Two of New Zealand rallying’s biggest stars will swap seats for the 2010 Dunlop International Classic Rally of Otago.

Mark Tapper and Jeff Judd are both well known throughout New Zealand motorsport, and have separately achieved great success over many years.

Judd is an acclaimed co-driver, having sat beside many of the country’s top rally drivers. But he is also a driver of much note, having won the 2006 Otago Classic Rally, and was leading in his Ford Escort RS1800 before engine failure in 2008.

Tapper is similarly talented behind the wheel, having contested the 2009 Production World Rally Championship as the Asia-Pacific winner of the Pirelli Star Driver award.

For the 2010 Otago Rally, Judd will take the wheel, with Tapper calling the pacenotes in a most uncustomary role.

The pair will be competing in a 1977 Vauxhall Chevette HSR – a classic rally car previously driven to ninth place in the 2006 Otago Rally by former owner John Kershaw.

With a 2.3 litre twin cam engine, ZF gearbox and Atlas rear end, the Chevette is likely to be a potential top five finisher, particularly with the talented Judd behind the wheel.

The Chevette has a long and illustrious rallying history worldwide, with drivers such as Pentti Airikkala, Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and Tony Pond driving them to victory in international events.

The popular Dunedin-based event, which will run on April 10 and 11, is once again attracting a strong Australian contingent in the Dunlop International Classic Rally of Otago, while the Allcomers Rally will once again be strongly supported.

The Otago Rally route will include some of the event’s most popular stages, including Kuri Bush, Whare Flat, Waipori Gorge and the tarmac super special stage around the streets of Dunedin.

Visit the Otago Rally website.

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