Alister McRae returns to WRC on Rally New Zealand Former British Rally Champion and works driver for Hyundai and Mitsubishi, Alister McRae, will make a welcome one-off return to the FIA World Rally Championship later this month when he takes...
Alister McRae returns to WRC on Rally New Zealand
Former British Rally Champion and works driver for Hyundai and Mitsubishi, Alister McRae, will make a welcome one-off return to the FIA World Rally Championship later this month when he takes part in Rally New Zealand, the 11th round of the 2007 season. Alister's entry has been made possible by professional services firm KPMG, which will be supporting his challenge in the Taylor Motorsport-run Group N Mitsubishi Evo9.
After a positive start to the season in New Zealand, when Alister finished the first round of the domestic championship seventh after running as high as second overall, he is understandably delighted to be returning to the WRC on his favourite event. Like many drivers, he relishes the challenge of the North Island stages, with their high speed and flowing nature.
His Rally NZ challenge will be run by Taylor Motorsport, using a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evo9 in Group N specification. Alister will be co-driven by Erin Kyle, one of New Zealand's up and coming co-drivers. Alister worked with 22 year-old Erin earlier in the year, as she was involved in the team's challenge on the Otago Rally after winning a national co-driver scholarship.
"I'm delighted to be returning to the FIA World Rally Championship for this year's Rally New Zealand," Alister said. "The rally is my favourite event and not only do I always enjoy driving there, I've had a fair degree of success as well. I was second in Formula 2 in 1999 and took Hyundai's first outright stage win in the Accent World Rally Car there. I was also third in the Production car World Rally Championship in 2004, even with several technical problems."
The support of KPMG, the global network of Audit, Tax and Advisory providers will be invaluable for Alister's southern challenge. Alister is a former client of the organisation and therefore, has a long-standing relationship, which resulted in the partnership for this event.
"I'm delighted to be welcoming KPMG aboard for this event and am of course very grateful for their support. I've known the company for some years, when I was a client and have always enjoyed an extremely professional yet personal relationship with them. I'm sure that this event will reward both parties."
Tony McNaught, a partner at KPMG New Zealand, said; "We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring one of the world's leading rally drivers to New Zealand."
Not only will KPMG be focussing on its relationship with Alister during the rally itself, it will also be taking part in a co-drive event prior to the start, to allow its key clients to get a true taste of rallying. "The company has asked us to carry out a drive day for its guests and this is always an excellent opportunity to show people what rallying is all about. It's one thing watching the stages in New Zealand but it's quite another to get a feel for what it's like actually inside the car," said Alister.
The event itself begins with a ceremonial start in the town of Hamilton on the evening of Thursday 30 August, before three days of action. Based at the Mystery Creek leisure complex at Hamilton, crews will face 18 stages over the three days, totalling more than 360 kilometres. These will include three runs of the Mystery Creek superspecial stage, on each of the three days, before the winning crew takes the top step of the podium at 15.00hrs on Sunday 2 September.