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Rally GB - 4-7 Oct 18

Posted: October 6, 2018 8:17 AM - 4561 Hits

Round 11 - 2018 World Rally Championship
Round 6 - 2018 British Rally Championship

WRC: Live Results (GB 2018 WRC) Also available at: rally-base results or ewrc-results.com
National: Live Results (GB 2018 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 Thu - 19:00 (Superspecial)
SS2 Fri - 07:56
SS10 Sat - 08:35
SS19 Sun - 06:22

The stages are set for a classic Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

Posted: October 3, 2018 2:41 PM

The stages are set for a spectacular scrap for supremacy on this weekend’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October), after crews completed their final preparations for an event that will pit some of the world’s biggest motor sport stars against both the clock and each other.

One of the most historic and popular events on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is renowned for pushing drivers and co-drivers to the very limit in their pursuit of the coveted Peall Trophy. This year’s new-look route – featuring 23 gruelling speed tests, totalling just shy of 200 competitive miles – will be no exception.

With a thrilling three-way title tussle in prospect – Hyundai ace Thierry Neuville, Toyota star Ott Tänak and Ford’s defending world champion Sébastien Ogier separated by just 23 points with 90 still in play over the remaining three rallies – the outcome in Wales could prove pivotal to the destiny of this year’s crown.

Having spent the past two days perfecting their pace notes on reconnaissance over the challenging mid and north Wales stages – the final build-up before the competitive action begins tomorrow (4 October) with the traditional pre-event Shakedown in the legendary Clocaenog Forest and a blast under the spotlights at Visit Conwy Tir Prince – the WRC’s ‘big three’ are more than ‘recce to go’.

“Wales Rally GB is one of the classics and an event that everyone wants to win,” affirmed Ogier, who is chasing a sixth consecutive Drivers’ title this year. “It’s one of the most challenging rallies on the calendar; the stages are steeped in motorsport history and the early starts and late finishes make it a true test of focus and endurance. Win in Wales, and you know that you have mastered the challenge.”

“Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is always an enjoyable event,” echoed championship leader Neuville. “With different characteristics to the other gravel rallies and very long days, it will be a tough challenge – physically in particular. I’ve had two podiums in a row in Wales, so it would be nice to continue that streak.”

Tänak has registered the most victories so far this season, with four wins from the opening ten events, and he arrives in Wales off the back of three consecutive triumphs. The Estonian is confident he can keep that impressive run going.

“This is a rally that I like,” he acknowledged. “During our recent test here, we were able to do quite a lot of work to try and further develop the car and get more performance. I believe we did a good job and I’m looking forward to seeing how we compare against our rivals. Everything is possible now in the championship, and I have a good feeling about what we can do in Britain.”

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is a particularly special event for M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans. Not only is it the Welshman’s home rally – he hails from Dolgellau, and will drive virtually right past his front door on Saturday’s Gartheiniog stage – but it was also where he famously claimed his maiden WRC victory last year. Eleven months on, he has his sights focussed firmly on a repeat.

“Competing at home always brings special motivation,” the 29-year-old enthused. “We have some of the best stages in the world in Wales, and when you see all the Welsh flags and fans cheering you on you can’t help but feel a real sense of pride.

“The win last year is something that we will never forget. There’s always something special about that first victory, but doing it on home soil with all of our family and friends there was really special. This is an event that everyone wants to win. The stages are fast, and mistakes aren’t easily forgiven. Experience counts for a lot here, and we’ll be looking to put all of our local knowledge to good use.”

Following Thursday’s curtain-raiser at Tir Prince Raceway, Friday will see the WRC’s finest tackle a series of new and extended speed tests in north Wales, before attempting to tame the famous mid Wales forests on ‘Super Saturday’. Taking full advantage of the recent closed roads legislation, Sunday’s ground-breaking finale will see cars racing through the streets of Llandudno for the very first time – completely free of charge to view.


Day Passes for Friday and Saturday cost £28, with Sunday’s Day Pass priced even more attractively at £23. These passes not only give access to all speed tests on that day but also include all booking fees, a copy of the Official Programme (cover price £9) plus car parking on a ‘first come, first-served’ basis.

