New Zealand's Olympic BMX silver medallist and IOC member Sarah Walker is to take part in the Otago Rally ©YouTube

New Zealand's BMX racer Sarah Walker, an Olympic silver medallist and three-time world champion, will be appearing as a guest driver at the Otago Rally later this month, she has revealed.

Walker, also a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission, is excited to be invited by the Otago Rally organisers having only previously experienced the sport playing esports.

"When I was younger, I used my first lot of BMX winnings to buy a PlayStation and one of my favourite games was Colin McRae Rally," said the 34-year-old Walker.

"Fast forward to competing in the PlayStation GT5 (Grand Tourismo) and GT7 charity events, doing a couple of hot laps of Hampton Downs with Greg Murphy, and even racing a Super Saloon in Western Springs speedway.

"I don't know if there is a most exciting part. 

"Doing the driver training last week was already amazingly fun. 

I've watched some video of the rally and even though the scenery looks incredible, my eyes will be so focused on driving my best and staying on the road.”

Walker was the first athlete from New Zealand to earn an Olympic medal in a BMX event, claiming a silver in London 2012.

In 2016, she was elected to an eight-year term on the IOC Athletes' Commission.

Walker took part in a test run for the Otago Rally in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand.

"I have nothing to compare my driving today with except the videos I’ve seen of Hayden Paddon, so probably not quite as good as Hayden Paddon," she said.

"But I stayed on the road for most of it and floored it at points and changed gears and got it sideways and flicked up some dust."

Hayden Paddon is one of New Zealand's most popular rally drivers having won the World Rally Championships in Argentina in 2016 and is due to be among the competitors at the Otago Rally. 

Otago Rally spokesman Roger Oakley praised Walker for her competitiveness.

"From our very first conversation, she demonstrated a very professional approach that top athletes bring to sport," he said.

“I think we’ll see her times improve significantly during the event and it wouldn’t surprise me if she becomes competitive with some of the established drivers."

Sarah Walker has been praised for her competitiveness following a test run for the Otago Rally ©Otago Rally
Sarah Walker has been praised for her competitiveness following a test run for the Otago Rally ©Otago Rally

Another guest will be Finland's Mikko Hirvonen, competing in a Ford Escort RS1800.

Hirvonen the winner of 15 rallies from 163 starts.

The ceremonial start of the Otago Rally is due to take place at the Octagon in Dunedin on March 30 the event taking place until April 2.