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Buff cars for car buffs at Cathedral Square next month

18 September 2008

Christchurch car buffs will have a field day when the Christchurch City Council hosts the ceremonial start for the 2008 NZ Silver Fern International Marathon Rally on Wednesday afternoon, October 15.

Car clubs and classic car owners will display their vehicles at the Cathedral Square alongside the vehicle entrants for the Silver Fern Rally. Christchurch is the starting point of the biennial rally that sees participants from around the world take part in rallies staged on over 3,000 kilometres of South Island roads.

Adding to the collection of classic cars at the Square will be the Lotus Car Club of New Zealand, which will be in Christchurch for the South Island leg of their national 60th anniversary celebratory tour.

“It is an excellent opportunity for car lovers and admirers to interact, to check out interesting cars and restorations, share restoration tips and chat with the owners and drivers,” says Laurence Potter, Events Production Coordinator with the Council’s Events team.

While car clubs and classic car owners will display their vehicles at the Square from midday on October 15, event competition cars will go on display when they start arriving between 1.30 pm and 3.00 pm.

Mayor Cr Bob Parker will welcome the event to Christchurch at 5.30 pm and will preside over the official start at 6.15 pm when the first cars cross over the start ramp to tour a circuit of the city before returning approximately 30 minutes later.

Competition cars will be parked overnight at the Square, in readiness for the competition stages which begin the following morning at 7.30 am. The October 16 – 23, 2008 event will take competitors south to Queenstown, Dunedin, and Invercargill, back to Dunedin, Timaru and Christchurch before finishing at the new Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim.

One of the reasons the rally organisers chose Christchurch as the start point for the eight-day event was the easy access it offered international competitors and teams needing a major shipping port for the delivery of their cars and equipment.

The excellent facilities and attractions in Christchurch has been a decider for many major event organisers choosing the city, says John Filsell, Unit Manager, Recreation & Sports with the Council. "We will continue to grow our support for hosting international events by ensuring a smooth and successful operation in any undertaking.”

“The Council’s Sports Services has been involved in providing the venue for the rally start-off, helping with the various consents required for an event this size, and providing security for the vehicles during and after the ceremonial start,” says Mr Filsell.

Christchurch City Council continues to build up its reputation for supporting international events: it has hosted the NZ PGA Championships, is presently hosting the 3rd World Vintage Rugby Carnival and will host the World Masters Squash Tournament


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