22 - 24 Jun 12
Categories:WRC, SWRC, PWRC
Surface:Gravel with some asphalt sections
For rally drivers, New Zealand comes very close to rallying nirvana. The sweeping, rollercoaster roads and lush green scenery will look very familiar to anybody who has seen The Lord of the Rings, filmed entirely on location in New Zealand. There is a magical atmosphere to the whole country and its return to the World Rally Championship calendar in 2012 following a one-year absence is keenly anticipated.
Brother Rally New Zealand was first included as a round of the WRC in 1977, two years before the advent of the drivers’ championship. As in 2010, this year’s rally will be based in Auckland, home to about a third of New Zealand’s population, but uses remote service zones so that the drivers can cover plenty of ground during the event. The stages consist mainly of fast and cambered smooth gravel roads in spectacular valleys amid breath-taking scenery, while some asphalt sections will feature on the competitive route.
It will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere when the WRC circus arrives in New Zealand in late June so inclement weather conditions will be a factor. Another talking point in New Zealand is set to be road position, as the first car on the road traditionally suffers from having to sweep up loose gravel for the drivers following behind, providing it stays dry.
As well as hosting the start and finish in the Viaduct Harbour area of the city, Auckland will also be the base for the permanent service park, event headquarters and a superspecial stage.