WRC Rally arrives in Auckland

02 May 2010

Air transport is the only option for FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) teams due to arrive at Auckland Airport today. Shipping takes far too long and the cars would be out of date by the time they got here.

“Ford has their own specially designed air freight cases. They are designed to exactly fit their car,” Rally NZ general manager Paul Mallard says.

The WRC cars are not your average vehicle – most are worth around $2-$3 million. “It’s a very competitive sport and teams spend well over $100 million on development in one season,” says Mallard.

It’s estimated that more than 5,000 people will be involved in the event including WRC team members, spectators and media, with about 3,000 arriving by air.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the WRC Rally event in New Zealand. The good news is that the event is returning to the Auckland region, and the Auckland Domain has been included in the rally route with a super special stage traversing 1.5km of the domain’s sealed roads in the early evening dark on May 7.

Other race stages will be in Whangarei and Kaipara districts on May 7; Franklin and North Waikato districts and a super special stage at Hampton Downs on May 8; and Raglan district on May 9.