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December 31 news round-up


Porsche GT3 series and southern rallying

Baird heads GT3 chase

Defending champion Craig Baird heads into the summer double-header meetings at Timaru (January 10 -11) and Invercargill's Teretonga Park (January 15-16) with a handy points lead in the Battery Town Porsche 911 GT3 series.

Baird, who is chasing his fifth New Zealand GT3 title, leads the series on 434 points from David Reynolds (343) and Jono Lester (330) who have already won races this season and are the most likely to challenge Baird’s supremacy.

However, also in with a chance are double Toyota Racing Series champ Daniel Gaunt and Jody Vincent.

Hugh Gardiner pictured) leads the older model 996 category from fellow Aucklanders Rob Steele and David Mackrell.

Gore Rally named best of 2008

The Eastern Southland Car Club is on a roll, winning the Rally of the Year title in the Palmside New Zealand Mainland (South Island) Rally Series for the third year running.

The club's 2008 Gore Rally was judged best event in the five round series. The club won the award with the 2006 Gore Rally and the 2007 Catlins event.

Club spokesman Roger Laird says Eastern Southland is "thrilled to get the award for the third time in a row. It’s a huge team effort and we have to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, the competitors and the people of the district and all those who make the rally happen."

Christchurch driver Deane Buist won the 2008 Gore rally and went on to win the Palmside Mainland Rally Series in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4.

Next year's Catlins Coast Rally is scheduled for August 1.

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