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An exciting three-day route is being planned for the 2012 Rally of Otago, which will be held from April 20-22 next year.

Based once again in the south island city of Dunedin, the rally is the southern hemisphere’s foremost classic rally, and also forms part of the New Zealand Rally Championship.

The 2012 event will begin with competitive stages on Friday night, April 20, which will be preceeded be reconnaissance on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

The majority of the gravel special stages will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, with the Rally of Otago’s traditional mix of challenging stages awaiting competitors.

As round two of the 2012 New Zealand Rally Championship, the event will attract the cream of the country’s rally stars, including current champion Richard Mason, while the accompanying classic rally is again likely to feature an international field.

Last year’s Classic Rally of Otago saw 1981 World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen, driving a Ford Escort RS1800 in the event, and event organisers are already well down the path in negotiations with another international star.

“Over the years the rally has featured some of the biggest names in world rallying, including Hannu Mikkola, Ari Vatanen, Bjorn Waldegard, Juha Kankkunen and Michele Mouton, and we’re hopeful of adding to that list next year,” Rally of Otago spokesman, Roger Oakley, said.

“The route for next year’s rally is currently being finalised, and will again feature some new stages, as well of some of the traditional tests that the event has become known for.

“With the rally being held in the last week of the New Zealand school holidays, we expect to attract a good field of competitors, and plenty of spectators to follow the action as well,” Oakley said.

Full details on next year’s route will be released in the coming weeks, with further information on the rally available from the official Rally of Otago website at: www.otagorally.net, or visit the official Rally of Otago Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/otagorally


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