Rally event cancelled due to Covid

V8 Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen won the inaugural Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge rally event last year. Photo supplied Geoff Ridder

The Repco Battle of Jacks Ridge motorsport event in rural east Auckland is the latest casualty of Covid-19 restrictions.

The organisers of the event, which was to be held in Whitford, say they’ve made the difficult decision to cancel it.

It was originally scheduled to be held last month, but the prolonged Auckland lockdown forced it to be postponed until February 5-6 next year.

Rally NZ thought that date would attract 10,000 fans to the event’s “iconic venue” at Andrew Hawkeswood’s family farm.

Event manager Paul Fallon says with Auckland moving into the new Covid-19 protection framework red level with no guaranteed date of when the city would move to orange, which is required to run a large-scale event, “the commercial risk became too great”.

“We considered holding off until the next Government announcement on December 13 to see if there was a confirmed date Auckland would move into orange,” he says.

“However, with the information provided and the likelihood of Auckland remaining in red for the next few weeks, we felt it was important to give the many competitors and fans who had purchased tickets a decision.

“They have travel and accommodation arrangements that need to be cancelled or changed and many would appreciate refunds prior to Christmas.”

All tickets will be automatically refunded by the ticket fairy team in the coming days.

Everyone who purchased tickets will automatically be invited to preferential pre-sale tickets in the New Year for the Jacks Ridge Power Stage in October’s WRC Rally New Zealand event.