The Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge returns in November for a second edition with inaugural champion Shane van Gisbergen set to defend his crown against WRC winner Hayden Paddon and a star-studded line-up.
Supercars ace Van Gisbergen produced a superb drive to come out on top of a knock-out-style showdown against the best rally drivers in the country last year as the purpose-built 2km-long piece of road proved a hit with drivers and fans alike.
Van Gisbergen, who is dominating the 2021 Supercars Championship at present, has confirmed he will return to defend his title.
“It was an awesome experience last year and I had a blast,” he said. “I am super keen to come back and have another go.
“The field will be competitive, and I will have my work cut out again in 2021, but I am really looking forward to it.”
A sold-out crowd saw Paddon set the early pace last year before an uncharacteristic mistake saw him exit earlier than expected.
But the Hyundai driver has confirmed he will be back to tackle Van Gisbergen and others.
“The Repco Battle of Jack’s Ridge was a big success last year and organisers did a great job,” Paddon said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t get it quite right, so I am determined to come back and have another go.
“Shane was awesome to watch, and it will be great to compete against him again and I know there is a huge interest from some really good drivers so I expect a tough challenge.
“The layout was great, the fans were awesome and I can’t wait to get out there and put on a show for everyone.”
The weekend of November 13-14 has been locked in with specific times to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
A sell-out crowd were treated to a terrific spectacle last year on former national rally champion Andrew Hawkeswood’s Whitford property, just 20 minutes from central Auckland.
Richard Clarke, Head of Major and Business event for Auckland Unlimited, said the event is another example of Kiwi ingenuity born from the challenges of 2020, and that Auckland Unlimited is thrilled to support the Battle of Jacks Ridge.
“We see a bright future for this event to attract even more internationals to this purpose-built rally venue along with motorsport-hungry fans to Auckland for some of the best viewing on offer. It’s part of a big fortnight of motorsport in the region, so we hope fans are ready,” Clarke said.
“Jacks Ridge, as a venue, is a lot more than a motorsport story; the development of the venue is a remarkable sustainability story and the event’s ongoing commitment to environmental management is testament to the organiser’s innovative approach,” Clarke added.
The event is supported by Auckland’s economic and cultural agency, Auckland Unlimited, on behalf of Auckland Council.
Repco have returned as naming rights sponsors of the Repco Battle of Jack’s Ridge.
“Repco is once again proud to present the Repco Battle of Jack’s Ridge; the pinnacle of New Zealand Rally,” Louise Sixton, GM Sales & Operations Repco NZ said.
“This phenomenal event showcases some of New Zealand’’s best drivers on a unique track, including some of the best spectator access, to get you up close and personal with the action. It promises to be even bigger and better than last year.
“We are delighted to partner with the event again and help put on the best rally sprint event in the country.”
Sky Sport have confirmed they will once again offer live coverage.
“Motorsport is hugely popular with Sky viewers and they love nothing more than seeing our homegrown heroes perform here in Aotearoa New Zealand,” Jonny Errrington, Chief Commercial Officer said.
“We’re excited to have year two of the Battle of Jack’s Ridge after such a successful debut, and to see SVG and Hayden in action alongside other up and coming drivers.”
More details around the 2021 Repco Battle of Jack’s Ridge will be confirmed in the coming weeks with tickets on sale August 15th.