Rally GB - 28-30 Oct 16

Posted: October 29, 2016 4:08 PM - 8237 Hits

Round 13 - 2016 World Rally Championship

WRC: Live Results (GB 2016 WRC) Also available at: rally-base results
National: Live Results (GB 2016 National) | Results by North East Rally Services
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally GB

First stage each day - Irish/UK Times
Shakedown - Thu - 08:00
SS1 Fri - 08:20
SS9 Sat - 08:18
SS17 Sun - 08:30 (Winter Time)

Duggan Hoping To Make Impression On The World Stage

Posted: October 25, 2016 12:44 PM

Outgoing Motorsport Ireland Young Rally Driver of the Year, Rob Duggan, will round out his 2016 campaign this weekend on Wales Rally GB (October 27th-30th), round 13 of the World Rally Championship. The one off drive comes on the back of a stunning season which saw the 23 year old Killarney driver dominate the British Junior Rally Championship in his Vauxhall Adam with co-driver, Ger Conway.

With the support of used Vauxhall specialists Network Q, Duggan will join British driver Chris Ingram in a 2 car Vauxhall team where both will fight it out to be the highest placed R2 car in the Welsh forests. 12 months ago Duggan made an eye-catching World Rally Championship debut in a Citroen DS3 on the Welsh event belying his lack of gravel experience and Duggan feels that his subsequent year in the British Championship will serve him well ahead of the weekend.

Speaking before the event Rob said;
"It's been a fantastic season to date and I'm very grateful to Vauxhall Motorsport UK and Network Q for this opportunity. One of my goals this season was to improve my performances on gravel, especially with regards to making pacenotes. Wales Rally GB last year was the first time I had made notes on a loose surface so almost 12 months later I'm looking forward to putting into practice all I've learned this season. It's great to be joined by Chris Ingram in the team this weekend; Chris performed well in the European Rally Championship this year and will be on home soil in Wales so it will be a good benchmark for my pace to have him as a teammate. As ever, I'm sure there'll be plenty Irish fans over to spectate so hopefully we can give them something to cheer about! It's a very proud feeling to tackle a World Rally Championship event with the flag of your country on the car and Ger and myself can't wait to start. It's been an honour to represent Ireland this year as the Billy Coleman Award winner and it would be fantastic to end the year on a positive note."

After a brief shakedown stage on Thursday, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB gets underway early on Friday morning with the famous 30km Myherin stage before the crews tackle Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Dyfnant with each stage then repeated in the afternoon. Saturday will see 8 further tests with the final 6 stages taking place on Sunday. The event will be based out of Deeside near the English border.

To keep up to date with Rob's future plans for 2017 and beyond be sure and visit www.robduggan.com or follow Rob on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Rob's season with Vauxhall Motorsport UK is supported by Rentokil Initial, Motorsport Ireland, Sport Ireland and the Team Ireland Foundation.

Osian goes in search of home rule

Posted: October 24, 2016 2:11 PM

World Rally Championship star Osian Pryce is aiming to sign off his Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy-winning season in style at next week?s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB - Britain's biggest motorsport event of the season.

With the World Rally Championship in Wales, Osian and co-driver Dale Furniss have stepped up a category and will tackle the Deeside-based event in a Ford Fiesta R5.

Osian, who celebrated winning the world championship?s most prestigious and valuable feeder series in Spain last week, explained the difference between the two cars.

"They're both Fiestas, so they look fairly similar," he said. "But the car we've been driving all year is a two-wheel drive turbocharged one-litre car. The car for this week is a much more focused machine with four-wheel drive and a lot, lot more power.

"What we've got for our home round of the world championship is the real deal. It's a car very similar to the one we used on Rally GB two years ago."

Two years ago, Osian made his competitive debut in a four-wheel drive car and was an instant hit - setting times good enough to place him second in WRC2. WRC2 is one step down from the main world championship field.

"I was pleased with how that event went two years ago," he said. "But the main thing for us this week is to gain experience of this Fiesta R5. This is the car we will be using on two overseas rounds of the WRC next year, so it's really important we get through the stages and get as much seat time as possible."

Can he win WRC2?

"No," said Osian, "a win would really be a step too far this time. This is one of the most competitive WRC2 fields I've seen in ages. Dare I think about a top three? Maybe that's realistic, but, like I say, it's about the experience we can take. We need to see how we measure up against the other Fiestas, that'll give us something to think about over the winter months and some idea of what sort of pace we need for next year."

After a pressure-filled season, Osian's looking forward to coming home and competing in forests he knows and loves.

"We've been to some amazing places this year," he said, "places that are really hot, lovely and sunny and all that. But, I'll be honest, there's no place like home. When I was going off to work this morning, the sun was just coming up on a crisp autumn day and I thought: "This is it, this is the time for Rally GB." I can't wait to get in the car and get on with it. It's such a special feeling to be competing at home, surrounded by so many family and friends. It's fantastic. And to be doing it with the championship won and the pressure gone is just such a bonus."

Despite winning his WRC-based title in Spain, Osian was straight back to work this week.

"I haven't had a minute to think about winning the championship," he said. "It was literally straight back into work as soon as we landed and then we had a few hassles getting the money sorted for Rally GB, so I was on the phone trying to get all of those problems solved. We're there now though. Like all of our rallying, it's been very much a hand-to-mouth kind of deal, but that's the way it has to be for us. Getting on the phone chasing sponsorship is what keeps us on the road, so I'm only too happy to do that. I can't thank everybody enough for the help this season in achieving our dream

"Let's just hope we can pay them back with another great result at home next week."

Craig Breen looks forward to huge support on WRC Wales Rally GB.

Posted: October 24, 2016 1:57 PM

If any Irish rally enthusiast walked down the promenade in Salou during WRC Rallye de Espa?a they could have easily thought they were at a rally in Ireland with so many familiar faces there for the weekend. Even internationally the excitement surrounding Craig Breen's two year contract with Citroen has created quite a buzz, and if the large amount of tri-colour flags on the stages in the Costa Daurada holiday resort were are anything to go by then the Wales Rally GB (October 27th-30th) atmosphere will amazing.

Considered to be a home away from home event for Craig this is where the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team driver will take his place in the team for the sixth and final time this year. As has been the case in recent years, the service park will be based in Deeside. Following the Clocaenog shakedown and the ceremonial start, held on Thursday evening at the Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay, the competitors will have their hands full on the opening two days, both contested without a mid-leg service. Part of the event for many years, the Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Dyfi stages will be run in the oppose direction to usual. Others, such as Dyfnant, Gartheiniog or Alwen, will be identical to 2015. The organisers have also come up with a few surprises, starting with the Pantperthog stage, which has not been part of the event for more than twenty years! The rally is scheduled to finish on Sunday in Llandudno, after a short final leg.

Speaking ahead of the short trip over to Wales Craig shared his thoughts saying,
"I'm looking forward to racing on these stages again, which I have driven on many times in the British Rally Championship and during my five appearances at Wales Rally GB. I have a lot of good memories, the highlight probably being when I won the Junior WRC title in 2011 alongside Gareth Roberts, who was Welsh. In fact, the start line for Myherin - the opening stage this year - is exactly at the point where we won the title! Although this year's rally is being held a few weeks earlier than usual, I'm not expecting the conditions to be especially different: rain, mud, fog, etc. Maybe we'll see a few rays of sunshine, but it would be weird! The race conditions will have a huge influence on our ability to secure a good result. If our tenth place on the road became an advantage, I think I could fight for a podium spot, like in Finland. We'll start the rally with a positive mindset and we'll see what we can do.