Tom Cave - Wales Rally GB Preview

Posted: October 3, 2018 2:39 PM

Following a successful test in South Wales on Monday, Tom Cave says he feels ready for his biggest challenge of the year, the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB - Britain's round of the FIA World Rally Championship - that takes place this week.

Monday's test saw the 26-year old from Aberdovey back behind the wheel of a Hyundai i20 R5 for the first time since finishing third in the WRC2 category on the Neste Rally Finland in July last year. It didn't take long for Tom to re-acclimatise himself to the car and, with just a few tweaks made by the Philip Case Rally Sport crew, he was quickly up to competitive pace.

"It was great to back in a Hyundai again", said Tom. "The one I'm using on Rally GB is a 2018 model and it felt even better than the cars I drove last year in the British Rally Championship and Finland. I was very happy with the test. I came away feeling comfortable in the car and confident we can fight for class honours."

In addition to setting up the car, Monday was also an opportunity for Tom to take some of his sponsors for a passenger ride they'll never forget! In the warm autumn sunshine, guests were treated to a high speed run through the test stage and by the look on their faces when they got out of the car, without exception all of them said they were thrilled by the experience.

"It was great to be able to offer our sponsors the opportunity to sit alongside and find out what it's like to drive through a forest stage at speed. Many of them had never been in a rally car before and to say that they were blown away I think would be an understatement. Events like this are so important, as the support from these companies and individuals has enabled me to take part in this year's Wales Rally GB - and for that, I'm extremely grateful.

"Because I haven't entered as many rallies as I would normally this year, it would be fair to say that I'm looking forward to this event more than ever. Living in north Wales, I feel at home on the stages; the car feels great and James (co-driver) and I are as ready as we can be. I can't wait to get started!"

The Dayinsure Wales Rally GB gets underway on Thursday evening from the Deeside service park, before the Visit Conwy Tir Prince spectator stage near Rhyl. Friday features eight stages in north Wales, with Saturday comprising a further nine in north and mid Wales, one of which runs just a few miles from where Tom lives.

Sunday is the final day, when the route heads back to north Wales for four stages in forests directly south of Llandudno followed by the the fifth and final stage around the Great Orme headland with the flying finish along the sea front.

Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT - UNPREDICTABLE CONDITIONS AHEAD

Posted: October 1, 2018 2:55 PM

With Craig Breen – Scott Martin and Mads Østberg – Torstein Eriksen still representing the team, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT heads to Wales, the venue for round eleven of the championship, expecting some of most unpredictable, slippery conditions of the season.

EXPERIENCE IS KEY

Although the Welsh forest stages encourage the drivers to go for it behind the wheel, experience is needed if you are to avoid getting caught by one of the countless changes in grip. The roads are very greasy in places, kept damp by the invariably heavy rain in the thick, gloomy forests. The local gravel stages are reputed for harbouring many tricky sections that thick fog can sometimes make it almost impossible to make out properly! Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT's drivers, Mads Østberg and Craig Breen, are not exactly newcomers to the rally. With twelve and seven appearances in Wales respectively, they have a very good idea of what to expect and the challenge that lies ahead. Mads has also finished on the podium on two occasions here (runner-up in 2011 and third in 2014), the latter outing when competing for Citroën. He therefore comes into the event aiming to produce a similar performance this year. Buoyed by the proximity of his native Ireland – and the large number of Irish fans likely to make the trip – Craig Breen will also be determined to build on the speed he showed in the C3 WRC last year and get among the leaders in Wales. It is equally true that the drivers are even more comfortable in the car, which has had several significant upgrades (rear sub-frame and front axle geometry) since then.

