The Philippine flag will be tearing up the stages of New Zealand this weekend as Ivan Isada and Art Guevara officially enters the 2018 International Otago Rally. Holding the title as 2003 National Rally Champions, the pair will share the yellow #64 Suzuki Swift Sport from April 13/15.
As part of the New Zealand Rally Championship, this year’s rally runs a 250 km route through the forest roads of New Zealand’s South Island. It’s cut up into 17 competitive special stages and run over a 2-day period. Ivan and his co-driver Art are amongst the 115 total entrants in the rally and one of the competitors in Class B.
It’s worth mentioning that WRC drivers Hayden Paddon and Mads Osberg are also in this event. Hyundai WRT driver Paddon will be in an i20 AP4, while Osberg is trading his Citroën C3 WRC for a classic Ford Escort RS1800 this weekend.
Aside from Ivan and Art, there’s another Filipino team contesting the International Otago Rally. Fellow AAP Motorsport Development Program instructors Luis “Jong” King and Paolo Santos will be participating in a white #65 Toyota Levin, running in Class C.
So far, the Philippine teams have already completed their shakedown runs in the snowy stage of Whare Flat during Thursday and Friday’s reconnaissance. The ceremonial rally start will then take place in the famous The Octagon of Dunedin City.
Ivan Isada: “We will be looking forward to a very high-speed roller coaster feel of a rally. The challenge is extremely high and we’ll have to drive more intelligently rather than just charging with a heavy foot. Hopefully, all will be well as we are really looking to maximize the experience, not just for ourselves but also for the Motorsports Development Program where we share our experiences with.”