Rossi enters New Zealand rally

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:37 IST

Five-time world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi of Italy will drive a privately-owned Subaru in November's Rally of New Zealand

Rossi enters New Zealand rally

Wellington:

Five-time world motorcycling champion Valentino Rossi of Italy will drive a privately-owned Subaru in November's Rally of New Zealand, event organizers said on Thursday. Rossi, who will drive a car prepared by the Subaru World Rally Team with countryman Carlo Cassina as co-driver, will be competing in a world championship rally for the second time. "He is going to generate a lot of interest," Rally NZ chairman Chris Carr said. "He's a champion at what he does so a top team finish won't be out of the way for him, that's for sure." Rossi's appearance in New Zealand was also confirmed by Subaru World Rally Team manager Richard Taylor on the team's website. "Valentino has entered Rally New Zealand privately in his own name," Taylor said. "He will, however, be driving a car supplied by us. There's still a little bit of work to do on the details and it may be run alongside the Subaru team." In contention The Yamaha rider is still in contention for his sixth successive MotoGP title and will race in Portugal this weekend. He is in second place in the overall standings, 12 points back of American Nicky Hayden with two races left. Rossi, 27, drove a Peugeot 205 prepared by the Italian Grifone team in the British leg of the 2002 World Rally Championship but did not make it through the first day. He has also competed in non-championship rallies in Italy and was linked until earlier this year with a switch to Formula One with Ferrari. The Rally of New Zealand, from November 17-19, will be raced on mainly gravel roads around the Waikato district of the country's North Island.(AP)

Topics : Formula 1
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