WEATHER INVARIABLY PLAYS CRUCIAL ROLE

The weather is once again likely to play a vital role in proceedings. If it rains, Mads and Craig's starting positions for Friday's leg (tenth and eleventh respectively) would prove to be a major handicap, with the roads liable to become increasingly slippery as more cars complete the stages. If however the roads remain dry, there will still be plenty of difficulties to contend with. Average speeds would increase dramatically, but the damp, tricky sections on the forest roads are unlikely to dry out completely! The other challenge stems from the fact that the crews will have to tackle the 150.24 kilometre-long leg on Saturday – the weekend's longest day – without a proper service period, which means that any mistake or technical issue can quickly become fatal for their chances. The rally retains most of its iconic stages, but a few new speed tests are nonetheless introduced, such as Penmachno (16.95km) and Slate Mountain (1.63km) on Friday, Elsi (10.06km) on Sunday and some revised portions on Brenig, Sweet Lamb Hafren and Gwydir.

WHAT THEY SAID

Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
"Although the weather may affect our performance on the opening leg, we have done all we can to get the best performance possible, particularly by holding some good test sessions in Wales. Both Craig and Mads really like this unusual event and know it very well, so although you need to make sure you don't get caught out by the slippery conditions, even when it's dry, I think we can have legitimate hopes of doing well here."

Craig Breen
"This is as near as it gets to a home rally for me, so it's obviously a special event, especially as I have some very good memories here. I know the roads well and I had a very good feeling during our pre-event test. So I'm very keen to get a good result here. The real difficulty here is trying to assess the level of grip as quickly as possible. You have to trust your feeling, look at the colour of the dirt and gravel, and also rely on your experience from previous years. If the stages are dry, then the ground tends to be pretty rough and you need to look after your tyres."

Number of appearances at the event: 7
Best result: 12th (2010)

Mads Østberg
"It's an event that I really like. I've had quite a few good experiences here. The C3 WRC was comfortable on these roads last year and our pre-event test here last week was very productive. So I'm feeling confident before the start. At a rally like this, where you are pushing really hard, you need to be at one with your car and completely spot on with your pace notes. You then you have to try and not get caught out by one of the very slippery sections where there is a sudden change in grip."

Number of appearances at the event: 12
Best result: 2nd (2011)

KEY FIGURES
23 timed stages covering a total of 318.34 km
150.24 kilometres of timed stages on Saturday with no service period
28 Michelin tyres to be selected from among 28 mediums and 16 softs
3 overall wins secured by Citroën at Wales Rally GB: Sébastien Loeb from 2008 to 2010 (C4 WRC)

A RALLY, A CHALLENGE

A very tricky road surface

Wales Rally GB's reputation as a particularly demanding event largely stems from its harsh weather, with rain, mud and fog often making for treacherous conditions, and the highly changeable level of grip. Most crews describe it as an unpredictable event: some sections provide more grip than expected, whilst others are like driving on black ice. It is therefore important to know the roads well and be able to assess the changing surface conditions. Held three weeks earlier than usual this year, for once the rally may be contested on dry roads. This is unlikely to stop it from being tricky, however, especially on the second passes, as the road surface becomes increasingly muddy – and therefore extremely slippery – in places…

CITROËN SECRETS

2009 Wales GB Rally

Trailing championship leader Mikko Hirvonen by one point before the rally, which at the time was the final round, Sébastien Loeb won that year what he has admitted was one of his most closely contested world titles (the sixth). Despite leading the rally from start to finish, he held only a slender 5.3s advantage over his Finnish rival at the end of the opening leg. However, during Saturday's leg, Loeb and Elena conjured up the kind of performance that only they were capable of producing. Pushing hard all the way in the rain, they extended their lead to 25s in the space of just two stages. An absolute hammer blow. Although the pair had a minor technical alert on Sunday, they held on to the end of the rally, whilst Hirvonen lost time after his bonnet came loose on the penultimate stage.

M-SPORT FORD CHASE STRONG RESULT ON HOME SOIL

Posted: October 1, 2018 2:52 PM

M-Sport Ford’s fleet of EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs will be chasing a strong result when the FIA World Rally Championship ventures to the team’s home event this week.

To best prepare for Wales Rally GB’s notoriously challenging stages, the team completed four days of testing – both at home in Cumbria as well as on-location in the Welsh forests. And with the event’s past five winners all behind the wheel of the Fiesta this week, the team have high hopes of once again challenging for victory.