You can keep up to date with Craig's 2016 season by visiting www.craigbreen.com or www.citroenracing.com

KITE NETWORKS FLY HIGH AS WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP COMES TO UK

Posted: October 12, 2016 8:27 AM

The organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are delighted to announce that local north Wales firm, Kite Networks, has been appointed as Official Technical Partner for this month’s penultimate round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (27-30 October).

Based in Mold, just a stone’s throw from the event’s busy Deeside Rally Village, Kite Networks is a leader in IT infrastructure, providing high performance, resilient and tailored data network solutions to organisations operating throughout north Wales and the north west of England.

Trading for five years, the growing Flintshire organisation installs bespoke solutions for a number of clients including Denbighshire County Council, North Wales and Cheshire Police forces. Working closely with several mechanical and electrical contractors and local commercial builders, Kit Networks’ projects have included schools, leisure centres and recently an airport.

Working closely with Dayinsure Wales Rally GB organisers, Kite Networks will provide satellite Wi-Fi capability in the public car parks – many in remote Welsh forests ­– on the three-day event to implement the new electronic ticketing system. Thousands of packets of data throughout the event will be fed from around Wales to rally headquarters in Deeside in real time to monitor the movement of people and traffic into the event’s 12 different competitive special stages.

"We are pleased to welcome Kite Networks as our new Official Technical Partner," said Ben Taylor, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director. "Kite Networks’ experience and expertise will provide a greener, hassle-free ticketing mechanism as well as real-time information on spectator numbers into each stage. This will help us to provide the best possible experience for rally goers.”

"I have been a rallying fan all of my life, so to be working with the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB team is an exciting challenge for me," confirmed Paul Ashton, Managing Director of Kite Networks (above). "I started to watch the event in the eighties when Group B ruled the rallying world and then watched Gwyndaf Evans sliding a Ford Sierra through the forests, so to experience an exhilarating passenger ride with his son Elfyn on the recent Media Day was very special – it has me really enthused for the event.

“We love the challenge of implementing solutions for our clients. The task ahead of us for the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will really test our engineering skills. The technology will be tested against the elements and it will showcase the high-speed capabilities of our service, providing a powerful synergy with the World Rally Championship.”

To find out more about Kite Networks, visit www.kitenetworks.co.uk

Entry List - WRC

Posted: October 12, 2016 4:16 AM

Seeded Entry List - National Rally

Posted: October 11, 2016 7:02 AM

MEEKE TARGETING HOME GLORY ON CITROËN DS3 SWANSONG

Posted: October 6, 2016 8:23 AM

Kris Meeke is bidding to conclude the career of one of the most successful cars in FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) history with a first home victory in 16 years on next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October).

It was confirmed today (Wednesday) by the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team that the Northern Irishman will be contesting Britain’s eagerly-anticipated round of the all-action WRC behind the wheel of the Citroën DS3 WRC – and aiming to become the event’s first home-grown winner since the late Richard Burns in 2000.

Last year, he ended a decade-and-a-half podium drought for British drivers on home turf by speeding to the runner-up spoils in Wales behind multiple World Champion Sébastien Ogier. This time around, he is firmly focused on turning the tables and emulating his former mentor Colin McRae, who won the event back in 1997, wowing the then teenage Meeke who was attending his first RAC Rally as a spectator.

“I’ll never forget it,” he enthused. “I was over with the Queens University Motor Club. Everything I’d read about this event, everything I’d thought and hoped for, it was all there. It was perfect.

“Rally GB is fantastic. I’m not just saying that because it’s my home event – it’s true. It’s everything in the way the place gets your senses going – the smell of mud on the hot exhaust, the smell of the pine trees, the changing colours in the trees and the unpredictable weather. It’s everything – especially the roads. These are the roads I drove my first-ever rally on, so they’re always going to be special to me. I love it from the minute I get to the first stage on the recce. It just means something a little bit more at home.

“What you get is that little something that says you’re competing in front of your home fans on some of the best stages in the world. Irish Corner in the Dyfnant stage is absolutely epic. Those guys have worked so hard at making it something special and it really is – it’s amazing to come through and see that much support, the flags and banners and the klaxons going, but to be honest, it’s like that the whole way along the route. The fans are definitely coming back into the forests now.”

The forests are sure to be packed full of enthusiastic spectators again next month, with strong ticket sales in the build-up to the 2016 edition of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. While he dismisses any notion of a ‘home advantage’, it is clear that the Dungannon driver has the top step of the rostrum in his sights – a result that would mark a fitting swansong for the DS3 WRC, which has claimed no fewer than 26 WRC victories and four world titles since making its top flight debut back in 2011.

“A lot depends on the weather in Wales,” he cautioned. “We’ve seen in the fairly wet conditions in the past that it’s definitely a bonus to be running first-on-the-road and, after the year he’s had, I don’t think anybody would deny Séb [Ogier] that, but at the same time, we’re that wee bit earlier in the year, so maybe it could be a bit drier. It’s the last event in a DS3 WRC and it’ll be the last rally of the year for me, so whatever the weather, I’m going out there to enjoy myself.”

Last year when he arrived in Wales, Meeke was fighting for his future, but 11 months on, he will return with a three-year Citroën contract in his pocket and a relaxed demeanour, with no pressure to get results or weight of expectation upon his shoulders.

The 37-year-old has spent this season dovetailing a part-time programme of WRC events – winning in Portugal and Finland to add to his breakthrough victory in Argentina in 2015 – with development of the French manufacturer’s C3 WRC in preparation for the championship’s new rules next year.

“A year like this is what I’ve always wanted,” he acknowledged. “It’s been the chance to develop a car with a world-beating manufacturer like Citroën from scratch – the chance to build a team around myself and put us both into the best possible position to challenge for the championship. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with the team. It’s been brilliant.

“The dream has to be to come to Rally GB fighting for the championship – and then winning it, of course! That’s what I’ve wanted ever since I was in the back of that Queens University Motor Club minibus all those years ago, and if it’s not this year, then I’ll be back next year for another go.”

Meeke’s addition to the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB entry list will give fans even more reason to get excited about the event, with the very real prospect of a popular home triumph for a driver who is unquestionably performing at the very top of his game on the international stage.

“We’re thrilled that Kris and Paul [Nagle – co-driver] have been confirmed for Dayinsure Wales Rally GB,” said event Managing Director Ben Taylor. “I’m sure the fans will be out in force in the forests cheering them on and hopefully their support will help spur the pair to the top step of the podium.

“There’s no question that he has both the talent and the car to conquer this most challenging of rallies, so British hopes are high indeed. It’s going to be a spectacular event from start to finish!”

STAR-STUDDED ENTRY CONFIRMED FOR DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB

Posted: September 30, 2016 8:28 AM

Next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) will feature a star-studded line-up after organiser, International Motor Sports, confirmed it has received a huge number of entries from right around the globe for the UK’s date on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

Entries for the penultimate round of this year’s pulsating WRC closed earlier this week, with a world-class field of 64 International cars representing no fewer than 23 nations lining up to compete against-the-clock on the 22 gruelling special stages, all but one of which are set in the legendary Welsh forests.

Crews are coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Peru and Argentina to contest what is predicted to be the most exciting and challenging in memory. With Wales celebrating its ‘Year of Adventure’, the 2016 competitive route totalling 208 miles (332km) is the longest in recent history, while a move to a new date at the end of October promises to deliver drier and faster conditions.

It could also be the fiercest-fought. The first nine rounds of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship have already produced six different winners, including two famous victories for Britain’s top gun Kris Meeke. The Ulsterman finished second in Wales last November and is now hoping to become the first home winner since Richard Burns last sprayed the champagne back in 2000.

Leading the International entries is Volkswagen Motorsport’s multiple World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier. Having completed a hat-trick of Welsh wins last November, the Frenchman is seeking his fourth consecutive success in what is widely hailed as one of the toughest rounds on the WRC calendar. Ogier, though, can expect stiff in-house competition from his two VW team-mates – Jari-Matti Latvala from Finland and young Norwegian ace Andreas Mikkelsen – both of whom have already stood on the top step of the podium this year.

