With late entries still to be received there are 74 entries for this clubmans event that runs in the Waikato, Waipa, Otorohanga, and Waitomo districts next weekend
The initial seeded entry list has reigning New Zealand Rally Champion Hayden Paddon first on the road, Paddon is joined for this rally by his former co-driver Nicole France as his regular co-driver John Kennard is overseas. Paddon is competing on the event as part of his Rally New Zealand Rising Stars International Award campaign and is looking to secure his nomination for the end of season shootout with a good result.
Following the youngest ever New Zealand Rally Champion is 2004 New Zealand Rally Champion Chris West in his Evo 9 Mitsubishi. West has had a difficult season and is looking to the Metalman Possum Bourne Memorial Rally to turn his season around.
Car 3 is the crowd pleasing Andrew Hawkeswood in his older but more modified Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 7. The car has been repaired after receiving severe damage at the Otago round of the national championship and Hawkeswood is looking to make up for the disappointment of his only other attempt at the event in 2006 when he crashed out.
Mark Tapper, New Zealand's first driver in the FIA Production World Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC) since Possum Bourne is seeded at six. Tapper who is the Asia-Pacific representative on the worldwide Pirelli Star Driver programme is competing in his New Zealand rally this year and is using the event as a shakedown for the WRC Rally Australia in early September as he completes his recovery from a broken arm. Tapper is looking forward to the event which is his first drive of a right hand drive car since his injury. A former winner of the event (2006) Tapper is looking forward to returning to his home roads.
The Metalman Possum Bourne Memorial Rally is the penultimate round of the Te Rapa Automotive Repairs Top Half Rally Series. Ford Escort Competitor Craig Stevens currently leads this series which places a premium on class results but will have to continue his strong season to stay ahead of defending Possum Bourne Memorial Rally Champion Glenn Smith who will be fourth on the road as well other fast contenders including Neil Marshall and Brendan Oakden.
Experienced campaigner Dave Strong returns in a new car, bringing out his new Ford Fiesta S2000 car for the first time. This car is newly imported from Australia where it was run by the factory Britek team where it showed rallying winning potential.
Pukekohe Car Club member and former national champion Stumpy Holmes returns in his Mark 2 Escort which is joined by former national competitor Stuart Eyre in a Mazda RX3 similar to the car that Possum Bourne made his name in. These two are part of the large entry of rear wheel drive cars recalling rallying of the past. As well as the many Escorts, and Toyota's there are two BMW's and a VW Beetle.
The event gets under way at 7am on Saturday 22 August at the Hamilton Workingmen's Club in Frankton before heading out to the Old Mountain Road stage, followed by the iconic Whaanga Coast, Kawhia and Waitomo stages. After completing this loop competitors do it all again before finishing back at the Hamilton Workingmen's Club from 5pm on Saturday evening followed by the prizegiving at the same venue.
For more information see www.pbmrally.co.nz