Michèle Mouton for Otago Classic Rally in 2008
- 21st December 2007, 9:53pm
For five years now, the Rossendale Team have been working in a very successful partnership with the event organisers to bring high profile European drivers to what is now regarded as the Southern Hemisphere's premier classic rallying events.
Mouton, who started rallying in 1974 and won four World Championship rallies in the fearsome Group B Audi Quattro during her most successful season, 1982, narrowly missing the world title, will be co-driven by her regular partner of the era, Italian Fabrizia Pons. The pair will compete together for the first time since the end of the Super Car era in 1986, when Mouton chose to finish her professional career.
Joining them in the Rossendale team will be crowd-pleaser Pasi Hagström, the spectacular ex-Finnish Rally Champion and Subaru World Rally Team test driver, who missed the event last year after wins in 2004 and 2006.
Rossendale team principal, Brent Rawstron, is thrilled with the line up.
“We’ve been trying for a few years through our friend Fabrizia to persuade Michèle to visit New Zealand again. We’re delighted that she will now join us and that our old favourite, Pasi, will be back too!”
In a change of tack from recent seasons, Hagström will drive the Rossendale/Vicarage Lane Wines 1972 Porsche 911 which has finished second in the rally for the last two years, while Mouton takes the start in the team’s 1979 Ford Escort RS1800 BDA, previously driven to victory in 2005 by Scot Jim McRae.
“The comment has been made to us that an international driver in a Porsche will never beat a BDA in Otago, so we’ve given Pasi the chance to prove the sceptics wrong!” said Rawstron. “It’ll be a great battle!”
The 2008 Dunlop Otago Classic Rally begins on Friday, May 9 with the motorshow at Dunedin’s Edgar Stadium, and continues on May 10 and 11 with 13 special stages, all run in daylight.
For further information on the Dunlop Otago Classic Rally, visit the event website at www.otagorally.co.nz
SUBSCRIBE BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
By clicking "Subscribe Now" you agree to receive news, offers and updates on RallySport Magazine. If you do not wish to receive marketing communications, you can update your preferences in My Account.
We will commence charging your payment method after the 7 day free trial expires. If you cancel after expiry of your trial, cancellation will take effect from the end of your current monthly subscription period. You will not be refunded any fees paid to RallySport Magazine unless otherwise set out in the terms and conditions.