Otago Rally Fest: Catch the action

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 | Rally | Rallying
| Image 1 of 1 |
Defending national champion Dave Holder (Hyundai i20, Mt Manganui) surpassed his own expectations by winning his first Otago Rally. Photo: Peter Whitten

This Wednesday's Otago Daily Times featured a full spectator guide for the Drivesouth Otago Rally Fest, and for those who are up with the latest in digital play, local fans Becky Ladbrook and Cory Saxton have prepared an interactive spectator guide, which you can download at www.otagorally.com/home/rally information/spectator-information But for those who are new to the sport, or just want to sample the event, here are six hot tips on where to catch the action.

Friday Night Motorshow and Rally Start
(Dunedin, Friday night)

Head to the Octagon from 5pm to see the stars and their cars, and stay on as they are waved across the start ramp from 6.15pm. This is a low-octane way to experience the sport, and a great place for youngsters to collect posters and autographs.

Special Stage 4, Waitahuna
(South Otago, Saturday morning)

Here's a handy option for South Otago readers: drive in from Waitahuna to the intersection of Waitahuna Gully Rd and Mitchell's Flat Rd, to a mid-stage viewing point on the longest (42km) high-speed stage of the rally. Be there by 9.50am for a 10am start.

Anzac Ave Super Special
(Dunedin, Saturday afternoon)

Get to Dunedin's wharf area beside the Anzac Ave overbridge in good time for a 3pm start to this short tarmac special stage that concludes the day's action. The format has changed, with the only spectator viewing being from the overbridge; each car will complete a double there-and-back sprint loop featuring a hairpin bend under the overbridge on Ward St. There is a $10 admission charge for this stage, but under- 12s are free.

Special Stage 11, Stoneburn
(Palmerston, Sunday morning)

Drive in on Taieri Peak Rd from Palmerston to the intersection with Hughes Rd to reach a mid-stage viewing point on this tricky 14km test. It's for early risers: be there by 8.20am for an 8.40am start.

Special Stage 16, Bald Hill
(Middlemarch, Sunday afternoon)

Drive in on Moonlight Rd from Middlemarch to reach the viewing point at the intersection of Bald Hill Rd. This is one of the most popular spectator points in the rally, so be there by 12.50pm for a 1.15pm start.

Rally Finish
(Sunday 15 April)

Everyone loves a winner, and success will be celebrated in style with the traditional Champagne spray in front of the Dunedin Railway Station for the top three place-getters in the various components of the event. The first cars should start arriving about 2.45pm, with the ceremonial finish scheduled to begin about 3pm.