Set amid breathtaking scenery, Auckland’s picture postcard waterfront forms the service park and the base for New Zealand’s long-awaited FIA World Rally Championship return. From there, crews tackle 17 stages covering 279.80km on cambered, flowing, high-speed gravel roads.
The rally kicks off on Thursday evening with a start ceremony at Pukekawa Auckland Domain followed immediately by a 1.78km super special stage within the city centre park. After that, it will be early to bed ready for a 0545hrs restart the next morning.
Friday's monster leg features classic stages in the Whaanga Coast and on Waikato region roads near Te Akau. They create a hugely challenging opening leg that comprises more than half the rally’s competitive distance.
Rally Route: Repco Rally New Zealand 2022
To make life even more difficult for competitors, there will be no opportunity for service. Just a tyre change in Raglan splits the two loops of Whaanga Coast (29.27km), Te Akau South (31.02km) and Te Akau North (18.53km) during a relentless 15-hour day.
Competitors journey north of rally base Auckland on Saturday for double runs through Kaipara Hills (15.83km), Puhoi (22.50km) and Komokoriki (5.81km). A return to Auckland for service separates the loops, which add up to 88.28km.
Sunday’s finale comprises a new stage at Whitford Forest Te Maraunga Waiho (8.82km) and the purpose-built Jack’s Ridge (6.77km). Both are driven twice, with the second run of Jack’s Ridge forming the bonus points-paying Wolf Power Stage.
Podium celebrations follow shortly afterwards and, should things go in Kalle Rovanperä’s favour, we could be crowning a new world champion by the end of the weekend.
- Full coverage from Repco Rally New Zealand will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.