.
There is an interesting story behind the Jack’s Ridge Stage.
Andrew Hawkeswood had the idea of building a WRC-calibre power stage on his Whitford property as a means to entice the World Rally Championship back to Auckland.
The Jacks Ridge WRC Power-Stage has been built around the natural landscape of the rolling hills of Whitford, 20 minutes from downtown Auckland and utilises the undulations, ridges and valleys of the property.
Jacks Ridge was purpose-built as a World Rally Championship Power-Stage for the 2020 WRC Rally New Zealand which was subsequently cancelled in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, in November 2020 the local motor club did run a rally in Jack’s Ridge and of course there was a Kerryman on the entry list
The press release for that 2020 read like this.
“It has been described as ‘amazing to drive’ by the few drivers that have been privileged to sample the course while the view for the fans is simply mind-blowing. The Jacks Ridge WRC Power-Stage is 6.3km of stunning gravel road, of which we have chosen the 2.2km spectacular jump-filled mid-section as the Battle of Jacks Ridge Rally Sprint stage.”
Noel Moloney and his driver Quentin Palmer entered the Jack’s Ridge Rally in 2020 but unfortunately retired with fuel pump issues in their Mitsubishi Lancer.
So when the WRC crew arrive there on Sunday morning they will be traveling in the wheel tracks of a Kerryman – you could not make it up!
Brosna native Kieran Browne meet Paul Nagle at the Auckland Viaduct during the week