Mouton to drive Audi Quattro at Otago Rally
The world’s greatest female rally driver, Michele Mouton, will drive an
ex-works Audi Quattro at this year’s Otago Rally in Dunedin, New
While Mouton and former World Rally Championship co-driver, Fabrizia
Pons, will compete in the Dunlop International Classic Rally of Otago
in a left-hand drive Ford Escort RS1800, they will also take the wheel
of the Quattro (pictured) for a demonstration drive during the rally.
The pair will drive the Quattro around the tarmac Super Special Stage
to be held on the Saturday afternoon of the rally, in what is sure to
bring thousands of rally fans to Dunedin to watch.
Mouton, who finished second in the 1982 World Rally Championship
driving for the factory Audi team, is another in a line of ex-WRC stars
to contest the Otago Rally. She follows other greats, such as Hannu
Mikkola, Bjorn Waldegard, Juha Kankkunen and Jimmy McRae who have
contested the rally.
The Audi Quattro that Mouton will drive is an ex-factory car from the
1984 season, that is now owned by New Zealander Malcolm Stewart.
The car started its career with a win on the Rally of Portugal, with
Stig Blomqvist at the wheel, and also competed in the Rally of
Argentina and the Rally of New Zealand in the same year. It finished
fourth in New Zealand, after Hannu Mikkola rolled the car mid-event.
The car was retired after Audi switched to the short wheel base ‘Sport
Quattro’ and was subsequently purchased by Trevor Hudson, who was then
manager of European Motor Distributors in Auckland.
In the hands of Malcolm Stewart, the car finished fifth in the 1985
Rally of New Zealand, but a couple of off-road excursions meant that
the national championship slipped from his grasp.
The following year, the New Zealand Championship again went begging,
and in Rally NZ Stewart was the leading Kiwi after day one, but a spin
and rear end damage on day two saw him drop back down the field.
Brian Green drove the car with some success in 1987, but the Quattro then sat in Stewart’s garage for many years.
Eventually, it was fully restored to its original livery, and it is now for sale.
Looking resplendent in the original HB Audi colours, Mouton will surely
enjoy the experience of getting back behind the wheel of a Quattro once
more — even though her focus at the Otago Rally will be on her Escort
RS1800 and winning the rally outright.
Audi New Zealand has thrown their support behind Mouton’s one-off drive.
As well as contesting the Super Special Stage at the Otago Rally, the
Quattro will also be on display at the Friday night Motor Sport Show,
with spectators sure to flock for a close look at a real piece of
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.