A charity auction ahead of this week's Propecia Rally New Zealand last night raised more than $100,000 for the Possum Bourne Family Education Trust.

A capacity audience of 320, including world rally champion Petter Solberg, Race to the Sky winner Monster Tajima and members of the Black Caps, attended the special function at the new Sky City Auckland Convention Centre. New Zealand Sevens star Eric Rush was the guest speaker.

It was special racing items owned by Bourne that drew most attention. His racing helmet sold for $11,600 and a pair of his racing overalls went for $8,100. A number of high profile sportspeople donated items for the auction - a racing suit from Solberg went for $7,500, racing overalls from leading V8 Supercar driver Greg Murphy for $6,100 and a signed cap from world No 1 golfer Tiger Woods attracted a bid of $5000.

"The response to the evening and the auction befitted the stature in which Possum was held not only in this country but around the world by the motorsport community, and the rally family in particular," Rally New Zealand general manager Gary Upson said.

"We were thrilled with the response and pleased with the money raised for this cause. I think we did Possum proud last night."

Mr Upson said Rally New Zealand would further acknowledge Bourne's contribution to the sport, with Saturday's longest stage of the rally named after the seven-time Rally Australia champion.

There were a number of high profile rally personnel who attended the charity auction including Mr Kusa, who was the chairman of STI, Subaru's world rally racing arm.

Bourne's widow Peggy and her family presented Prodive UK, the Subaru World Rally Team, with a special framed photograph of the statue of Bourne that was unveiled at Cadrona at the weekend, the scene of Bourne's death 12 months ago.

The special moment of the evening was set aside for the Bourne family when an especially hand-crafted scale replica of Possum Bourne's Subaru rally car was auctioned. Bourne's eight-year-old son Taylor bid $1000 for the model but was outbid by the Prodrive Team. The team, led by manager Ken Rees and world champion Solberg then presented the model car back to Bourne's son.

The Propecia-sponsored event starts with two super special stages at Manukau City on the evening of Thursday 15 April. The first full day on Friday is in the Kaipara region before returning for two further super special stages at Manukau City. Saturday's racing returns to Kaipara, with the last day in the Waikato region near Raglan. The final stage will be the internationally acclaimed Whaanga Coast, with the ceremonial finish in downtown Auckland city on Sunday afternoon.