Hyundai Motorsport is fielding an impressive three-pronged attack. Hayden Paddon became the first Kiwi driver to win a WRC round with his maiden victory coming in Argentina back in the spring; more recently, fellow i20 WRC pilot Thierry Neuville (Belgium) won in Sardinia. Spanish star Dani Sordo completes Hyundai’s trio.

With the official Citroën factory team taking a break in 2016 while it develops an exciting new car for 2017, the front-running DS3s have been entered into selected events by the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team. In Wales, double winner Meeke will be joined by Ireland’s rising star Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre, as long as the Frenchman recovers from the injuries suffered in a high-speed accident in Germany.

Others looking to add their names to the coveted gold Peall Trophy include the Cumbrian-based M-Sport World Rally Team duo. Norway’s Mads Østberg has already proven he has what it takes to win at world championship level, while Frenchman Eric Camilli is one to watch in the future. Ott Tänak is aboard another of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC pocket-rockets and, back in July, the Estonian came within a whisker of a breakthrough victory in Poland.

Local hero Elfyn Evans and Irishman Robert Duggan have both received free entries via the Road to Wales scheme as winners of the MSA British Rally Championship and DMACK Junior British Rally Championship respectively. Evans lifted the BRC crown earlier this month in an R5 category Fiesta and Duggan will be competing among the R2 entries in his title-winning Vauxhall Adam.

Other notable entries include a quartet of promising British young guns: Osian Pryce, Gus Greensmith and Rhys Yates all in Fiesta R5s plus Chris Ingram in another of the Vauxhall Adams. Multiple Scottish champion David Bogie is entered in his Skoda Fabia R5, while Dutchman Kevin Abbring – together with British co-driver Sebastian Marshall – will continue to develop Hyundai Motorsport’s new i20 R5. At 17-years-old, Tom Williams will be the youngest starter – his godfather was none other than the late Richard Burns, the 2001 World Rally Champion.

With entries for the International rally now closed, the focus switches to the accompanying WRGB National Rally which shadows the main event. Entries for that close next Tuesday (4 October) and, with a combined maximum of 160 starters permitted for both events, ten further guaranteed places are now available for amateur crews seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience to compete alongside the best drivers in the world.

Fans wanting to catch the FIA World Championship action can take advantage of significant savings when buying their tickets in advance. Adult ticket prices start at just £20 for the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £25 for a day ticket or £99 for the full four-day event pass. All tickets include free parking and an event programme priced at £9.

The latest event and ticket information can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.?For further updates, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb or join the conversations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrallygb.

Hospitality

Combine the thrill of spectating with the indulgence of fantastic hospitality at the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB between 28th and 30th October. World-class rally action always delivers an amazing spectacle, but nothing compares to enjoying the day from the comfort of our fabulous hospitality facilities at Sweet Lamb, Cholmondeley Castle and Llyn Brenig.

Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Craig Breen/Scott Martin to compete at Rally GB

Posted: September 30, 2016 8:27 AM

Abu Dhabi Total WRT have entered Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle and Craig Breen/Scott Martin.

DETAILED EVENT INFORMATION NOW AVAILABLE IN RALLY PLANNER!

Posted: September 28, 2016 9:58 AM

Just a few weeks to go now until Dayinsure Wales Rally GB brings the spectacular action from the FIA World Rally Championship to this country.

Everything you need to know about the event can be found in the official Rally Planner which is now available in the Spectator section of walesrallygb.com, link below.
Offering an interactive guide to the rally, including maps of the event, directions to car parks and car park opening times, you are able to view the planner online, or download/print a copy for future reference. Please note that if you wish to have access to this information on event, we advise that you download or print a copy beforehand - mobile service in the forests can be difficult to find!

If you have purchased World Rally Passes, you may already have received them in the post. If not please do not be concerned as you will be receiving them shortly.

If you have purchased a Day Pass or tickets for Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest in association with GreenThumb, you will have already received your tickets via e-mail. Please don't forget to either download your ticket(s) to your smartphone or print them at home and bring them with you to the event.

All tickets will be scanned on entry this year, so if you do not bring your tickets with you either in a paper copy or electronically, we regret that you will not be admitted to the rally. Please also leave plenty of time on arrival at the car parks to allow your tickets to be scanned by the car park operators.

As with any motor sport event, safety considerations are absolutely paramount and given the highest priority. Motor sport can be dangerous so the marshals and officials are there for your safety and for that of the competitors and other spectators, so we do ask that you obey their instructions at all times.

Comprehensive Safety Advice can be found in the Spectator section of walesrallygb.com, in the online Rally Planner and in the official Programme that you will receive on arrival at the event. We strongly advise you to take the time to read this important information.

ARI VATANEN LATEST BIG NAME TO JOIN SPECIAL GROUP B RALLYING SHOWCASE

Posted: September 28, 2016 9:53 AM

Motor sport legend Ari Vatanen is the latest big name to be joining a host of famous stars and cars representing rallying’s epic Group B era during next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October), Britain’s eagerly-anticipated round of the 2016 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

It’s now exactly 30 years since the short-lived Group B epoch was dropped by the sporting authorities following a series of major accidents. Marking this milestone, a record number of these spectacular supercars and idolised superheroes from that legendary age will be reunited for a very special Group B Showcase at the family-friendly Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest in association with GreenThumb on Saturday, 29 October. With advance tickets priced at just £20, it’s an incredible occasion that petrolheads of any age will not want to miss.

RallyFest visitors will not only be treated to the latest generation of pocket-rocket WRC cars and crews competing for today’s World Championship honours in the afternoon, but also evocative displays and demonstration runs by these revered Group B icons earlier in what is sure to be a memorably action-packed day.

More than 30 of the most powerful breed of rally cars ever created are already confirmed, and Vatanen will be appearing alongside fellow world champion and Group B winner Miki Biasion plus several other illustrious drivers from what is commonly regarded as the sport’s golden age.

Indeed, back in the early eighties, rallying was even briefly more popular than Formula One as deregulation opened the way for this new generation of fearsome Group B machines – for many, still the most exciting, flame-spitting monsters ever seen sliding sideways through the forests. Boasting turbochargers, superchargers – sometimes both – four-wheel-drive, lightweight materials plus a mid-engined F1-style chassis, Group B took the world by storm as manufacturers scrambled to build ever more powerful and potent contenders.

Audi started the ball rolling with its game-changing quattro, but it was Peugeot that really defined the era – its smaller and nimbler 205 T16 was the first to utilise the full freedom of Group B regulations. The turbocharged engine was mid-mounted and, of course, coupled to four-wheel drive.

This was Vatanen’s car. Although the fearless Finn took his only world title competing in a rear-driven Ford Escort in 1981, he was one of the few men on earth who could contain the extreme power of a Group B car and get the best out of it. For five rallies spanning the 1984 and 1985 seasons (including here in Britain), Vatanen and the T16 were unbeaten and utterly unbeatable.

“The Peugeot was just incredible and I was a bit crazy – so we were the perfect partners,” he recalls with a still excited grin. “Group B was probably the best part of my life. It was just so intense. You drove every corner like it could be your last. When I sat at the start of the stage in the T16, I could always feel the side of my mouth making a smile.”

Group B, however, was getting out of hand. Speeds were rising higher and higher and the death toll among fans and crews was mounting. Vatanen himself almost lost his life in a terrifying 120mph end-over-end crash in Argentina in 1985 – but that was more to do with the seat breaking mid-accident rather than the car around him.

