Defending champion Carter Strang, of Wallacetown, and co-driver Stewart Robbie lead the seedings for today’s Rankleburn Rally.
The duo dominated last year’s event and are favourites again this year.
Invercargill driver Mark McMillan will be the second seed in his Subaru Legacy RS. McMillan, a very competitive driver in a Subaru Impreza WRX some years ago, has returned in recent years in a Subaru Legacy RS with a livery which pays tribute to the late Scottish former world champion Colin McRae. Regular co-driver Murray Wright will sit alongside McMillan in the event.
Jeremy McIlwrick, of Winton, with Bradley Dawson in the co-driver seat, is the third seed in his Mitsubishi Evo 4. McIlwrick was sixth in the event last year.
Fourth seed, Australian driver John Spencer, now domiciled in Dunedin, has fashioned an outstanding record in a variety of cars on both sides of the Tasman. This year he is at the wheel of an Evo 7.
Regan Ross, of Kaikoura, is seeded at five in his Ford Escort MK2. Third in the recent Catlins Coast Rally in a Ford Fiesta R5, Ross returns south with the Ford Escort that he drove to sixth overall and first 2-wheel drive home in the 2019 Catlins Rally.
Others to watch out for are Richie and Rachel Chadwick, of Dunedin, at six with their Toyota Levin. Dean Johnson, of Christchurch, is another contender while seventh seed Neville Krammer, of Wallacetown, has scored numerous top three finishes at Rankleburn and will pilot a Subaru Impreza H6 with wife Hannah in the co-driver seat.
Also in Subaru H6 cars are Mark Parsons, of Drury near Auckland, and Gore driver Paul Cross.
The rally is a part of the club’s rally championship and will consist of four special stages. It will be based in Telford Tops Rd, in the Rankleburn Forest in West Otago off River Rd/Deviation Rd.
The venue is 35 minutes’ drive from Balclutha and will be signposted from State Highway 1. The rally starts at 11am.
The rally is over four stages with much of the racing to be done of forestry roads.