Last year’s victory was particularly special as the Welsh fixture played host to an incredible weekend for the Cumbrian squad who secured the win as well as the FIA World Rally Championships for Manufacturers, Drivers and Co-drivers.

The Championships can’t be secured on Welsh soil this year, but the victory will be hotly contested and could well prove pivotal as the season draws to a close; and M-Sport Ford will be giving their all in pursuit of a repeat performance.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“The competition could not be closer and we’ll be hoping for another strong result on home soil. Nothing will ever top last year when we secured all three titles as well as the rally win, but we are aiming to be in the fight for another victory this year.

“Both Sébastien and Elfyn know what it takes to stand on the top step of the podium in Wales. Sébastien has won this event four times, and Elfyn not only grew up on these roads but also made history when he won the event last year – the first Welsh driver to ever do so at this level.

“This will be Teemu’s first time here in a world rally car and there will be a lot to learn, but time after time he proves what a quick learner he is and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sprung another surprise or two this weekend.”

WALES RALLY GB
THE TEAM’S HOME EVENT

Wales Rally GB is one of the classics – an iconic event that every rally driver wants to win. Steeped in motorsport history, the British round has it all and provides one of the biggest challenges of the year.

Mud, rain, fog, even snow and ice – anything can be expected in Wales. Glorious sunshine could even be a possibility this year and the crews could face a dry Wales Rally GB for the first time in a number of years.

Whatever the conditions this weekend, the challenge remains. Focus and endurance are key and the crews will be tested to the maximum. Make no mistake, a win in Wales will have been hard fought and that’s why every driver wants to add this one to their repertoire.

SÉBASTIEN OGIER
JULIEN INGRASSIA
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are no strangers to the taste of champagne, and especially not in Wales where the World Champions have four victories to their name. Currently locked in an intense three-way battle for a sixth world title, the pairing will be looking to challenge for victory once again this weekend.

Previous starts: 10
Best result: 1st (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“Wales Rally GB is one of the classics and an event that everyone wants to win. The stages are steeped in motorsport history and the early starts and late finishes make it a true test of focus and endurance. Win in Wales, and you know that you have mastered the challenge.

“It’s one of the most challenging rallies on the calendar and there is a real art to judging the grip through the forests. The demanding weather conditions can take a bit of getting used to, but we could see a dry rally this year which would be interesting for sure!

“This time 12 months ago, the Welsh forests played host to an incredible story as we claimed all three championships with Malcolm and his team. The title fight could not be closer this year, but the team can rest assured that we will give our very best in pursuit of the strongest possible result to keep our championship hopes alive!”

ELFYN EVANS
DANIEL BARRITT
Elfyn Evans and Daniel Barritt know what it takes to tame the tricky Welsh stages and secured their maiden victory on home soil last year. The Brits will have home support on their side this week, and Evans even has a corner named after him on the Myherin stage! Keen to close the latter half of the season with some strong results, the British pairing will be ones to watch.

Previous starts: 6
Best result: 1st (2017)

Elfyn Evans said:
“Competing at home always brings special motivation. We have some of the best stages in the world in Wales, and when you see all the Welsh flags and fans cheering you on you can’t help but feel a real sense of pride.

“The win last year is something that we will never forget. There’s always something special about that first victory, but doing it on home soil with all of our family and friends there was really special and something we definitely want to replicate again this year.

“The aim is to be in the fight for another win, but we know it won’t be easy. This is an event that everyone wants to win and the three guys up front will all be pushing extremely hard. The stages are fast, and mistakes aren’t easily forgiven, but we will give it our best. Experience counts for a lot, and we’ll be looking to put all of our local knowledge to good use.”

TEEMU SUNINEN
MIKKO MARKKULA
Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula have come to prove that they cannot be discounted at any event. Wales Rally GB might be one of the most challenging events on the calendar, but the young Finn seems to thrive when the going gets tough. Having secured the WRC 2 victory on his first ever appearance in Wales, Suninen took an instant liking to the Welsh forests and could spring a surprise or two next week.

