For the first time since 2012 the FIA World Rally Championship returns to New Zealand. Auckland’s waterfront serves as the venue for the most awaited Rally New Zealand 2022. Voted by WRC teams as 2001’s ‘Rally of the Year‘ the event presents a dream for the fans as well as for WRC drivers. Here are the key reasons why.
2022 Rally New Zealand is the iconic place with the tricky views.
Fast, flowing gravel roads with cambered corners wind their way through forests and along. Rally New Zealand’s most viewed pictures are gathered together to delight our eyes.
Besides, the loose gravel surface will make life difficult for crews running first on the road. That will be another challenge for the WRC drivers as they sweep the road to pave a cleaner line for those behind.
Furthermore, several current WRC drivers have not contested the rally previously. Recce prior to the event and adapting quickly to the changing areas will be crucial to a successful result.
The number one goal is to avoid mechanical issues. Thus, the first leg is about half of the rally’s competitive distance. However, there is no time to rest as this state of affairs promises many errors with hard work as the result. The puncture, for example, will be an unforgivable mistake. The most attentioned area are the brakes and gravel suspension.
Kalle Rovanperä can win FIA WRC championship in New Zealand.
It’s another dream for the majority of rally fans and the entire Toyota Gazoo racing team. Young Finn is on his way to breaking the world record. Rovanperä made it just a year ago, when he became the youngest rally winner in Estonia.
Now that he has his eyes on the prize, his mind is cold and his heart is full of passion. 21-year-old Kalle is already poised to become the youngest world champion in the history of the World Rally Championship here in New Zealand. But Kalle Rovanperä is one of the drivers who has never been to New Zealand, so it isn’t easy.
Therefore young talented Finn has to show off all his rally driving skills. He also has to adapt to these new conditions as soon as it is possible. So, that would be an easy task.
Rally New Zealand 2022’s main battle.
Another rally fans’ dream comes true here. Our focus is on the race, which has the most tension since another rally driver can compete with Kalle Rovanperä in the battle for the championship. Yes, the case is about Hyundai Motorsport driver and vice champion Ott Tänak, who is full of energy behind Kalle Rovanperä. At least to delay the celebration of Kalle’s triumph until the end.
Be honest, you’re right. After the last Rally through the Athens, there is still a bitter aftertaste. Being second and so competitive, Ott Tänak took the team order and accepted things as they are: not to push as hard as possible and to accept that Thierry Neuville wins rally Greece.
However, each rally driver keeps their own goals and values no matter what. Was it unfair? No one sures. Did Tänak disappoint? He’s already planning his best strategy to fight back for Rally New Zealand. His grey colored eyes are still cold, and his mind is focused. Today no one can stop Ott from making big achievements. That’s for sure.
Champion Ogier is ready to take the call
Kalle Rovanperä and Ott Tanak do have a real threat in the face of eight time WRC champion Sébastien Ogier.
Let’s face it, Ogier is a rally racing magician since he made us get used to miracles. There is no time, condition, or car that is too difficult for Frenchman, as if the hand of God is on his shoulder to claw those seconds ahead of the other rally drivers.
Up until the last moment, we did not know the race schedule of the great Ogier for his part-time season in the FIA World Rally Championship 2022. Sébastien had previously planned to participate in endurance races in Bahrain, but his plans changed at the last minute. Today, Sébastien Ogier announced that he will spend the three remaining rallies behind the battle-charged Toyota Yaris WRC: New Zealand, Catalunya Rally and final brand new Rally Japan.
But, turning back to New Zealand. Therefore, filled up with so many plans, Espaekka Lappi loses his Yaris that he had been sharing with Ogier. In New Zealand, Sebastien has enough experience to win the challenge and to outperform Estonians and young Finn. But will he be successful?
So many questions – so less answers. Although, still, to stare at Sébastien Ogier’s racing skills is a pleasure.
Rally New Zealand 2022 route
The route of the WRC New Zealand is like a dream too, as it already includes new legs and covers the 17 stages with 279.80km on cambered, flowing, high-speed gravel roads.
Thursday evening will kick off the event with a ceremony at Pukekawa Auckland Domain followed immediately by a 1.78km super special stage within the city centre park. Then we will hurry up to early sleep for the biggest day ahead as Friday starts at 5AM.
This Friday’s leg will take us to classic stages on the Whaanga Coast and on roads near Te Akau in the Waikato region. We will pass more than half the rally’s competitive distance.
And yes drivers have to pass the stages without any errors as there will be no opportunity for service. Just a tyre change come as the easy respite 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.
Saturday brings new challenge as we head to the north 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.
On Sunday, Rally New Zealand’s challenge will take on a new twist. We will face 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.
WRC Rally New Zealand 2022 schedule
Note, New Zealand is in a different time zone, UTC+12. The timetable is subject to change.
|THURSDAY 29 September||LOCAL TIME|
|PRE SHOW & OPENING CEREMONEY FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||17:00|
|SS1 – PUKEKAWA AUCKLAND DOMAIN TV LIVE WF1||18:00|
|FRIDAY 30 September||LOCAL TIME|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||08:15|
|SS2 – WHAANGA COAST 1||08:33|
|SS3 – TE AKAU SOUTH 1||10:11|
|SS4 – TE AKAU NORTH 1||11:14|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||14:00|
|SS5 – WHAANGA COAST 2||14:22|
|SS6 – TE AKAU SOUTH 2||16:00|
|SS7 – TE AKAU NORTH 2||17:03|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||17:46|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||19:15|
|SATURDAY 01 October||LOCAL TIME|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK SV B||06:00|
|SS8 – KAIPARA HILLS 1 TV LIVE WF2||08:00|
|SS9 – PUHOI 1||09:06|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||10:10|
|SS10 – KOMOKORIKI 1||10:14|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||10:52|
|SS11 – KAIPARA HILLS 2 TV LIVE WF3||14:00|
|SS12 – PUHOI 2||15:06|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||16:15|
|SS13 – KOMOKORIKI 2||16:24|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||17:20|
|SUNDAY 01 October||LOCAL TIME|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK SV F||09:15|
|SS14 – WHITFORD FOREST 1||10:30|
|STUDIO FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||11:11|
|SS15 – JACK’S RIDGE 1 TV LIVE WF4||12:00|
|SS16 – WHITFORD FOREST 2||13:38|
|SS15 – JACK’S RIDGE 2 – TV LIVE WF5 – WOLF POWERSTAGE||15:00|
|WRAP UP SHOW FROM AUCKLAND SERVICE PARK||16:30|
In summary: what to expect from Rally New Zealand 2022?
Rally New Zealand is known for its difficult terrain and its many loose gravel surfaces. Moreover, the first day will be a test of endurance as the most of the rally’s competitive distance will be without service. So, there will be no space for error.
That’s why Kalle Rovanperä winning in New Zealand wouldn’t be an easy task. Also, it wouldn’t be easy for his main rival Ott Tänak. Particularly, when eight-time champion Sébastien Ogier is already watching them both and launching the engine on his own Yaris in hopes of taking the victory. Ogier has a better chance of winning, no doubt. In this way, there will be no difference as Rally New Zealand 2022 will be tense and exciting regardless of any ption of circumstances.
Although nothing should be expected, the best way is to relax and take in the views of New Zealand. Likewise, Kalle Rownapera, Ott Tanak and Sébastien Ogier will do their best to highlight the breathtaking beauty of nature.