Thu 06 Oct 2022

Drivers praise Jacks Ridge Wolf Power Stage

Sunday’s all-new Jack's Ridge stage was one of the revelations of the Repco Rally New Zealand weekend, with the Wolf Power Stage praised by the drivers.

The 6.77-kilometre test, which was run twice on the final day of the Auckland-based event, had been constructed by local landowner Andrew Hawkeswood in preparation for New Zealand’s return to the World Rally Championship.

M-Sport Ford driver Craig Breen said: “When you’ve done the recce and seen all of these amazing roads, I was wondering a little bit about Jack's Ridge.

“But driving it on the rally - it was fantastic! You could really use the cambers in the corners and the jumps were all really nice. And to see so many people out there, so many spectators and fans, it was great – and the road definitely felt natural!”

Ott Tänak, who finished third overall in a Hyundai i20 N, was also impressed with the stage and praised Hawkeswood's team.

"Normally these man-made stages are not so fun," he said, "but this one was really fun with all kinds of jumps which were actually built really well.

"It was a good piece of road and at the same time still challenging to drive. This guy must have quite a lot of talent if he can build roads like this."

The day was a sell-out, with close to 15,000 fans in attendance to witness what turned out to be the crowning stage for drivers' champion Kalle Rovanperä, who posted the benchmark time to seal his title. 

Onboard of the Rally: Rovanperä through Jacks Ridge 2

Hawkeswood said: “We’re very lucky to have this land to work with. I knew what I wanted from the stage, I’ve been spectating in Finland before and I really had an idea of how I wanted to send the cars sideways over the jumps.

“I’m really pleased with how it all worked out. The rain we had on the day before the event caused a few concerns, but we worked late Saturday night to revise the traffic management system and in the end everybody had a really good time.”

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