Auckland is confirmed as the host city for Rally New Zealand when it next runs in June 2012 as a round of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Auckland hosted the very successful 2010 WRC Rally New Zealand, which was the first of three events under a host city contract between Auckland and Rally New Zealand Ltd.
Taking place between 21 and 24 June 2012, Rally New Zealand will utilise several inner city locations with organisers expected to repeat the very popular super special stage in the Auckland Domain. The official ceremonial start and finish will again be at Viaduct Harbour in the centre of Auckland’s redeveloped waterfront, with exact locations still to be confirmed.
Chairman of Rally New Zealand, Peter (‘PJ’) Johnston, says it’s a pleasure to confirm the 2012 event will be based in Auckland.
“Auckland proved a fantastic host city for the 2010 running of Rally New Zealand,” says Johnston.
“We look forward to having another opportunity to showcase the exciting, ultra-competitive World Rally Championship to the extensive audience of sports fans across the wider Auckland region.
“Rally New Zealand, with the support of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development and other parties, tendered for the right to host a round of the World Rally Championship. We were up against 32 other countries, so it’s particularly pleasing to now have our 2012 event dates confirmed.
“Now our organising committee can progress plans for this world-class event.”
I am looking forward to welcoming the WRC teams and their supporters back to Auckland next year.
The 2010 event attracted extensive worldwide television coverage with an estimated audience of over 50 million in 108 countries. More than 230,000 people visited the WRC website, wrc.com , during the five days of the event, seeing the exciting action photos from the New Zealand event. Locally, 95,000 spectators took in the exciting rally action, with a crowd of 25,000 enjoying a night-time spectacle at the Auckland Domain super special stage.
Rally New Zealand’s clerk of the course, Willard Martin, says: “Rally New Zealand is one of the most popular rallies on the WRC circuit – drivers and team managers tell us every year how much they love competing on New Zealand roads. With Auckland again as the host city, we have numerous options to take the rally route into surrounding regions which allows us to develop an event which provides a true test of the drivers’ skills.”
Auckland Mayor Len Brown is delighted that the region will again host this international event.
“I am looking forward to welcoming the WRC teams and their supporters back to Auckland next year. I’m confident the 2012 rally will build on the successes of the 2010 event and will be well supported by Aucklanders. Hosting major events such as this is critical if we are to achieve our ambition of being the world’s most liveable city,” says Brown.
“Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development is one of the partners working with Rally New Zealand to ensure this event is world-class for competitors, their teams and spectators. The event provides another excellent opportunity to showcase Auckland as a popular visitor destination.”
New Zealand’s leading rally driver Hayden Paddon always makes Rally New Zealand on his annual competition schedule. He comments: “It is fantastic to have Rally New Zealand back in Auckland again. In 2010 it was a perfect venue giving us great access to some of the best roads in the world, both north and south of the city and, of course the opportunity to have a super special stage in the city and bring the sport to the people, which is also exciting from a driver’s perspective.”
Paddon is taking on the world’s best again this year and currently leads the Production World Rally Championship standings.
The 21 to 24 June slot makes Rally New Zealand the seventh round of the 13-round 2012 FIA WRC calendar.