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McRae leads Jardine Lloyd Thompson team

February 15th - Immediate release.

McRae leads Jardine Lloyd Thompson team for New Zealand Silver Fern International Marathon Rally

Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) will be running two Ford Escorts in the NZ Silver Fern Marathon Rally, which starts in Christchurch, South Island on 16th October 2008. The eight-day rally includes 1500kms of gravel stages with some stages as long as 100km. The event visits Queenstown, Dunedin, Invercargill and Timaru, finishing in Blenheim. Sixty-three worldwide entries have already been received.

Five times former British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, co-driven by Pauline Gullick will be driving a 1977 Ford Escort RS1800. This is the car that has twice won the Otago classic, the BDG engine is replaced with a 2.3L Cosworth Duratec for more power and torque, the car has modern proflex suspension, Alcon disk brakes, the ZF gearbox is replaced with a heavy duty new Quaife gearbox.

Kumho Tyres and Revolution Wheels will be supporting this entry.

With a car that is well capable of outright victory on the event Jimmy McRae said, "I was disappointed that I did not do better in 2006, it is such a great event that I wanted to return and am really looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with JLT."

Andrew Barnes, Deputy Chairman of Lloyd and Partners, co-driven by Neil Dashfield, will drive the second car, an Escort RS1800 GP4. "The Silver Fern is a legendary event and I am looking forward to the challenge. It is also my first visit to New Zealand, which is an added bonus" said Andrew Barnes.

The cars have been prepared by Bryce Biggs who is based in Rangiora and his team of mechanics in conjunction with Neil Allport Motorsport, New Zealand's leading Rally sport Company will service the vehicles on event.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc is a leading risk management adviser and insurance and reinsurance broker, as well as a major provider of employee benefit administration services and related consultancy advice. JLT is the largest European headquartered company providing these services and is one of the largest firms of its type in the world. JLT operates out of more than 100 offices in over 30 countries and employs 5000 personnel. For more information go to

In New Zealand JLT have focused on the delivery of risk management and specialist insurance services to selected industry groups that today includes a significant and growing involvement in the Automotive and Transport sectors. Ray Andrew, managing director of JLT in NZ said " the Silver Fern Rally is becoming an increasingly popular event with local and overseas drivers who relish the opportunity of driving on some of our great rally roads and visiting some of the most picturesque areas in new Zealand."


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