Otago Rally announces new naming rights partner

The New Zealand Rally Championship component of the Otago Rally has a new sponsor, and a new name for 2021.

Paddon Day 2 2019 PW 750

The Winmax Brakes Otago NZRC Rally, brought to you by Paddon Rallysport, will start the new season on the weekend of April 16, 17 and 18.

The new deal sees Paddon Rallysport reconfirming its commitment to promoting rallying in New Zealand, as they have done previously with the Otago Classic Rally.

Winmax Brakes are now the preferred choice for many leading NZRC teams, and the partnership will help to strengthen that involvement.

"We're extremely excited to work with Paddon Rallysport to promote rallying in NZ," event spokesman, Roger Oakley, said.  

"We are very like-minded, and the good of the sport is central to the way we think."

Along with sponsoring the rally, Hayden Paddon will also be the pre-event favourite, driving his Hyundai i20 AP4 with long-term partner, John Kennard, calling the pacenotes.

"The Otago Rally has proven itself over the years to be a world-class event, and one of our favourites to compete in.  

"To support it via Winmax Brakes is a very natural extension of the working relationship we’ve had for a long time, and I can't wait to get started," Paddon said.

Winmax has also announced a Junior Driver Development program that aims to help the progression of young New Zealand rally drivers.

Winmax has selected up-and-coming stars Jack Hawkeswood, Ari Pettigrew and Harri Judd as their supported drivers in the inaugural season.

The opening round of this year’s Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in many years.

Along with Paddon, front runners will include former champions Ben Hunt (Subaru) and Jack Hawkeswood (Mazda 2), Robbie Stokes (Ford), Dylan Turner (Audi), Raana Horan (Skoda) and Dunedin favourite, Emma Gilmour in her Suzuki Swift.

The Rally is grateful for the support of Dunedin City Council Premier Event funding.