Former world rally champion Colin McRae hopes that the first day of the upcoming Rally of New Zealand will be rainy.

Former world rally champion Colin McRae hopes that the first day of the upcoming Rally of New Zealand will be rainy.

The Scot is second in the drivers’ championship following his fourth place finish in the recent Rally of Turkey. By virtue of his position in the championship, the Citroën driver will start the Rally of New Zealand on April 9 running second on the road, behind log leader Richard Burns.

CARtoday.com reported recently that Subaru’s WRC ace Petter Solberg hoped that the twisty gravel routes of the Turkish Rally would not turn into hazardous mudslides due to rain. Fortunately for the Swede, the first gravel rally of the WRC championship remained dry, but McRae is hoping the opposite will happen in New Zealand.

That’s because a dry Rally of New Zealand will mean that those at the head of the field will be sweeping the loose gravel off the top of the roads, clearing a faster route for those behind to follow. WRC experts say that a few rain showers would compact the gravel down, lessening the effects of road sweeping.

“We’re going to Auckland on the back of a very strong result for Citroën,” said McRae. “The team leads the manufacturers’ championship and I’m second in the drivers’ title race. However, this position is probably not going to be ideal for the first day in New Zealand. If it stays dry, it means we will be sweeping the roads clean for the runners behind.”

McRae said although the Citroen Xsara proved its speed on gravel with Carlos Sainz’s win in Turkey, the team won’t be resting on its laurels: “We’re trying to squeeze performance out of everywhere. We’ve got some modifications for the dampers and the engine.”

According to April is Auckland’s fifth wettest month, and as South Africa’s touring Super 12 rugby teams will testify, very few days of the New Zealand autumn and winter periods see little or no rain.

Original article from Car