Motorsport: Rally car star Kris Meeke to take on 2024 Otago Rally in classic drive

Kris Meeke, one of the world's top rally car drivers has been lured to Dunedin for this weekend's Otago Rally.   

The Northern Irishmen won five World Rally Championship events between 2015 and 2017 driving for Citroen, however, it's the roar of one of the world's most Iconic BDA Escorts that he'll be driving in Dunedin, a car which dominated in the 1970s.   

The experienced driver is excited to take on the challenge.    

"You have to grab the bull by the horns so to speak, that's the bit I enjoy about driving these classic cars," he said.    

The particular BDA Escort he'll be driving has been driven by some of the world's best.    

Ari Vattinen, Juha Kankinen, Didier Auriol and Mikko Hirvonen are some of the big names in motorsport who have driven the BDA at the Otago Rally.    

"I think I'm pretty privileged to be the next name on the list but it's a high billing to live up to for sure," Meeke said.  

Meeke, 44, certainly has the pedigree with five WRC wins to his name, although it could have easily been four when a mistake saw him forced to drive through a car park just a few hundred metres from the finish line at the 2017 Rally Mexico.    

The Northern Irishmen now sees the funny side of what could have been a serious accident.    

"Unfortunately, they didn't have a great sequence of parking, so I got lost and had to drive over a few barbeques, but we found our way out luckily," said Meeke.

And with a bit of help from his co-driver, Meeke is hoping to avoid making the same mistake in Otago this week.    

"Stay away from the carpark." 

Whether it's on the road or off it, Meeke is sure to create more highlight reels in Otago.