Multiple internationals, local stars likely for Otago Rally challenge
Intentions to enter the Central Machine Hire Otago Rally are rolling in, with 17 internationals looking to challenge themselves on the Dunedin roads so far.
Opened in September, many competitors have shared their intentions to compete in the event, with several in each of the relevant classes of the rally.
The Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) and the Otago Classic Rally will take centre stage alongside the growing Alllcomers and 4WD Classic Rally sections of the event.
The leading competitor in the national championship registered thus far is the Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo of Raana Horan, who’ll be looking to improve on his best finishing place of third on what is the opening round of the championship.
As previously announced, the leader of the classic rally field will be Irishman Kris Meeke, who is joined on the list by several former winners of the event.
Three-time Otago Classic Rally winner, Derek Ayson, will compete in his works-spec Opel Manta, while Deane Buist will run in a Ford Escort RS1800, like he did when driving to victory in 2007.
Australian-based Irishman, Glenn Alcorn, who drove his own Ford Escort RS2000 in the NZRC section in 2023, is looking to return in a BDA Escort this time around, with many aiming to join him from across the ditch.
As is usually the case in the event, the Australians will be coming thick and fast in their various cars and classes.
Names like Bryan van Eck, Tristan Carrigan, Matt Jones, Owen Polanski and Paul McCroy are just some of the 13 who are planning to be in Dunedin when the event gets underway in April.
Steve Cox will be piloting his beautiful Audi Quattro E1 S2 works replica which is sure to be a crowd favourite, but the Classic 4WD pace setters are likely to be in the form of Sean Haggarty and Tim Smith who have great experience and speed in their H6 Subarus.
“With more than 70 intentions to enter, things are looking great as we head into the Christmas and New Year period,” Central Machine Hire Otago Rally spokesperson Roger Oakley said.
“Thus far, we have 17 internationals from five different countries on the list, which is a testament to the whole organising team and the Otago region for attracting such competitors from all over the world.
“We’ll be working hard to provide yet another popular event.”
This year’s Otago Rally will cover 270 competitive kilometres on largely public roads with no repeated stages.
Two-pass reconnaissance will take place on Thursday and Friday in the Otago region, before competitors drive the stages against the clock on April 13 and 14.
Intending competitors can register their intention to enter via the link below, while spectators can now access the 2024 rally map.