Van Klink set to take on the stars
Kaiapoi’s Marcus van Klink will take on some of the world’s best rally drivers at round two of the Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship driven by VINZ as the event encompasses the renowned Otago Classic Rally.
While the event is round two of the NZRC, van Klink’s attention is really on the regaining the Otago Classic title he won in 2010. To do so, he will have to overcome the challenges of Hyundai World Rally Team driver Hayden Paddon, 1994 World Rally Champion Didier Auriol and multiple Australian Rally Champion Neal Bates, who enters the event as defending champion, while there will also be local competition from three-time winner Derek Ayson and Regan Ross
A full rebuild of the Chesters Plumbing Supplies Mazda RX-7 over the off-season led to a perfect score for van Klink and Dave Neill at the opening round of the NZRC, Rally Whangarei, last month and van Klink is confident that the mechanical dramas that blunted his charge at Otago last year should not rear their ugly head again this year.
“For this event, our focus really does change. While we can’t ignore the championship for us this event is really all about the classic event,” says van Klink. “It will be a tough challenge taking on a current WRC driver and a former world champion, but it’s an event I really enjoy so we will certainly give it a go.”
Rally Otago gets underway with a ceremonial start in The Octagon from 5pm on Friday. Special stage action gets underway the following day around the Lawrence area including the monster 50km Manuka Hill before returning to Dunedin for the iconic tarmac super special stage at 3pm. Day two sees the more traditional Otago stages around the Lake Waihola and after a total of 283km, crews will return to the ceremonial finish at the Dunedin Railway station from 3pm on Sunday.