Round 5: WRC New Zealand - May 6th-9th.
Official Website: rallynz.org.nz/
Rally New Zealand is the oldest WRC event in the Southern Hemisphere and is renowned for its fast flowing gravel roads and the beautiful landscape of the country’s North Island.
Blind crests, fast jumps, flat-out kinks and huge cambers make the roads more challenging than most, but their sweeping, undulating nature means most WRC drivers love them. When it's sunny, the stages can be glorious, but when it rains, they can turn muddy and extremely slippery.
The challenging terrain rewards the drivers with the very best car control. You need to be brave to do well in New Zealand but the high speeds mean the slightest mistake is punished severely.
In its 40th anniversary year, Rally New Zealand has moved 200km north from Hamilton, its base for the past three years, to a new home in the heart of the country's biggest city, Auckland. The next three editions of the rally will be run from here.
A return to Auckland means some classic high-speed stages in the Northland region are back on the itinerary after a four year absence, as well as more familiar tests in the Franklin and north Waikato districts to the south of the city. Mixed surface stages and two Super Specials are also on the cards.
New for 2010
Two new Super Special Stages: One all-asphalt test will be built at the recently completed Hampton Downs motor racing circuit, the other in Auckland's oldest park - the 75 hectare Auckland Domain.
A new Service Park will be located on Auckland's Queens Wharf, a short walk from the downtown area.