How to follow New Zealand from the US and Europe

Most of the rally might take place while you sleep, but don't worry, DirtFish has you covered!


Sir Sanford Fleming has a lot to answer for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he thought he was being all high-tech and avant garde when he came up with his fancy idea on dividing the world into 24 different time zones.

As a Scottish-born Canadian, he must have been familiar with the European-American issue of midnight Zooming – or whatever the late 19th century equivalent was. No doubt he thought his sums about time zones being 15 degrees longitude apart because planet earth rotates 15 degrees every hour made sense.

Well, he clearly hadn’t factored in Rally New Zealand’s return to the WRC calendar and the hour-based head scratching it could mean for a Seattle-based website, manned largely out of the UK reporting on an event in Auckland.

We know Thursday night’s Auckland Domain stage – the first competitive WRC action in Aotearoa for a decade – kicks off at 6.08pm. That’s great if you happen to be watching the action live downtown in the City of Sails.

But what time is eight minutes past six in the evening in London? More pertinently, when Kalle Rovanperä leads the cars out of the Hamer Street service in Auckland at 5.30am Friday, what day is it in Washington state?

Basically, New Zealand is ahead of us all. Europe is a little way behind, while the United States is a time zone or two behind London.

Not only are we now all frantically setting alarms in case jet lag kicks in and we doze off, we’ve also fetched a handful of abacuses in an effort to figure out what happens when.

To answer the SS1 question, Thursday evening means Thursday morning in the UK. In Seattle, when the opening stage gets going, it’s going to be a handful of minutes after midnight on Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Once the action proper gets going, it’s the nightshift in Europe and a fever-filled afternoon in Seattle. An 8am start kicks in at midday across the pond.

DirtFish will continue to run out its excellent WRC words, pictures and voices across the weekend, but Colin Clark and David Evans know they will be running an evening wrap on location in  NZ. The end of day review will be a breakfast show in Europe and the lunchtime news in America.

It’s going to be an odd one.

Just the way Sir Sandford would have wanted it…