By the conclusion of the 1986 season, Group B was gone. The mighty Audis, Lancias, MG Metro 6R4s, Ford RS200s and, of course, Peugeot 205 T16s – all of which will be performing at Cholmondeley Castle – were confined to the history books.

“It’s hard to believe that was really 30 years ago but, as there’s an anniversary, we now have a wonderful opportunity to look back at some of our sport’s greatest cars,” extols Vatanen, who has a huge fan base here in the UK having cut his teeth winning the British Rally Championship as a fledgling ‘Flying Finn’ back in 1980.

“I have such good memories of Britain,” admits the 64-year-old Scandinavian star. “I lived there at the start of my career and I always enjoy going back – it’s fantastic to meet such enthusiastic fans and I’m already looking forward to sharing more magic memories with all those coming to Cholmondeley Castle.”

Wales Rally GB given green light to use Welsh Forests

Posted: September 26, 2016 6:50 AM

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA) have signed a new access agreement which will allow Wales Rally GB to use NRW-managed land for the next three years.

NRW has played a major role in supporting motor sport in Wales for many years, and has a successful working relationship with the MSA in staging events at every level of the sport.

NRW announced earlier this year that it needed to ensure that the cost of repairing forestry roads after rallying events was covered by the rally organisers.

Popular forest roads in Hafren, Myherin, Clocaenog and Dyfi are all looked after by NRW and will feature in the UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship this October.

Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales’ Executive Director of Operations for North and Mid Wales, said:
“The forest roads we look after have achieved almost legendary status in the world of rallying.

“With more than 84,000 visitors attending this event alone, it is clear that rallying makes an important contribution to our rural economy.

“We hope this new access agreement sends a positive message to the rallying community that NRW and the MSA continue to have a good relationship, and are working together to ensure this important event in the Welsh sporting calendar takes place.”

Discussions are continuing between NRW, the MSA and Rally4Wales around the stage rally mileage charges and all parties hope to confirm a successful conclusion in the near future.

Tim Jones added:
“We are working hard to find a long term solution to the related matter of stage rally mileage charges. We will continue our discussions with MSA and Rally4Wales to find a solution that will allow fans to enjoy the sport, and ensure the forests of Wales are protected and maintained.”

Rob Jones, MSA Chief Executive, said:
“The new three-year access agreement confirms the confidence that MSA and NRW have in each other, and forms the essential platform for us to continue to focus on mileage charges and the wider partnership between our two organisations.”

DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPION JOINS HUGE GROUP B SHOWCASE AT RALLYFEST

Posted: September 12, 2016 10:12 AM

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is delighted to announce that two-time FIA World Rally Champion, Miki Biasion, will be joining a host of famous stars and cars showcasing the sport’s epic Group B era at next month’s UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship (27-30 October).

Biasion is amongst small number of heroic drivers to have won a WRC round aboard one of the fearsome Group B monsters that dominated the sport during the early eighties. Competing in a factory-entered Lancia Delta S4, the Italian ace won Rally Argentina in 1986. His maiden WRC victory came just months after the tragic accident in Corsica that cost the lives of team-mate Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto, forcing the authorities to ban these extreme Group B machines from the end of that dramatic season.

Introduced in the early eighties, Group B really caught the public’s imagination and, for many, will always be the sport’s golden era. Such was its popularity that publicity-seeking manufacturers such as Audi, Ford, Lancia, MG and Peugeot produced increasingly sophisticated homologation specials in their quest for victory and fame.

In the four years between 1983 and 1986, rallying developed further and faster than it had done over the four previous decades. With superchargers, turbochargers, four-wheel-drive and lightweight materials, Group B took the sport to the absolute edge of performance, but ultimately put it beyond common sense. When FISA culled the category following Toivonen’s fiery and fatal accident, Group B was immortalised.

It’s now 30 years since these incredible beasts were outlawed and, marking that milestone, Biasion will be joining a special Group B Showcase taking place at the family-friendly Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest in association with GreenThumb during next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

Visitors to RallyFest will not only be treated to the latest generation of pocket-rocket WRC cars and crews competing in the afternoon but also not-to-be-missed displays and demonstration runs by these revered Group B icons earlier in what is sure to be an action-packed day. More than 20 cars have already been confirmed and Biasion, who subsequently won two World Championships for Lancia in the following – and somewhat tamer – Group A generation of de-tuned cars, will be one of a number of intrepid drivers from that golden age sharing their memories.

“Obviously I won my titles in a Group A car but everyone always wants to talk about the Group B era!” admits the Latin legend. “It was a fantastic period for the sport – the cars were powerful and very popular with the fans. People still talk about us like heroes.”

Although Biasion came to the fore winning both the 1983 Italian and European Championships in a Lancia 037 – the company’s first crack at building a Group B rally car – it’s the hardcore, flame-spitting Delta S4 which followed that everyone really wants to talk about. Armed with a supercharger plus a turbocharger to deliver phenomenal power and performance, it really took full advantage of the Group B regulations.

“It was a maximum adrenaline experience to drive the S4,” he recalls. “The 037 was a really nice car and was very competitive on Tarmac but it was obvious that we needed four-wheel-drive to compete with Audi and the others, so we switched to the S4. The difference in performance was a big, big change. You didn’t think about the dangers, just to drive as fast as possible!”

Thirty years on, Biasion is looking forward to sharing more of his memories with those at Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest.

“It will be a pleasure to come back to Britain in October,” he confirmed. “I have a lot of old friends there and am really looking forward to meeting them as well as the rally fans who, I know, absolutely love the Group B cars.”

“We are thrilled that Miki is joining us for this really special showcase at Cholmondeley RallyFest,” confirmed Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “Group B really caught the public’s imagination back in the eighties and that’s why we are so excited to be recreating some of that magic 30 years on. More than 20 great cars are already confirmed and we are expecting a number of the other stars from that deified era to join Miki in marking this anniversary in spectacular style. It’s going to be an occasion no-one will want to miss.”

More so as, if purchased in advance, adult tickets for RallyFest are priced at just £20 (compared to £30 on the day) and include an official event programme with a cover price of £9. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted FREE – a real half-term treat for families.

Full ticket information and all the latest rally news can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

For further updates, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb or join the conversations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrallygb.

Posted: September 9, 2016 7:06 AM

CLASSIC WELSH FORESTS READY FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP ARRIVAL

Posted: September 6, 2016 6:22 AM

With less than two months before the FIA World Rally Championship arrives in the UK, plans for this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) are close to completion.

Showcasing Wales’ official ‘Year of Adventure’, the competitive route for 2016 is the longest and most challenging since the event’s widely-acclaimed move to a new base in the north of the country in 2013. Moreover, with the rally moving forward in the calendar by a couple of weeks from mid-November to the final week in October, this year’s not-to-be-missed showdown is likely to be drier, faster and even more spectacular than ever before.

In total, the 22 timed speed tests to be run against-the-clock add up to three days and 336 kilometres (208 miles) of thrilling competitive action. All but one of these are classic timed sections set on gravel tracks in the legendary forests of mid and north Wales mostly managed by Natural Resources Wales – the only exception being Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire.

Adding to the spirit of adventure, famous stages such as Myherin and Hafren to the east of Aberystwyth are to be run in reverse for the first time in more than 20 years while the once-renowned Pantperthog stage hasn’t been included since 1997.

To ensure all 22 special stages are ready not only for the arrival of the FIA World Rally Championship but also for the ten of thousands of spectators who venture into the fearsome forests to catch the astonishing action, Clerk of the Course, Iain Campbell, Event Safety Coordinator, Sue Sanders and FIA Safety Delegate driver, Ryland James have just completed their final inspections. And Campbell reports that the stages are in ‘great condition’.

