Record entry for Otago Rally

Classic Rally winner Regan Ross slides his Ford Escort into a corner on Sunday morning’s...
The Otago Rally has attracted record entries for this year. Photo: David Thomson
New Zealand rally crews are heading to Dunedin en masse.

A record 114 entries

will start the 2021 edition of the Otago Rally.

It is one of the biggest fields for a New Zealand event and a record number of New Zealand crews have entered to event from April 16-18.

Otago Rally chairman Norm Oakley said he was delight the event had attracted so many competitors.

‘‘We've been working really hard to provide a top-class event to help rallying kickstart in 2021,’’ Oakley said.

‘‘The response from the competitors is all that we could have hoped for.’’

The field is normally boosted by high-profile international teams, including many from Australia, but border restrictions have put that on the back-burner this year.

The event boasts an incredible array of vehicles.

The first nine cars are from different manufacturers, and 11 of the top 12 cars are all either international specification R5 machines, or locally produced AP4 cars.

Reigning New Zealand champion Ben Hunt has been allocated the coveted No1 seeding, but former WRC driver Hayden Paddon will start as the first car on the road.

The field will run with 4WD classics first, then Otago Classics, in reverse seeded order, then NZRC and Allcomers, fastest first, seeded on merit.

Guest drivers are two motorcycle stars, former world Superbike rider Aaron Slight, and 600cc Supersport champion Avalon Biddle.

Fourteen special stages will be held to the southwest of Dunedin, including popular stages such as Kuri Bush, Waipori Gorge and McLaren Gully.

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