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When the World Rally Championship contenders head for Rally New Zealand in May next year, they’ll get to sample New Zealand’s newest motorsport complex, Hampton Downs, as part of the weekend’s competitive action.
 
Saturday, May 8 will see the Rally New Zealand field utilise the Hampton Downs circuit and facilities for an exciting day of up-close rally action for fans, says Rally New Zealand’s clerk of course Willard Martin.
 
“Competitors will depart Parc Ferme in Auckland City early on Saturday morning and head south to run stages in the Franklin, and North Waikato,” says Martin.
 
“Late in the morning the field heads for Hampton Downs, which is near Meremere and to the east of the stages used earlier. At this excellent new complex, competitors will run one timed super special stage around the 2.8km asphalt circuit. As New Zealand rally driver Mark Tapper says after his experience running on gravel-spec tyres on tarmac stages in Australia, it’s exciting for both competitors and fans to have the powerful rally cars tackling an asphalt stage on gravel-spec tyres.”
 
The Hampton Downs complex also hosts a remote service park for all teams to perform their mechanical repairs and preparation before the driving crews head back out for the afternoon’s rally stages. Options for corporate hospitality are being developed at present, as are a range of other entertainment options designed to create a family-friendly day of rallying and other motorsport action at the circuit.

The rally cars return to Hampton Downs in late afternoon to complete a second super special stage before returning to the main service park at Auckland’s Queens Wharf.
 
The modern new Hampton Downs complex offers car fans from the major cities of Auckland and Hamilton and all surrounding areas an excellent opportunity to see the exciting WRC cars in action, says Jamie Kett, CEO of the motorsport and events complex.
 
“The new venue has another fantastic opportunity to prove its worth as a multiplex of events and activities as it helps host Rally New Zealand on Saturday 8 May,” says Kett. “We’re excited to be involved and offer a unique dimension to this iconic motorsport event.”
 
Kett says Hampton Downs Motorsport Park is scheduled to open in October of this year.
 
“When it does it will be New Zealand's best motorsport facility. The 2.8 kilometre clockwise circuit, one of three in the complex, features six corners, hilly contours, plenty of overtaking opportunities and superb spectator viewing along with top class facilities. Situated 68 kilometres from central Auckland and 65 kilometres from the city of Hamilton the circuit is well placed to attract huge crowds to the exciting events planned for the facility – if you put a dot on Hampton Downs and draw a 220km circle around it, more than half of New Zealand’s population lives in that circle.”
 
Rally New Zealand runs from 6 to 9 May in 2010. The event’s home-base is Auckland City and the route taking competitors both north to Whangarei and Kaipara districts and south to the Franklin, North Waikato and Raglan districts with the remote service parks used on each of the three days now confirmed at the Quayside Town Basin in Whangarei, Hampton Downs motorsport complex and the Raglan airfield.
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