“This was our last chance to cover the entire route and to be able to implement any changes to our safety plans that might be required,” explained Campbell after two long days driving through the Welsh forests in an impressive Hyundai Santa Fe provided by the rally’s Official Car Partner Hyundai Motor UK.

“We are giving the WRC stars a number of exciting new challenge this year with new formats to many of the special stages from those they have tackled in recent rallies. This not only means that they will have to make new pace notes for the event but also that we have had a lot more work to do to accommodate these changes. Reversing a stage can mean that a starting position, flying finish or spectator viewing area won’t work from the reverse direction. I guess that’s why race circuits tend to go round one way!

“Checking that spectators have the best viewing locations to marvel at the best drivers in the world is important, but it is even more important that they can do so safely and enjoy the whole experience. I am glad to say that very little was changed during our final full recce of the route – huge testament to the amount of hard work put in by our volunteers, in conjunction with teams from Natural Resources Wales, over the past eight months.

“As for the stages: they are in great condition,” continued Campbell. “We drove through all Friday’s tests first and I thought that they would be my favourites. Myherin is just brilliant, Hafren has so many changes of surface and undulations that it is a truly wonderful test and then Dyfnant seems so short in comparison but flows really nicely. But then, when you get to the stages on Saturday’s schedule in Dfyi and Gartheinog forests you think they are definitely the best; or perhaps Panthperhog, a new test for this year, is better still. And then you have the two great Alwen and Brenig stages where it all finishes on the Sunday morning…

“It really is impossible to pick a winner – they are all super-challenging in their own way and add up to one heck of an event – that’s why our rally is so respected and revered right around the globe, and is one every driver wants to experience and win. What I do know is that, having just driven the entire route just a few weeks before the start, I would love to be competing or spectating.”

Instead, come the competitive action, Campbell and his hard-working team will be based inside Rally Control located within the Deeside Rally Village ensuring a safe and successful world championship event.

Tickets for next month's event are now on sale with significant discounts for those buying in advance.

ENTRIES OPEN FOR 2016 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB

Posted: August 25, 2016 7:00 AM

Entries open this week for competitors wishing to contest the 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October), the UK’s outstanding round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Another star-studded entry is guaranteed with teams from the UK and around the globe eager to dispute one of the most famous and exciting rallies on the WRC calendar.

The 2016 title chase has already produced six different winners with drivers representing Citroen, Hyundai and VW all tasting victory. As this year’s Wales Rally GB competitive route is the longest since the event moved north, success will be all the sweeter and more hard-fought.

Following a final Shakedown test and Ceremonial Start on Thursday, crews will then tackle 22 timed sections held over three challenging days in the legendary Welsh forests. This year’s route also visits England for the first time since 1999 with Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest relocating to Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, as well as a non-competitive time control on Friday evening in the centre of historic Chester.

It all adds up to one of the World Championship’s most respected rounds and, to encourage local teams to experience life at the top level, the organisers are offering a significantly discounted entry fee for private British entrants. This year’s regulations allow drivers holding both an MSA competition licence and a UK passport to benefit from a discounted entry fee of £1995 (inc VAT) instead of £3000, providing that they fulfil the stipulated private entry criteria.

International entries open on Wednesday (24 August) and close on Tuesday 27 September – with the maximum number of entrants capped at 75. Entries for the WRGB National Rally open one week later at 10am on Wednesday 31 August.

“Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is the showpiece event for the sport in the UK and we look forward to welcoming all the world’s top drivers to Wales in October,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “The long-running event has a renowned reputation as one of the toughest on the calendar and, while this year’s edition is a couple of weeks earlier than normal, the battle for glory will be no less testing.

“It is important for the development of the sport in this country that we encourage as many British crews as possible to contest the high-profile International rally. British drivers benefit from a significant reduction in the entry fee and we hope they will take advantage of the opportunity to compete against the WRC regulars on the full event.”? ?

Further information can be found online via the ‘Competitors’ navigation on the official website, link below.

LEGENDARY GROUP B SUPERCARS TO BE HONOURED ON WALES RALLY GB

Posted: August 11, 2016 3:55 AM

It’s 30 years since rallying’s legendary Group B cars were outlawed at World Championship level and this autumn’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) will mark this milestone with heroic stars and fearsome cars from that revered era.

Top drivers from the sport’s most audacious epoch are being invited to attend the event as official ‘Rally Legends’ and a special showcase of these compelling Group B supercars will be one of the major attractions at the family-friendly Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest in association with GreenThumb on Saturday 29 October.

Often termed ‘Formula 1 in the forests’, Group B regulations were introduced for the 1982 season with only a few restrictions and allowing almost unlimited power. Cars could be mid-engined two-seaters and manufacturers only had to produce 200 examples that bore no more than a passing resemblance to showroom models to meet minimal homologation requirements.

As a result, in the four years between 1983 and 1986, rallying developed further and faster than it had done in the previous four decades. Group B took the sport to the absolute edge of performance, but put it beyond common sense and reasonable safety levels. When FISA, the then world governing body, culled the category following a series of terrifying accidents, Group B was immortalised.

Though ultimately short-lived, the epic Group B era has since acquired legendary status and nowhere more so than in the UK. Back in November 1986, Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship was the last time these outrageous beasts would ever compete in Europe, as Juha Kankkunen was crowned as Group B’s final World Champion.

Incredibly, the entry list for the European swansong featured more than 50 Group B cars. All the major supercars were out in force – Lancia Delta S4s, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16s, Ford RS200s, MG Metro 6R4s and several privately-run Audi quattros (the factory team had decided to withdraw following Henri Toivonen’s fatal fireball accident in Corsica) – as well as some of the genre’s less extreme combatants such as the Opel Manta 400, Nissan 240RS and Skoda 130LR.

The list of drivers competing was equally impressive, with Kankkunen lining up alongside the likes of Stig Blomqvist, Markku Alén, Tony Pond, Harri Toivonen (Henri’s younger brother), Malcolm Wilson, David Llewellin, Jimmy McRae, Russell Brookes and eventual 1986 Rally GB winner Timo Salonen.

Now, to mark the 30th anniversary of that landmark event, many of these iconic machines and idolised aces will be part of a massive gathering at the Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest. All owners of Group B cars are invited to bring their machines to the Saturday spectator stage either to be part of a static display or to perform demonstration runs on the same special stage that will host the WRC top guns later in the day.

“These epic Group B monsters really caught the public’s imagination back in the eighties and it’s no surprise that they continue to do so today,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “It was here in Britain that most of them last appeared on a World Rally Championship event, so we have a great opportunity to do something really special in October. We are inviting a number of drivers to join us and we are encouraging as many Group B cars as possible to get involved in what’s going to be an unforgettable occasion at Cholmondeley.”

Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest offers great value for a full day’s high-octane entertainment – alongside the awe-inspiring Group B displays and the WRC action will be a raft of other attractions and entertainment for all ages. What’s more, as this year's rally falls in the October half-term, all children aged 15 and under go free!

Adult ticket prices start at just £20 in advance (£30 on the gate) for the RallyFest alone, while a £25 Saturday day ticket or £99 full 4-day event pass also include the Cholmondeley event. All tickets include free parking and an event programme priced at £9. Fabulous hospitality packages are also available at Cholmondeley.

The latest event and ticket information can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

WRGB National Rally announced

Posted: August 10, 2016 7:10 AM

Plans for the 2016 Wales Rally GB National Rally have been announced today (Wednesday), providing British crews with a fantastic opportunity to compete in front of huge crowds on the same legendary special stages as their FIA World Rally Championship counterparts.

The National Rally’s three-day itinerary shadows the WRC route with single runs through all 12 of the timed stages, offering 107 miles of top class rally action on some of the world’s most challenging and famous forest tracks.

