Mt Smart Stadium will be a focal point of this year’s Rally New Zealand with two nights of Super Special Stages to be run at the venue.
A temporary concrete circuit will be built in the 30,000 capacity stadium where the top-flight FIA World Rally Championship off-road racers will wage war.
Announced today at Mt Smart Stadium, a Super Special Stage will be held on Friday and Saturday night. The venue will also act as a hub for the rally with a service park for the teams and drivers as well as a rally village for fans.
The four-day rally will take place all around Auckland from 3-6 September and will be backed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).
Rally New Zealand Chief Executive Michael Goldstein spoke of getting the rally to the people and making it as accessible as possible.
“We’re excited that the World Rally Championship is returning to the iconic rally roads in and around Auckland, and now our team is determined to bring the rally to the people of Auckland,” he said.
“The service park at Mt Smart Stadium will be a real hub for the fans to be part of the event. We look forward to welcoming a huge array of kiwis to come and check out this incredible international event, get up close to the cars, meet the drivers and be part of the rally festivities.
“We’re going to supercharge the rally village spectacle by building a super special stage inside the stadium which will make for an incredible experience on the Friday and Saturday of the rally.
“We can’t wait to hear the roar of the WRC cars echoing through the stadium – it will be an awesome experience that will be very accessible for fans.
In attendance was Auckland Mayor Phil Goff who put his support behind the event.
“Auckland has a strong rally heritage going back more than half a century and it’s good to be able to once again host the WRC after an eight-year hiatus,” he said.
“Mt Smart has capacity for 30,000 fans and has good transport connectivity, including proximity to rail and bus services. It will be a great event for locals and for visitors to Auckland, who help boost our local economy.”
Goff said he’d also be doing his best not only to get out to the Super Special Stage but also to some rural stages near his home in Whitford.
Organisers also today confirmed Hyundai New Zealand as a major sponsor for the event as well as Hayden Paddon as an ambassador.
More details about the rally will be announced soon with Special Stages and locations to be confirmed in the coming months.