Entries flood in for Otago Rally
The 2008 Rally of Otago may be still three months away, but that hasn’t stopped a record number of early entries for this year’s event, scheduled for May 10 and 11.
Already nearly 60 competitors have registered their intention to compete in the Dunedin-based rally, including 10 from Australia, one entry from the Philippines, and high-profile entries from Finland and France.
The world’s best-ever female rally driver, Michele Mouton, heads the
list in a Ford Escort RS1800, while former event winner, Finland’s Pasi
Hagstrom, will return to New Zealand — this time at the wheel of a
The majority of entries so far have come from competitors planning to
enter the Dunlop International Classic Rally of Otago, while a strong
showing from the Rally Xtreme class and the New Zealand Rally
Championship competitors will ensure that this year’s rally is fully
One of the most exciting cars on the starting list will be Andrew
Hawkeswood’s Audi Quattro S1 replica, which has a full Group B Audi
motor, combined with Subaru Impreza running gear. The car will run in
the Rally Xtreme event, and is sure to be a crowd favourite.
Entries from Australia include Darryn Snooks (Datsun Stanza) and
Michael Boaden (Ford Escort), who both finished in the top 10 in last
year’s Classic Rally. Boaden’s Escort will be powered by a Mazda Rotary
engine this year as the New South Wales Rally Champion aims to move
further up the leaderboard.
Former Australian Rally Championship front-runner, Brad Goldsborough,
will swap his Subaru Impreza WRX for a Datsun 180B in his first attempt
at the event, while a number of other leading Aussies are still
expected to enter.
The Australian flavour will continue with the former factory-backed
rear-wheel drive Ford Focus making an appearance. Formerly driven by
Michael Guest, but now owned by Christchurch’s Bryce Biggs, the Focus
will be driven by Dermot Martin.
With the majority of the leading New Zealand Rally Championship
competitors yet to enter the event, organisers are expecting a steady
stream of entries between now and when entries official close.
The 2008 Otago Rally will include round two of the Vantage Aluminium
New Zealand Rally Championship, the Dunlop International Classic Rally
of Otago, and Rally Xtreme which will allow any vehicle to be part of
This year’s rally will entail 13 special stages covering a total
competitive distance of 258km. As well as two days of flat-out
competition, a high-profile pre-event Motor Show will be held on the
Friday night, enabling competitors to display their cars in front of a
large crowd of spectators and rally fans.