Massive field assembling for 2023 Otago Rally
The field for the 2023 Otago Rally is looking like being one of the best yet, with over 100 intentions to enter already received.
There are already 24 international teams on the list, with more likely to follow, as the event returns to ‘normal’ for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship opening round will be the feature of the rally, with another 20 entries still expected to come in for the Winmax Brake Pads sponsored event, including reigning champion Hayden Paddon.
The national field will also include local star, Emma Gilmour, who recently revealed a new Citroen C3 R5 that she will debut in the rally.
The Dunedin car dealer has reported the car has much more potential than her previous Suzuki Swift AP4, in which she was already very competitive.
Multiple World Rally Championship runner-up, Mikko Hirvonen, heads the field in the ENEOS Otago Classic Rally. The Finnish legend will drive the Rossendale Wines Ford Escort RS1800 against a crack field of local talent.
A field of around 40 cars is expected for the Classic Rally.
There will be a big contingent of Australians in Dunedin for the first time since 2019.
Along with Brendan Reeves in his powerful Datsun 1600, Adrian Stratford will also join the Leviathan Hotel Allcomers field in the Toyota Corolla that he recently led the famous Alpine Rally in.
Ten Aussies have entered the Allcomers class, including three V8 Holden Commodores for Braeden Kendrick, Craig Jarvie and Anthony Morrow, and a Ford Falcon for Russell Hocking.
The V8s Holdens will be a real treat for Kiwi rally fans, who don’t normally see these cars in action on the gravel.
“We’re extremely pleased to see the level of support from the competitors, it seems the enthusiasm for rallying is stronger than ever,” event spokesman, Roger Oakley, said.
“We can’t wait to welcome everyone in the rally community again, all the people in the teams, as well as the drivers and navigators.”
The 2023 Otago Rally begins with a rally show in Dunedin’s Octagon on Friday, March 31, before the ceremonial start.
Rally action takes place on Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, with 15 stages to the north and south west of the city.
Intentions to enter are still being accepted, and can be submitted HERE.
The Otago Rally is grateful to receive the Dunedin City Council’s Premier Event Funding in 2023.