Previous starts: 3
Best result: 11th (2015)

Teemu Suninen said:
"This will be my first time in Wales with a World Rally Car, but I am looking forward to the challenge and will give it my very best for the team. The car feels good, and hopefully we’ll be able to challenge for a good result.

“We had a one-day test last week where we were able to experience a lot of different conditions. We drove a full day with muddy conditions in the morning before it become dry in the afternoon. Then in the closing hours we also had some heavy rain which meant we were able to experience all kinds of conditions.”

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Wales GB

Posted: September 28, 2018 2:55 PM

Hyundai Motorsport heads to Wales Rally GB, the 11th round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) looking to bounce back from a disappointing Rally Turkey, at which the team was forced to relinquish the lead of the manufacturers’ championship.

Despite a strong run to third for Hayden Paddon, who took his maiden podium of the 2018 season, Hyundai Motorsport saw two of its crews forced to retire from the lead of the event. Consequently, the manufacturers’ championship battle has intensified with just five points separating the top-two teams and three rallies remaining.

Wales Rally GB will offer a very different challenge to the rough and punishing stages in Turkey. Inclement autumn weather can often play a key role with the fast tree-lined routes into the Welsh forest made treacherous and muddy in wet conditions.

The rally is being held three weeks earlier than last season with some changes to the itinerary offering crews fresh demands. From Thursday evening’s super special at the Tir Prince Raceway to Friday’s two tests at Slate Mountain, located at the Llechwedd slate quarry, Wales Rally GB will have plenty of action for the fans.

Closure of public roads allows organisers for this year’s event to link traditional gravel tracks with short asphalt sections to create lengthier stages, including the longest of the event, a 29.13km test on Friday, which merges Brenig and Alwen.

Contrary to the usual rally schedule, the Power Stage will be run early on Sunday morning to accommodate the all-asphalt Great Orme Llandudno test that brings the 23-stage itinerary to its conclusion.

Hyundai Motorsport will field the same three-car line-up as in Turkey with Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger, Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul and Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall. All crews have had one day of testing in mid-Wales with the Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe.

Team Principal Michel Nandan commented: “Turkey was a missed opportunity for us to assert our authority on the manufacturers’ championship. Instead, we find ourselves in a very intense battle with Toyota, and of course with M-Sport Ford also not far behind. We have to approach Wales Rally GB with a strong mentality and utmost determination, to show what we are capable of. We have made steady gains in this rally from one season to the next, with fourth places in 2014 and 2015, third in 2016 and second place last year. Our aim for this year is clear: to fight for the victory. Words are not going to achieve that; we have to demonstrate our intention by giving our crews the best car to do the job.”

HMDP crew return to Wales

The Hyundai Motorsport Driver development Program crew of Jari Huttunen and Antti Linnaketo will be present in Wales Rally GB, for their sixth participation of the season in WRC 2.

The Finnish duo took part in the event twelve months ago as a warm-up for their 2018 HMDP campaign, and will be looking to put into practice the lessons they learned last season. They will also be hoping to build on the experiences garnered throughout their five WRC 2 events of the year so far, which includes a podium in Finland and two sixth-placed finishes in Sweden and Mexico. The pair also finished second in last weekend’s FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) round in Poland.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “Jari and Antti return to WRC 2 action after an encouraging season so far. They have been put through their paces in a range of rally conditions but shown a professional approach at all times. Finland of course, was a highlight, but in fact they have often been able to set times close to the established, more experienced crews. Finishing second in the recent ERC round at Rally Poland will give them great motivation for Wales Rally GB, a familiar rally to them from last year. It will be a good benchmark event for them to show just how far they’ve come.”

WRC Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Demonstrated rally leading performance in Turkey before technical trouble Returns to scene of second ever WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport

Mikkelsen said: “Although Turkey was ultimately a frustrating result, having led the rally by 40 seconds, it is important to take away the positives. Everything was a bit more relaxed and we had a good feeling inside the car. That’s what we take with us onto Wales Rally GB, an event I enjoy greatly. It is where I started my career, so it is always good to go back. It was my second event with Hyundai Motorsport last season and we came away with a solid fourth place, fighting near the front. I hope we can do that again this year and recreate the level of competitiveness we showed for most of Rally Turkey.”

