Central Otago will provide the backdrop to the latest in car rally action next weekend.

The district will host the inaugural Nevis Station Golden 1200 Hillclimb on March 7-8, an event being launched by champion rally driver Hayden Paddon.

The hillclimb will be a sister event to the Race to the Sky, which Paddon Rallysport is working hard to bring back to life in 2021.

Paddon said next week’s event had 90 registrations, which meant it was already full to capacity.

“Entries sold out in the first 48 hours.”

He said the event would feature “some of the best vantage points”, including from the main spectator area, from which the majority of the 6km course could be viewed.

The race would use a stretch of Nevis Rd, a remote high-country route between Bannockburn and Kingston; Ben Nevis Station would feature as the service park and hillclimb start.

The location was a prime spot for the event, thanks to its “amazing piece of road and part of the world”, Paddon said.

Competitors from around the country had entered the race, which had been designed for all cars, classes and drivers.

Paddon said the aim was to build on the event in years to come to make it one of the country’s most “iconic”.

The event’s named echoed the golden tussock-covered Central Otago landscape, the Nevis Valley’s goldmining history and the 1200 metre elevation at the hillclimb’s finish line.

The two-day event would include three runs for all competitors on both days.

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