Rally fans are being given the opportunity of a lifetime, with the chance to ride in a Ford Escort RS1800 driven by 1981 World Rally Champion, Ari Vatanen.

The Rally of Otago, in conjunction with Rossendale Wines, are auctioning two rides with Vatanen, one in Christchurch, and the other around the tarmac street stage during the Rally of Otago in Dunedin.

The Christchurch event will take place on Tuesday, April 5, in a forest close to the city, with Vatanen behind the wheel of the Escort that he will drive in the Otago Rally.

The road chosen will be several kilometres long, giving the lucky bidder ample time in the seat beside Vatanen.

In Dunedin, Vatanen will drive a brand new BDA Escort, a replica of the Rothmans car that he won the World Rally Championship in. The car is owned by Richard Bethune.

“The chance to ride with Ari Vatanen in a BDA Escort is something that is very, very rare,” Rally of Otago spokesman, Roger Oakley, said.

“We expect that there will be some spirited bidding for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The Flying Finn will give the lucky winner their ride at approximately 4pm on Saturday, April 9, after he completes his competitive run around the tarmac super stage.

Bid for your ride with Ari Vatanen HERE

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