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The first International Entry registrations have been received for the 2010 NZ Silver Fern International Marathon Rally, one coming from across the Tasman and the other from Europe.

With still over a year till the event takes place, popular Australian’s Keith & Mary-Anne Callinan, who now regularly compete here, will be bringing back their impressive, crowd pleasing 1968 V8 Holden Monaro for its second appearance in a Silver Fern Marathon event.

For the last Silver Fern event in 2008, the Cullinan’s competed in a Ford Escort, running well in the top 10 until experiencing mechanical problems near the end. Previous to that in the 2006 event they had used their V8 Monaro.

Keith said “while the big V8 Monaro used plenty of rubber, especially on the longer stages of the marathon event, we have decided driving the big beast sideways, making a noise and pleasing the crowd is more our style”.

From their Holden dealership at Mackay on the North Queensland coast of Australia, the Callinan’s have used the Monaro all over the world in marathon events, including twice doing London to Sydney Rallies.

The first European entry comes from Austria and the MSC Gamma racing teams Porsche 911 SC, which will be driven by Willi Polesznig and Peter Stark.

Their Porsche was built new in 2006 to comply with the FIA Historic rules, and has competed in a number of gravel marathon events with Willi and Peter finishing 1st overall in the Shield of Africa in 1998, and 2nd overall in the Abu Dhabi Historic Rallye in 2007.

Relaxed about their “first time way down-under” Peter Stark told organisers they “plan to participate in rallyes all over the world in most exotic places.”

2010 event organising committee chairman Hamilton’s Gary Smith said, “it is pleasing to see these early entries from overseas, we are now getting many inquiries from Europe, and hope they translate into entries to make the event truly International.”

Smith added, “Our philosophy to modify the event to provide two rallies within the one event is giving the Historic (Classic) vehicles more incentive to come from Europe and compete against our counterparts down here on an equal footing.”

Starting in Christchurch, on November 14th 2010, the seven day event finishes in Queenstown, and will incorporate The NZ Silver Fern Historic Trophy and The NZ Silver Fern Challenge, effectively two major rallies within the one event. In addition a short Baby Fern event will run over the first three competition days.

For more information on the 2010 NZ Silver Fern International Marathon Rallies visit www.silverfernrally.co.nz.

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