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Legendary co-driver, Lofty Drews, will be a special guest at the 2018 Drivesouth/Dunedin Isuzu Otago Rally, and will speak at the rally's popular pre-event dinner.

World Rally Championship star, Hayden Paddon, has confirmed his entry for April's Dunedin Isuzu Otago Rally, the opening round of the 2018 New Zealand Rally Championship.

Dunedin Isuzu have joined forces with the Otago Rally as the naming rights sponsor for the national championship field of the 2018 event.

The sights and sounds of early 1990s Group A rallying will create a new feature at the 2018 Otago Rally, with the addition of a Classic 4WD class for the 2018 event.


The 2018 Otago Rally “Intention To Enter” form for competitors can now be downloaded.

The competitive route for the 2018 Otago Rally is taking shape, with a challenging 280 kilometre course set to challenge crews.

Holder SS1 2017David Holder on his way to victory in the 2017 Otago Rally.

The Otago Rally date has been confirmed, with the Dunedin-based event to be held from April 14-15, 2018.

The rally will again be the opening round of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship, and will include the International Otago Classic Rally, and an Allcomers class.

Event manager, Norman Oakley, said that the 2018 date fits in nicely around other events.

“Finding a date is always a time-consuming process, as we need to work our date around events on the WRC and APRC calendar,” Oakley said.

“The Otago Rally will be a week after the Corsica WRC round, and two weeks before Argentina.”

The event has already received a kick-start, with the Dunedin City Council confirming increased funding assistance and premier event status.

The rally will begin with a ceremonial start in the Octagon in central Dunedin on Friday night, April 13.

The competitive stages will run on Saturday and Sunday, with an all-daylight route of 270 kilometres. Competition will be run primarily on public roads, with only 10% of the route to be run in the forest.

“As always, the rally’s favourite stages will be included in the itinerary,” Oakley added.

“Whare Flat, Waipori Gorge and, of course, Kuri Bush will be included, along with at least one brand new public road stage, and several stages that have been reworked from earlier Otago Rallies.”

The rally has already received strong early interest, following a record of 126 entries in 2017.

Last year’s Otago Rally was won by David Holder in Hyundai New Zealand’s i20 AP4+, while the International Classic Rally was won for the second time by Estonia’s Markko Martin in a locally-prepared Ford Escort RS1800

An intention to enter form will soon be available on the event website for prospective competitors.

Evans SS3 2017Australian Simon Evans contested the Classic Rally for the first time this year. Photos: Peter Whitten

Star Estonian driver, Markko Martin, charged home to take out the Stadium Cars International Rally of Otago aboard his Rossendale Ford Escort RS1800.

Hyundai driver David Holder has continued his championship winning form after a great drive to win the first round of the New Zealand Rally Championship at the Otago Rally.

Regan Ross holds a commanding 23.4 second lead in the Stadium Cars International Otago Classic Rally after a dominant opening day in his Ford Escort RS1800.

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