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European Driver Commited To NZ Silver Fern Rally

03 May 2006

European Driver Commited To NZ Silver Fern Rally

Organisers have today received news that high profile British rally driver, Iain Freestone, is the first European driver to confirm his intention to take part in the October 7th – 14th, NZ Silver Fern Marathon Car Rally.

Freestone will compete here in the 1500 kilometre special stage event, driving a 1975 MKI Ford Escort RS2000, the same car in which he finished 6th overall in the 2005 Classic East African Safari Rally, and 1st overall in the classic event section of the 2005 London – Dakar Rally.

Speaking from his UK based Rally Car Hire business Freestone said “the promotion I’ve seen for the event has really fired up my enthusiasm, so much so that I think the event will become a real classic, and I’ve decided to go to out there and be part of it.”

Freestone who is considered somewhat of a pioneer in the European “Historic and Classic” rally scene, began his rallying days in 1982 in a Mini Cooper S following a 10 year career as a white water canoeist. Since then he has driven a variety of cars and in 2001, he won 5 out of the 6 rallies in the British Historic Championship. Latterly he has also driven to some top placing’s for the Skoda Motorsport British Fabia team.

Logistics and planning is a huge thing for any overseas competitor for an event like this, and Freestone has already arranged for one of his old crew, now a Christchurch based, engine builder, Tim Riley, to set up and run the on-event servicing of the car.

Freestone said “We need to have the car shipped from the UK in about July, for it to be out there in time for the event”, and he adds “I’ve talked to quite a number of guys from over here, who are most interested, and I’m working hard to find a couple more people to help share the shipping and freight costs with me.”

The NZ Silver Fern Rally will start from the Picton waterfront, before travelling around the South Island with overnight stops in Greymouth, Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch before returning via Nelson to the finish in Blenheim.

Full details of the event, are available from the website:- www.silverfernrally.co.nz

ENDS

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