The WRGB National action starts in mid-Wales with the legendary tests of Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren on Friday morning which, as with the International field, will be run in the reverse direction from previous years. After a blast through Dyfnant forest, crews will return to the Rally Village in Deeside via what is certain to be a very popular tea-time stop-off right in the centre of historic Chester.

On Saturday, the Nationals will open the action at the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle before tackling four classic forest stages in west Wales – Pantperthog, Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Aberhirnant. The crews will return to the Rally Village in the early evening where the Saturday night party will be getting underway.

Sunday’s schedule in north Wales will follow the main WRC programme with visits to Clocaenog, Alwen and the spectacular Brenig ‘Power Stage’ before the Ceremonial Finish in Llandudno.

National competitors will once again be based alongside the WRC teams in the buzzing Deeside Rally Village, adding to the exciting atmosphere that brought 29,000 visitors to the free-of-charge attraction in 2015. They will also be invited share the WRC start ceremony at Parc Eirias stadium on Thursday afternoon.

“The National Rally’s popularity is a really important success story for this event,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “Enabling crews from all levels of the sport to be a proper part of the action underlines the fact that the country’s blue riband event is as much about UK rallying as it is about the WRC. It contributes massively to a real end-of-season party atmosphere for competitors, marshals, crews and fans – and with better weather booked for October half-term, this year is going to be a fantastic spectacle!”

Last year’s National rally was a complete sell-out with the first wave of guaranteed places filling up on the first day, and this year is expected to be similarly oversubscribed when entries, priced at £1000 + VAT, open on Wednesday 31 August. Entries to the National B status event can only be made online through the official walesrallygb.com website and must be accompanied by online payment in order to be registered.

Scottish star Mike Faulkner and co-driver Peter Foy took the National honours in 2014 and 2015 – now they are gunning for a hat-trick in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9.

“The last two years have been fantastic events for us,” admitted Faulkner. “We are really looking forward to defending our title and going for three-in-a-row in what is now an annual pilgrimage for many of the Scottish Rally Championship crews.

“The chance to tackle the iconic Welsh stages alongside the world’s best is brilliant. We feel very much part of the bigger event, carried along with the whole atmosphere – the buzz of the large crowds both on the stages and the service park is fantastic. The quality of the stages and the challenge over three days creates an exciting event that you can only get as part of Wales Rally GB.”

Road to Wales

Details of the highly-praised Road to Wales initiative have been announced, too. Introduced in 2013, the scheme rewards the winners of the UK’s premier national championships with free entries into Wales Rally GB.

This year, the winners of the revitalised MSA British Rally Championship and the DMACK Junior BRC will receive free entries into the International event. Top guns from the country’s four premier national championships – BTRDA Gold Star, ANICC McGrady Insurance Northern Ireland Stage Rally Championship, ARR Craib MSA Scottish Rally Championship and Pirelli MSA Welsh Rally Championship – will receive free entries into the National Rally. These can be upgraded to the International event by paying the difference in entry fees.

The prizes for the BTRDA and Scottish Championships will go to those crowned as 2016 champions, while the other two championships have created their own criteria. If the Welsh series hasn’t been decided after the Woodpecker Rally (3 October), the prize will go to the crew with the best five scores from the opening seven rounds. The Northern Ireland award will go to the junior championship leader after the Ulster Rally (20 September).

FINLAND TURNS OUNINPOHJA AROUND AND RALLY GB DOES THE SAME TO FIVE SPECIAL STAGES

Posted: August 3, 2016 9:35 AM

Ouninpohja, one of the most legendary stages throughout the rallying world, was run in the reverse direction to its traditional route this year.

In October, the similarly legendary stages of Myherin, Hafren, Sweet Lamb, Dyfi and much of Brenig will also be run in the opposite direction.

So what? That doesn't seem like much of a change.

Event Safety Coordinator, Sue Sanders and Spectator Safety Officer, Andy Smith recently spent three days covering over 600 miles whilst checking all the special stages and locations for the event. The reversal of the five stages has meant some of the starts, flying finishes and stop lines don't work in their traditional locations due to the change in 'racing' line by coming the other way.

It takes significant time to choose new areas, to check phone and radio signal from these places, to photograph and ensure there is enough information about the areas for the various safety and setup plans each location demands.

So changing direction of a special stage does not just stop with the fact that the competitors will have to make a new set of notes for that bit of road!

CONWY COUNTY CONFIRMS BACKING FOR 2016 WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP EVENT

Posted: July 13, 2016 4:34 AM

The organisers of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are delighted to announce that Conwy County Borough Council has extended its highly successful support for the UK’s prestigious round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Conwy Council has been a strong supporter of Wales Rally GB since 2010 and in recent years has significantly increased its commitment to become the official ‘Host County’. It is an award-winning partnership that has now been extended for the 2016 WRC event, which will be staged in the legendary forests of north and mid Wales between 27-30 October.

The proactive County once again features prominently in the recently announced route for the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. Thursday evening’s theatrical Ceremonial Start will be hosted at the Parc Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay with the jubilant victors being crowned just along the coast on Mostyn Street in central Llandudno on Sunday afternoon. Both these official ceremonies offer free public admission, ensuring huge crowds keen to experience the presence of the high-profile World Championship stars and cars.

The rally’s two concluding speed tests also put the spotlight on more of Conwy County’s many attractions. Sunday morning’s Alwen and Brenig Forest timed sections are both set high on the moors ­– the latter is the event’s Power Stage, with live television audiences around the world not only following the action but also savouring the spectacular scenery as the cars compete alongside the Llyn Brenig reservoir.

“We enjoy huge support throughout the year from Conwy Council,” said Ben Taylor, Wales Rally GB Managing Director. “As the official ‘Host County’ the area hosts the spectacular Start and Finish ceremonies, as well as competitive action in the forests on Sunday morning, bringing thousands of visitors to the region. But the amazing backing that Conwy offers from the councillors, the executive and the fantastic events team, makes a vital contribution to the success of the whole event.”

Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing & Leisure, Councillor Graham Rees said:
“It has been a pleasure working with Wales Rally GB organisers over the last few years. Events are very important to us and we’re looking forward to welcoming another major championship to the area. For every £1 we spend on events, we have a return on investment of £32 making them crucial to our economy in supporting our many small businesses, specifically those within the tourism industry which remains our economic driver.”

2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Rally Guide 1 Published

Posted: June 29, 2016 8:52 AM

We are delighted to announce that Rally Guide 1 for the 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB has been published and is available to view in the Competitors section of www.walesrallygb.com - link below:

We are delighted to welcome Dayinsure as the event's new title partner. The Welsh Government remains the principal funding partner of the event, having finalised a new three-year agreement to support the rally until the end of 2018, so this year's event will be known as the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.

Established in 2005 and backed by Aviva and Allianz, Dayinsure offers immediate short-term insurance cover for drivers of UK registered cars and commercial vehicles. This provides customers with an easy way to add an additional driver to their vehicle or a cost-effective way of insuring themselves on another vehicle on a temporary basis.

Securing a major title sponsor is another big step forward for the event and attracting one from outside the motor sport sector is further recognition of the rally's growing commercial appeal.

2016 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB

The 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will offer 336 kilometres of competitive stage distance, making it the longest route since the event moved North.

The 22 Special Stages offer a total of 336 competitive kilometres (208 miles) and include many of the established classic tests plus some exciting new additions and revisions. Adding to the spirit of adventure, famous stages such as Myherin and Hafren are to be run in reverse for the first time in more than 20 years while the Pantperthog stage hasn't been included since 1997.

The route also presents a new home for Saturday's family-friendly RallyFest which, after three years at Chirk Castle, moves to nearby Cholmondeley Castle – a venue which is already well known to motoring and motor sport enthusiasts thanks to its annual Power and Speed festival.

