More big name entries for Otago Rally
- 20th December 2012, 11:44am
Hot on the heels of four-time Australian Rally Champion, Neal Bates, entering his Toyota Celica, fellow Aussies, Jeff David and Stewart Reid, have announced their intentions.
With the recent announcement that two-time World Rally Champion, Miki Biasion, will contest the event in a Porsche 911, David will also bring his Porsche back to New Zealand to pit his skills against the Italian.
The New South Welshman missed the Rally of Otago in 2012, but finished second in 2011 and third in 2009, clearly showing his ability on the cresty South Island roads.
One or Australia’s quickest drivers in classic rallying, David is looking forward to returning to Dunedin.
Queenslander Stewart Reid is another driver who has had some success at the Otago Rally. Driving a Ford Escort RS1800, Reid led the 20011 rally after the first few stages, in a field that included 1981 World Champion, Ari Vatanen.
He eventually retired with a broken axle, but returned in 2012, only to have an accident on the event’s very first stage.
In 2013 Reid and co-driver, Iain Stewart, will compete in their own BDG-engined Escort, but to full Group 4 specifications by Historic Rally Sport in the UK.
With more international competitors likely to enter the event in the coming weeks, the 2013 Rally of Otago is shaping up to be the most competitive yet.
Also on the entry list will be former winner, and 2012 Silver Fern Rally victor, Deane Buist.
The Christchurch driver has always been a crowd favourite at the Otago Rally, and next year will be no exception, as he’ll have nothing but outright victory on his mind.
Buist will drive the Ford Escort RS1800 that he drove to victory in the week-long Silver Fern, and will be at short odds to do win again in April.
Next year’s Rally of Otago will also be the first round of the New Zealand Rally Championship, and the 20th consecutive year that the Otago Sports Car Club has hosted a round of the NZRC, a feat that even Rally New Zealand can’t claim.
Details on the format and route for the rally will be announced in the coming weeks.
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