The Otago Rally will be the second round of the New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) in 2016, and has been given a provisional date on the weekend of April 30 and May 1.
The date is conditional on the announcement of the World and Asia-Pacific Rally Championship dates, but presently fits well with the proposed 2016 NZ Championship calendar.
The end of April date would see the event run six weeks after the Race To The Sky hillclimb in Queenstown, and three weeks after the first round of the NZRC, the Rally of Whangarei.
“By announcing the provisional date as early as possible, we hope this gives competitors and spectators the chance to plan for next year’s Otago Rally,” event Media and Promotions Manager, Roger Oakley, said.
“We are always keen to find a date that works as well as possible, particularly for Australian competitors, who are very special to us.
“While dates for next year’s Australian Rally Championship have not yet been announced, we hope to attract as many Aussies to head across and contest next year’s Otago Rally.
“We have also had a large contingent of Australians spectating at the rally, which we hope to build on further in 2016.”
Conversations with potential guest drivers for 2016 will be starting shortly, and event organisers are confident of attracting at least one big name, former WRC driver, in 2016.
This year’s Otago Rally saw American superstar, Ken Block, contest the NZRC component of the rally in his Ford Fiesta, while current and former WRC stars, Hayden Paddon and Alister McRae, lit up the Otago International Classic Rally in their BDA Escorts.
In past years, the event has attracting several World Rally Champions, including Bjorn Waldegard, Hannu Mikkola, Juha Kankkunen, Miki Biasion, Didier Auriol and Ari Vatanen.
For further information on the Otago Rally, visit the event website at www.otagorally.com