There are location changes, too, as the Ceremonial Start returns to Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay and the Ceremonial Finish will see the winners crowned on Mostyn Street in Llandudno on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a visit to Chester on Friday evening will rekindle memories of past Rally GBs, as the cars pass under the famous clock on Eastgate Street in the heart of the city in front of huge crowds.

Entrants will receive a generous service space in the Deeside Rally Village, a substantial guest pass package and the chance to take part in Shakedown on Thursday morning.

We will again offer a substantial discount to a limited number of privately-entered British drivers holding an MSA competition licence, which last year proved incredibly popular.

We very much hope that you will be able to join us in Wales in our new October date.

WALES RALLY GB NATIONAL

There will again be a three-day National event, running over Friday, Saturday and Sunday and offering more than 100 competitive miles. Full details will be announced shortly.

WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP RETURNS TO HISTORIC CHESTER

Posted: June 9, 2016 11:01 AM

The FIA World Rally Championship will return to the heart of the historic city of Chester for the first time in 20 years on 28 October. The stars and cars from the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) will visit the iconic walled city having completed their first day of competition in the legendary forests of mid-Wales.

As the climax to a special ‘Chester Rally Week’, the crews will start arriving in Chester at just after 18:30 on the Friday evening, passing under the famous Eastgate Clock – said to be England’s most photographed clock after Big Ben – before stopping for autographs and selfies on Eastgate. Another photo opportunity will follow when the cars proceed over the official Dayinsure Wales Rally GB ramp and through the official Time Control on Bridge Street en route to an overnight halt at the busy Deeside Rally Village in neighbouring Flintshire. Encouraging everyone to come to meet the WRC heroes and share in the high-octane atmosphere, public admission will be totally free of charge.

“It’s going to a fabulous occasion and I’d like to thank all those in Chester who’ve worked so hard to make this possible,” said Ben Taylor, Wales Rally GB Managing Director. “We are constantly looking at exciting new ways to widen the rally’s appeal to both existing fans and new audiences and this special evening in central Chester will certainly do just that. The city has a particularly strong link with the WRC events of the past, so returning to these hallowed streets makes this return all the more exciting.”

Indeed, Chester has long been associated with Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship. It first hosted the Ceremonial Start and Finish back in 1979 – an event won by the legendary ‘Flying Finn’ Hannu Mikkola – and was last included 20 years ago in 1996. Most famously, perhaps, the late, great Colin McRae was crowned as Britain’s first-ever World Rally Champion at Chester Racecourse in 1995.

Honouring that milestone achievement, the traditional pre-event charity Forum – an occasion that always attracts many of the sport’s top names from both past and present generations – will be hosted at the Racecourse on Wednesday 26 October.

The Forum is one of a number of initiatives that will take place in the week of the rally, all of which are designed to celebrate the city’s link with the International Rally of Great Britain – in all its various guises.

“Hosting this element of the event is a huge coup for Chester and we’re delighted to see the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB returning to the city after so many years,” welcomed Carl Critchlow, BID Manager at CH1 Chester BID. “As part of Chester Rally Week, motor sport fans will get the chance to see and meet the drivers, teams and cars from the World Rally Championship, all set against the iconic backdrop of Chester city centre. These rallies attract an international following and we’re expecting thousands of people to visit the city for this special event, providing a significant boost to footfall on our high street.”

“The Chester Growth Partnership is thrilled to have worked with Lightning House to bring Rallyweek to Chester, with the star event being the WRC coming to the city for the first time in nearly 20 years,” added Guy Butler, Chairman Chester Growth Partnership. “This is a great start to what we hope will become a regular event for the city, and thanks must go to the team who have delivered this.”

The competitive route for the 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) was announced at start of this month when tickets went on sale. Featuring 22 timed Special Stages totalling 208 miles (336 kms) set almost entirely in the classic Welsh forests, this year’s event will be the longest and most challenging since the rally’s successful move in 2013 to its new base in Deeside.

Admission to the Chester Time Control, the Deeside Rally Village, the Ceremonial Start in Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay and Ceremonial Finish in Llandudno are all free of charge. Advance tickets* for the competitive Special Stages are now on sale with significant discounts for those buying now. Adult ticket prices start at just £20 for the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle with free admission to all 22 speed tests for those aged 15 and under – a real treat for children on half term! Full information on the 2016 rally and ticket offers can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

ROUTE REVEALED FOR 2016 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB

Posted: June 1, 2016 8:38 AM

Few events will showcase Wales’ 2016 ‘Year of Adventure’ better than the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, when Britain’s annual round of the high-octane, adrenalin-charged FIA World Rally Championship comes to North Wales from 27-30 October.

To highlight Wales’ position as a leading global destination for adventure tourism, the competitive route for this year’s event – as announced today (Wednesday) – is the longest and most challenging since the rally’s widely-acclaimed move to a new home in the north of the country in 2013.

Since relocating to Deeside, the world class sporting spectacle which runs through some of Wales’ most stunning scenery, has gone from strength-to-strength. Last year it attracted 87,000 visitors, an over-subscribed 160-car entry, international crews from 25 different countries, and delivered almost £10m of economic benefit to the Welsh economy as well as extensive global TV and media coverage.

Building on that success, the penultimate round of the 2016 WRC will again be based at the Deeside Rally Village alongside the Toyota UK’s engine manufacturing plant with the majority of the timed Special Stages set in the legendary forests of north and mid-Wales. While admittance to the Rally Village is totally free, tickets for the dramatic action are now on sale at 2015 prices, and with significant savings for those booking in advance compared to on-the-day.

This year’s extended three-day competitive schedule is certain to be a big hit with both competitors and fans, not least as the earlier date at the end of October promises better autumnal weather and also coincides with schools’ half-term break. To encourage more families to check out the top class entertainment over the holiday period, children aged under 16 will be admitted free.

The 22 Special Stages offer a total of 336 competitive kilometres (208 miles) and include many of the established classic tests plus some exciting new additions and revisions. Adding to the spirit of adventure, famous stages such as Myherin and Hafren are to be run in reverse for the first time in more than 20 years while the Pantperthog stage hasn’t been included since 1997.

The route also presents a new home for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest which, after three years at Chirk Castle, moves to nearby Cholmondeley Castle – a venue which is already well known to motoring and motor sport enthusiasts thanks to its annual Power and Speed festival.

There are location changes, too, for the popular Ceremonial Start and Ceremonial Finish both of which are free events hosted in Conwy County. The event begins on Thursday evening at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay, as in 2014, while the winners will be crowned on Mostyn Street in the seaside town of Llandudno on Sunday afternoon. Sebastien Ogier, the reigning World Champion, completed a famous hat-trick of victories last year – and the Frenchman will be aiming to become only the second man in Rally GB history to win four successive events come October.

Tickets now on sale

Tickets for the 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB went on sale today (Wednesday) offering both added value and significant savings for those buying in advance.

Any spectators purchasing tickets before the end of June will be entered into an exclusive prize draw for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the pre-event media day in September where they will enjoy a money-can’t-buy passenger ride with a top driver.

Continuing the new electronic ticketing system successfully introduced 12 months ago, customers can purchase their tickets online right up to the eve of the event. As well as the option to print their own ticket at home, fans will this year be able to gain entrance to the event by scanning the e-ticket from their mobile phone.

As in 2015, the price of adult Day Passes when purchased in advance remains at just £25 – these give access to all the stages on the selected day.

Admission to Saturday’s fun-fuelled RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle is either with a Saturday Day Pass (£25) or with a separate RallyFest ticket, the price of which has been reduced from £25 to £20. As with all other stages, children under 16 get in for free, making this a great half-term expedition for families.

