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The former World Rally Championship driver, partnered by Stephane Prevot, will provide a stern challenge to international Mikko Hirvonen and the top New Zealand drivers.
One of the sport’s most likeable characters, McRae will be contesting the Otago Classic Rally for the third time.
His Wales Motorsport Ford Escort BDA is arguably one of the best prepared vehicles in the world.
“I’m really looking forward to fast, smooth roads of the Otago Rally — it’s a favourite event of mine,” McRae said of his return to the Dunedin-based event.
“Both myself and Stephane have good experience in this event and we have a great car, so we will be going for a top result.
“I’m also looking forward to catching up with a lot of friends in the New Zealand rallying community.”
The announcement is great news for the rally which is already boasting a strong intention-to-enter list, including more than 20 international entrants.
“We are delighted to see Alister returning to the Otago Rally as we all remember his stunning performances in an Escort in previous years,” spokesman Roger Oakley said.
“With his experience, the new two-pass recce, and in this top-class car, he will provide a real spectacle and be a real contender for the win.”
The 2020 Otago Rally will take place on April 3-5