Excitement building for 2022 Otago Rally
Over 50 competitors have already committed to entering this year’s Otago Rally, as organisers enter the final stages of event planning.
Entries open next week for round one of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, the ENEOS Otago Classic Rally, and the Leviathan Hotel Allcomers Rally.
Despite the uncertainly that has been caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rally is set to go ahead under New Zealand’s current ‘red light’ restrictions.
“If the country remains at Red, we will need o make a number of changes to what we had originally planned, but we are aided by the fact that, by its nature, rallying promotes social distancing, with the competitors spaced at one-minute intervals and the field spread out over many kilometres,” event manager, Norman Oakley, said recently.
“Intending competitors should enter with confidence, knowing that their entry fee will be fully refunded should COVID prevent the rally from going ahead.
“We’re confident that things will work out, and we want to celebrate rallying and getting back to some form of normality,” he added.
The 2022 Otago Rally entry list will be headed by multiple winner, Hayden Paddon, in his Hyundai i20 AP4.
Paddon’s main competition will come from the likes of Robbie Stokes (Ford Fiesta), Jack Hawkeswood (Mazda 2) and local girl Emma Gilmour in a Suzuki Swift.
With border restrictions still in place, there will be no international competitors this year, but the rally has secured two celebrity entries to help build local interest.
Olympic Games gold medalist, Hamish Bond, will make his rallying debut in a Subaru Impreza H6, while renowned drifter, ‘Fanger’ Dan Woolhouse, will drive the Rossendale Wines Ford Escort RS1800 in the classic event.
The Otago Rally is based in Dunedin and will be held on April 9 and 10.
- The Otago Rally is grateful for the support of Dunedin City Council Premier Event funding.