The price of the premium four-day World Rally Pass, providing access to all the Special Stages* as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown, has been held at £99 for the seventh year. Befitting the value of this prestigious ticket, fans will receive their hard pass and lanyard by post as well as a special car pass that offers exclusive on-site parking at the Deeside Rally Village.

Fans can still turn up on the day of the event and pay on the gate – entry to each individual stage will be priced at £30 – but organisers recommend that the cheapest way to enjoy the action is to buy in advance. Whether purchased online or on the day, all tickets include free car parking plus an event programme worth £9.

Once again, access to the Deeside Rally Village, the Start and Finish and to the Regroup in Newtown on Friday will be free of charge, providing a fabulous chance to experience the unique atmosphere of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Full details of all Wales Rally GB tickets – including terms and conditions – can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

Ben Taylor, Wales Rally GB Managing Director:
“We are really excited about this year’s route and we think it will provide a fitting challenge for the drivers and teams in this ‘Year of Adventure’. It’s not just the longest and most adventurous route since we moved to north Wales, but it is also one that offers the fans a great opportunity to enjoy the action. The new October date puts the rally right in the middle of the half-term holidays, so with reduced prices for the fabulous new RallyFest stage at Cholmondeley Castle and children under 16 going free, we’ve made sure that it’s a great day out for all the family.

“UK rallying is in great shape right now and Kris Meeke’s victory in last month’s Rally Portugal confirms his standing among the very best in the world, while local hero Elfyn Evans continues to earn his spurs on the international stage. The revitalised British Rally Championship is also contributing to a fantastic year for the sport, which is sure to translate into another successful event in October.

“Of course, the whole event would not be possible without the continued support of our partners, principally the Welsh Government, with whom we are entering a new three-year agreement as principal funding partner, Conwy County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales and all the other authorities and organisations who make it possible to bring a World Championship event to the region. We are also delighted to welcome a new title sponsor to the event and we look forward to making sure that the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB 2016 is going to be a very special event .”

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure:
“This Year’s Wales Rally GB promises to be another spectacular event and is yet another example of the amazing adventures which can be had here in Wales during our designated Year of Adventure. Wales has some of the finest rally stages anywhere in the world and the Wales Rally GB is a showcase for the spectacular scenery and landscapes of north Wales.

“The Welsh Government’s support for the Rally also shows our continued commitment to the event, which has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales. Wales is home to around 150 component and systems manufacturing companies and has 18,500 people employed in automotive manufacturing with an annual turnover of circa £3.4 billion. We look forward to the adventure in October.”

Councilor Graham Rees, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing & Leisure:
“We’re thrilled to welcome back Wales Rally GB this year. Fans show great support for both the stages and the Ceremonial Start and Finish as we’ve gained a reputation of putting on a good show.

“Our successful partnership with Wales Rally GB has been nationally recognised and we’re excited to continue this valuable relationship which provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Conwy County. We deliberately focus on events as a way of supporting the local economy – with an estimated return on investment of £32 for every £1 spent, in addition to the world motor sport media focused on Wales”.

Elfyn Evans, M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC driver:
“It looks as though the organisers are well on their way to producing another great event. All of the classics are in there as well as some exciting new additions. Running three stages in the opposite direction will certainly provide a new challenge and the inclusion of Pantperthog only adds to that.

“It was great to see so many spectators out on the stages last year and additions such as the Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest stage should attract even more. Every driver receives an incredible amount of support in Wales, and I’m sure that everyone will be looking forward to all that this year’s edition has to offer.”

Thursday, 27 October 2016

    Fans get their first chance to see the stars and cars from the FIA World Rally Championship in action during the official pre-event Shakedown in Clocaenog Forest, just a short drive from the Deeside Rally Village, as the teams make their last minute preparations for the competitive tests ahead. Thursday evening’s Ceremonial Start and Autograph Session return to the Parc Eirias stadium in Colwyn Bay – a free to attend venue that proved hugely popular in 2014.
Friday, 28 October 2016
    The dramatic high-speed competition blasts off in spectacular style with four Special Stages in the legendary forests of mid-Wales to the east of Aberystwyth, each tackled twice – once either side of a lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of Newtown. While Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren are familiar, the twist for 2016 will see all three run in the opposite direction. The short spectator-friendly Sweet Lamb and neighbouring Hafren forest stages haven’t been run in this format since 1995, while the the epic Myherin stage, rated by many of the drivers as one of their favourites on the entire WRC calendar, has never before been tackled in reverse. Located further north towards Oswestry, the day’s fourth stage – Dyfnant – is another well-known Wales Rally GB highlight, run in the same direction as last year.
Saturday, 29 October 2016
    Saturday offers another long, action-packed day, starting with an all-new challenge. Located just north of Machynlleth, the Pantperthog stage has not featured on the Rally GB itinerary since 1997, so it will be unfamiliar to all the top crews. Due to the lack of suitable access points spectators will not be admitted to Pantperthog, but Saturday morning’s two other stages on the classic forest tracks of Gartheiniog and Dyfi, provide plenty of capacity and outstanding viewing opportunities.

    After double passes through all three stages, the crews face a single blast through the fast and tricky Aberhirnant stage en route to the all-new family-friendly RallyFest. After thrilling the packed crowds at Cholmondeley Castle and stopping for autographs and selfies, the WRC frontrunners will return to the busy Deeside Rally Village from around 5pm, providing visitors with another outstanding opportunity to see the cars and stars up close as the Saturday night party gets underway.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
    Sunday is a shorter – but no less spectacular – day set entirely in north Wales. The Clocaenog, Brenig and Alwen stages introduced in recent years feature again, with the second run through Brenig being Dayinsure Wales Rally GB’s concluding ‘Power Stage’ screened live to TV audiences around the globe. Providing a final sting in the tail, the first half of the Brenig stage set alongside the picturesque reservoir will be run in reverse direction, while the flying finish will be situated in front of the spectator viewing areas by the dam, giving fans the opportunity to be part of the post ‘Power Stage’ podium television presentations.

    The celebrations then switch to Mostyn Street in Llandudno for the Ceremonial Finish and prize-giving, providing the public with one final free-of-charge opportunity to savour the magic of the World Rally Championship’s annual adventure in Wales.
2016 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB DRAFT ROUTE
    Thursday 27 October:
    18:30 Ceremonial Start: Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay
    Overnight Deeside Rally Village

    Friday 28 October:
    08:16 SS1: Myherin 1
    09:07 SS2: Sweet Lamb 1
    09:20 SS3: Hafren 1
    11:09 SS4: Dyfnant 1
    12:32 Regroup: Newtown
    13:54 SS5: Myherin 2
    14:45 SS6: Sweet Lamb 2
    14:58 SS7: Hafren 2
    16:47 SS8: Dyfnant 2
    19:09 Service: Deeside Rally Village
    Overnight Deeside Rally Village

    Saturday 29 October:
    08:20 SS9: Pantperthog 1*
    08:48 SS10: Dyfi 1
    09:24 SS11: Gartheiniog 1
    10:21 Regroup: Corris
    11:02 SS12: Pantperthog 2*
    11:30 SS13: Dyfi 2
    12:06 SS14: Gartheiniog 2
    13:13 SS15: Aberhirnant
    15:17 SS16: Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest
    16:30 Service: Deeside Rally Village
    Overnight Deeside Rally Village

    Sunday 30 October:
    08:32 SS17: Clocaenog 1
    09:08 SS18: Brenig 1
    09:28 SS19: Alwen 1
    Refuel: Ruthin
    10:32 SS20: Clocaenog 2
    11:14 SS21: Alwen 2
    12:08 SS22: Brenig 2 (Power Stage)
    13:29 Ceremonial Finish: Mostyn Street, Llandudno

    *Please note there will be no spectator access to the Pantperthog stage

Website / Details

Posted: June 1, 2016 8:37 AM

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