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Plans for the 2014 Rally of Otago are well underway, with the event to be the second round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, on May 10 and 11, 2014.

The Dunedin City Council has once again confirmed its support for the South Island-based event, which will once again include the International Classic Rally of Otago.

According to Rally of Otago spokesman, Roger Oakley, next year’s event will head primarily south of Dunedin.

“In 2014 we are likely to give the event’s northern stages a rest, and head as far south as the Lawrence region,” Oakley said.

“We have some new forestry stages planned that have never been used before, so the event continues to evolve and offer something new for competitors and spectators alike.”

Discussions are already well advanced to attract a very high profile special guest driver to the Classic Rally, while for national championship competitors, the new formula supercars such as those built by Emma Gilmour and Andrew Hawkeswood, should be very competitive.

“Selecting a date is never easy, as most championships wait on the release of the dates for the WRC, then the APRC, but we are confident that we will avoid most clashes,” Oakley added.

“We know that the event will clash with Australia’s Targa Tasmania, but hopefully we can steer clear of the Australian Championship rounds.

“Having said that, the date should still be regarded as provisional for a short period until other events have had a chance to check the effect of our date on their plans.”

This year’s Otago Rally was once again a huge success, with Hayden Paddon winning the NZRC component, while Australia’s Neal Bates blitzed the classic field in his Toyota Celica.

The event has a history of attracting former World Rally Champions, including Bjorn Waldegard, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kankkunen, Ari Vatanen and, in 2013, Miki Biasion.

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