The world governing body for motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, has confirmed that Rally New Zealand has a slot on the 2010 FIA World Rally Championship calendar for 7 to 9 May
The full 2010 WRC calendar was ratified at the June meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council, and this saw the early May date confirmed for New Zealand, says Rally New Zealand chairman Chris Carr.
“We’re pleased and excited to have the dates confirmed for Rally New Zealand to run on the second weekend in May next year,” says Carr. “Now our planning can begin in earnest. It also helps for the planning of other local motorsport events around Rally New Zealand’s confirmed dates of Friday 7 May to Sunday 9 May, 2010.
Rally New Zealand has been run in August for the past few years, with the early spring date causing some concerns for farming communities along the rural roads that have made the New Zealand event famous.
Rally New Zealand route planner Willard Martin says the May date is ideal with excellent road conditions before the winter rains.
“Last year in August we had rain bombs and major slips to contend with. Hopefully with the better weather in May, we will attract even more spectators to watch the world’s rallying stars in action,” says Martin.
Rally New Zealand has been a round of the World Rally Championship since 1977. It was last run in 2008, then the event was rotated off the WRC calendar for 2009 as per the FIA’s current policy to rotate events between countries on a biennial basis. Whether or not that policy will continue beyond 2010 is yet to be decided.
2010 FIA World Rally Championship Calendar
NB. *Bulgaria's inclusion is still subject to a satisfactory report from the FIA observer’s at this year's event (17-19 July).
12-14 Feb: Sweden
5-7 Mar: Mexico
2-4 Apr: Jordan
16-18 Apr: Turkey
7-9 May: New Zealand
28-30 May: Portugal
9-11 July: Bulgaria*
30Jul-1 Aug: Finland
20-22 Aug: Germany
10-12 Sept: Japan
1-3 Oct: France
22-24 Oct: Spain
12-14 Nov: Great Britain