Next weekend's Rally New Zealand will go ahead as planned despite the air travel chaos that engulfed Europe along with the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland.
Event organisers have confirmed that there will be no threat to round five of the 2010 World Rally Championship after teams remained on schedule to leave Europe, complete with their equipment, later this week, despite many having had to re-route or delay their return from round four in Turkey as flights were grounded across western Europe.
"Certainly, the teams have had less time to prepare for Rally New Zealand than originally planned after the delays they experienced returning to their home base from Rally Turkey, but the scheduled flights bringing the cars and equipment to Auckland next Wednesday will leave as planned," event chairman Chris Carr confirmed, "Both Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have confirmed their schedules, and we expect both cars and people to arrive on time.
"At this point, this isn't a lot more to say. We know some of the Production and Super 2000 competitors who are coming from different parts of Europe are still finalising logistics for the final parts of their freight, but most of their equipment is now in New Zealand, and ready to go to Queens Wharf next week. There's no doubt the event will be going ahead as planned."
Rally New Zealand will formally get underway with a ceremonial start in Auckland on Thursday 6 May, following two days' recce, before the event itself runs over 7-9 May.