After a successful season in 2009, winning the Historic category in the Victorian Rally Championship and finishing 7th outright in the Alpine Rally  last November, Mike Conway and Jenny Cole are heading to New Zealand to compete in the 2010 Rally Of Otago in their PowerPlay-backed Mk2 Escort.

The 2010 Rally Of Otago, the first round of the New Zealand National Rally Championship, is again shaping up to be the ultimate classic rally not to miss.

The event attracts  plenty of local crews, a good field of cars from Australia and at least one international star. This year, Piero Liatti, winner of the 1997 Monte Carlo Rally for Subaru, will run in an Escort  RS1800.

“The Otago has always been on my list of things to do in life,” commented Mike Conway, “and with Jenny keen to compete in NZ again, having previously competed in Targa New Zealand in 2003 navigating for Peter Brock in the Holden Monaro, we made the decision late in 2009 to bite the bullet and send the car to New Zealand.”

The PowerPlay historic-spec Escort will be at a distinct disadvantage running against the more modified Classic spec cars allowed in NZ. It is currently running under the old Autsralina Historic Rally Car specs, with standard brakes, original twin downdraught manifold, original four speed gearbox case and original rear end housing, and 14” wheels.

The Classic regs in NZ allow for major modifications including all Group 4 mods and even running any engine you want. Conway’s car has proven fast and reliable in the past and the crew are looking forward to the challenge.

Unlike most Australian rallies, the crews are allowed to use pacenotes in the Otago Rally. This, along with changes to the event including the use of many stages not used since the early 2000s, will hopefully help the lesser spec PowerPlay Escort.

The event kicks off on Saturday morning with a total of 144.15km over eight special stages, and finishes on Sunday with 266.15km over another eight stages on Sunday.
Check out the official Otago Rally website at

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