The 40th Rally New Zealand takes place between the 6th and 9th of May 2010.

An International Event

Rally New Zealand is the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) and looks set to provide three days of spectacular motorsport racing. Among rally fans the world over New Zealand holds a prestigious position, having been voted the WRC Rally of the Year in 2001. Other rounds of the 2010 WRC are held in the following countries:

  • Sweden: 12th – 14th February
  • Mexico: 5th – 7th March
  • Jordan: 2nd – 4th April
  • Turkey: 16th – 18th April
  • Portugal: 28th – 30th May
  • Bulgaria: 9th – 10th July
  • Finland: 30th July – 1st August
  • Germany: 20th – 22nd August
  • Japan: 10th – 12th September
  • France: 1st – 3rd October
  • Spain: 22nd – 24th October
  • Britain: 12th 14th November

History

The history of the 2010 Rally New Zealand goes back to the Shell Silver Fern Rally of 1969, organised by the Wellington Car Club. In the years following, the event developed and attracted greater numbers of overseas drivers until, in 1977, it gained a position as one of the rounds of the World Rally Championship.

Rally New Zealand Stages

Covering 21 special stages, Rally New Zealand will push drivers, crew and their machines to the limit over more than 350 km of punishing terrain.

A brief outline of the 2010 Rally New Zealand schedule follows below.

Thursday May 6th

  • Between 9.30 am and 1.00 pm Auckland Domain plays host to the Rally Shakedown where competitors make use of their only chance to test their cars before the race starts.
  • From 4.00pm to 6.00 pm WRC drivers will sign autographs in various Viaduct restaurants.
  • At 6.00 pm the drivers will be given a traditional Maori welcome and from 6.30 the ceremonial start of the event begins.

Friday May 7th

  • From 9.00 am drivers will race special stages 1 – 8 throughout the Whangarei and Kaipara areas.
  • What to meet the drivers? Head to the Whangarei service area at 12.05 pm.
  • At 6.45 this year’s Auckland Domain Super Special will begin (the first time since 1990). Racing in the Auckland Domain! Parking for this free event will be limited but a free bus service will run from Queens Wharf from 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm.
  • A little after 7.00 pm you’ll have a chance to meet the crews at Queens Wharf.

Saturday May 8th

  • From 7.45 Franklin, North Waikato and Hampton Downs play host to special stages 10 – 17.
  • Meet the drivers at the Hampton Downs service area at 12.05 pm.
  • You can meet the crews at Queens Wharf from 5.10 pm.

Sunday May 9th

  • At 8.30 am contestants will begin the final day of Rally New Zealand action as they blast through the Raglan district on stages 18 – 21.
  • At the Raglan service area you can meet the drivers at 9.55 am.
  • Meet the crews at the Queens Wharf service area at 2.15 pm.
  • At 3.00 pm the ceremonial finish will take place at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

Service Areas

Although the main action of the rally is out on the roads, there’s also plenty of excitement and lots to see at the Queens Wharf service area. Here, all rally teams work feverishly to service and repair their cars. Want to get up close to those million dollar cars?  Queens Wharf service area is the place to be. You’ll also get to see the drivers coming in at the end of each day’s stages.

Outside Auckland you can get the same thrill at the Laurie Hall Park, Whangarei service area on the 7th, Hampton Downs on the 8th and Wainui Road, Raglan on the 9th. Check rallynz.org.nz for times.

Spectator Areas

Want the best view of the rally? Head for one of Rally New Zealand’s “prime spectator areas”. You’ll need a day or weekend pass to access these family-oriented areas where you’ll be able to watch the rally while commentators keep you up to the minute with PA broadcasts of the latest action. There are toilet and parking facilities and refreshments are available for purchase.

The locations of Rally New Zealand’s prime spectator areas are marked on the official rally map and GPS coordinates are listed in the 2010 Rally New Zealand programme.

Tickets and Programmes

Tickets and programs are available at Repco stores or through their website.

For more information on the 2010 Rally New Zealand visit the official Rally New Zealand website.

If you’d like to see some highlights from the 2008 Rally New Zealand check out this video.

Rally New Zealand 2010 – a Guide for Motorsport Fans, 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

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