May 10 & 11 date for 2014 Rally of Otago
Plans for the 2014 Rally of Otago are well underway, with the
event to be the second round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, on
May 10 and 11, 2014.
The Dunedin City Council has once again confirmed its support for the
South Island-based event, which will once again include the
International Classic Rally of Otago.
According to Rally of Otago spokesman, Roger Oakley, next year’s event will head primarily south of Dunedin.
“In 2014 we are likely to give the event’s northern stages a rest, and head as far south as the Lawrence region,” Oakley said.
“We have some new forestry stages planned that have never been used
before, so the event continues to evolve and offer something new for
competitors and spectators alike.”
Discussions are already well advanced to attract a very high profile
special guest driver to the Classic Rally, while for national
championship competitors, the new formula supercars such as those built
by Emma Gilmour and Andrew Hawkeswood, should be very competitive.
“Selecting a date is never easy, as most championships wait on the
release of the dates for the WRC, then the APRC, but we are confident
that we will avoid most clashes,” Oakley added.
“We know that the event will clash with Australia’s Targa Tasmania,
but hopefully we can steer clear of the Australian Championship rounds.
“Having said that, the date should still be regarded as provisional
for a short period until other events have had a chance to check the
effect of our date on their plans.”
This year’s Otago Rally was once again a huge success, with Hayden
Paddon winning the NZRC component, while Australia’s Neal Bates blitzed
the classic field in his Toyota Celica.
The event has a history of attracting former World Rally Champions,
including Bjorn Waldegard, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kankkunen, Ari Vatanen
and, in 2013, Miki Biasion.