Scottish rally legend Jimmy McRae will drive one of two Ford Escorts in the NZ Silver Fern Marathon Rally, which starts in Christchurch on October 16.

The eight-day rally includes over 1200km of gravel stages with some stages as long as 100km.  The event visits Queenstown, Dunedin, Invercargill and Timaru, finishing in Blenheim. Sixty-three worldwide entries have already been received.
Five times former British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, co-driven by Pauline Gullick, will be driving a 1977 Ford Escort RS1800.  This is the car that has twice won the Otago classic, however the BDG engine is replaced with a 2.3L Cosworth Duratec for more power and torque, the car has modern Proflex suspension, Alcon disc brakes, and the ZF gearbox is replaced with a heavy duty new Quaife gearbox. Kumho Tyres and Revolution Wheels will be supporting this entry.
With a car that is well capable of outright victory on the event, Jimmy McRae commented: “I was disappointed that I did not do better in 2006, it is such a great event that I wanted to return.”
Andrew Barnes will drive the second car, a Group 4 Escort RS1800.

“The Silver Fern is a legendary event and I am looking forward to the challenge.  It is also my first visit to New Zealand, which is an added bonus,” Barnes said.
The cars have been prepared by Bryce Biggs, and his team of mechanics, in conjunction with Neil Allport Motorsport, will service the vehicles on event.

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