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Top field for 2014 Rally of Otago

An impressive field of 88 competitors will line up for next month’s International Rally of Otago, with some of rallying’s biggest names taking part, including 1994 World Champion, Didier Auriol, from France.

The 44-car field for round two of the Brian Green Property Group New
Zealand Rally Championship component of the event is headed by multiple
champions Richard and Sara Mason in a Subaru Impreza WRX, followed by
the similar cars of Matt Summerfield and Lance Williams.

The leading Mitsubishi Lancer runner is Graham Featherstone, followed by former champion Chris West.

Zealand’s fastest female rally driver, Dunedin’s own Emma Gilmour, has
entered her Suzuki Swift Maxi 1600, while a surprise entry from Andrew
Hawkeswood in a Mazda2 4WD Maxi will create plenty of interest.

David Holder, who led round one of the series in an ex-Hayden Paddon Mitsubishi, will be another to watch.

NZRC field also includes competitors in the Allcomers rally, with the
Mitsubishi of Carter Strang leading a strong field that includes the
Impreza WRX of Christchurch’s Jeff Judd.

There are also 44 cars
entered in the Stadium Cars / Ssangyong Classic Rally of Otago, with all
eyes on France’s Didier Auriol in a Ford Escort RS1800.

On his
first visit to the Otago Rally, Auriol will face tough competition from
current Hyundai World Rally Team driver, Hayden Paddon, also in an
Escort, and last year’s rally winner, Australian Neal Bates in a Toyota

Seven Australians will start the Classic Rally as the
event continues to attract huge interest from across the Tasman and
around the world.

The rally will start from Dunedin's Octagon on
Friday evening, May 9. After two days of intense competition, the
historic Dunedin Railway Station will host the finish celebrations on
Sunday afternoon.

Before then, however, competitors will tackle
15 competitive stages to the south of Dunedin, with 280 kilometres of
competitive driving over the two days.

CLICK HERE to view the 2014 Rally of Otago entry list.

Photo: Gerard Auriol

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