The Dunlop International Classic Rally of Otago has been boosted with the announcement that former Subaru, Hyundai and SEAT World Rally Championship driver, Piero Liatti, will contest the 2010 event
The Italian was the 1991 European Rally Champion, but by far his biggest moment in rallying came when he defeated the sport’s best drivers to win the 1997 Monte Carlo Rally in a Subaru Impreza.
For the 2010 Otago Rally in April, Liatti will be co-driven by fellow Italian Fabrizia Pons – who also guided him to that famous Monte Carlo Rally win.
Liatti’s entry in the Otago Rally continues a tradition that the event has set for bringing world class European drivers to New Zealand.
Widely regarded as the foremost classic rally in the southern hemisphere, the Otago Rally has seen many of the sports biggest names driving down under. Juha Kankkunen, Bjorn Waldegard, Jimmy and Alister McRae, Michele Mouton, Hannu Mikkola and Pasi Hagstrom have all entered the event in previous years.
In 2010 Liatti will drive a Ford Escort RS1800 with the legendary BDA engine fitted. The car comes from the Rossendale Rally Team stable, which has a long and successful record at the Otago Rally.
Otago Rally spokesman, Roger Oakley, believes that Liatti will be a popular addition to this year’s event.
“In past years our European drivers have proven extremely popular with rally spectators, and we see this year as being no different,” Oakley said.
“Piero has a fantastic record, and while this will be his first time driving a BDA Escort, we know from previous years that drivers of his calibre don’t have any trouble adapting to a new car.”