WRC Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Leads the drivers’ championship with a reduced advantage of 13 points over Tanak
Twice finished on the Wales Rally GB podium with Hyundai Motorsport

Neuville said: “Wales Rally GB is really enjoyable and has different characteristics to the other gravel rallies on the calendar. The past few editions of the event have been run in wet, rainy conditions but we are there a bit earlier this year so let’s see if the weather is kinder. Whatever happens, it will be a tricky rally, particularly on the second pass. The schedule is also tough with very early starts and late finishes; it’s an extra physical challenge. I have had two podiums in a row in Wales, so it would be nice to continue that streak. After the disappointment of Turkey, the championship fight is definitely on!”

WRC Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Scored first podium of season in Turkey with intelligent drive to third
Wales Rally GB marks home event for British co-driver Seb Marshall

Paddon said: “After our podium in Turkey, we are looking forward to Wales Rally GB, which is Seb’s home event. There is often rain, mud and fog to contend with in this event, which adds character to a very enjoyable, but taxing rally. The characteristics of the roads match our style, and I think they will also be suited to our i20 Coupe WRC. Although I have had a couple of top-five finishes in the past few seasons, we’ve never really achieved our full potential in Wales. I’m going to set out to correct that this time around.”

HMDP Crew Notes: Huttunen/Linnaketo (#37 Hyundai i20 R5)
Sixth WRC 2 event of the 2018 season
Returning to familiar territory with target of challenging the more established crews

Huttunen said: “I am pleased to be back in WRC 2 action with our i20 R5, following our ERC podium in Poland. We have had some ups and downs this season, some good results and some bad luck. Our goal for Wales Rally GB is to put all our learning into practice, and to register stage times on par with the front-runners. We didn’t have much fortune in Wales last year, retiring after just four stages. We have a lot more experience now, and I am feeling confident.”

Bite-size Wales
Thursday’s super special at Tir Prince kick starts a 23-stage itinerary that covers 318.34km
Friday includes a new stage at Slate Mountain and new configurations of established stages
At 150km, Saturday is the longest individual day of the event and features well-known stages Myherin, Sweet Lamb Hafren, Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Dyfnant. With no lunchtime service, it promises to be a decisive day of action
Five stages on Sunday means there will be plenty left to play for, with the Power Stage unusually taking place as the second test of the final morning
The all-asphalt stage of Great Orme Llandudno brings the rally to a finale in style.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing aims to continue winning ways in Wales

Posted: September 28, 2018 2:38 PM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team will head to Rally GB (October 4-7) for round 11 of the FIA World Rally Championship looking to continue its strong form after achieving three consecutive victories in Finland, Germany and Turkey. Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi will aim to maintain the team's newly-claimed position at the top of the manufacturers' championship, with Tänak additionally looking to further strengthen his bid for the drivers' title.

Rally GB takes place in the forests of Wales on on gravel tracks which are relatively fast when dry. Rain and fog are common however, making the stages muddy and very slippery, with grip levels changing frequently. This year the rally takes place three weeks earlier and off the back of a hot and dry summer, but the team's pre-event test in Wales last week was still affected by heavy rain.

A spectator stage at the coastal Tir Prince raceway will kick the rally off on Thursday evening. That is followed on Friday by three stages across north Wales, each run twice either side of service at Deeside, which is preceded by two passes of a short new Slate Mountain test. The classic mid Wales stages are all combined into a single day on Saturday: nine tests totalling more than 150 kilometres with no mid-day service, just a tyre fitting zone. The rally ends with five stages on Sunday, including two runs over an asphalt stage around the Great Orme and onto the streets of Llandudno, which hosts the finish. The Power Stage will be held over the first pass of Gwydir rather than the final test.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We are very much looking forward to Rally GB. During our pre-event test in Wales we had some very wet conditions. It was really the first time since we started this project that we have tested in such weather, and I think we can now feel pretty confident whatever the conditions that we experience. This is a difficult rally with lots of tricky places, especially in the forests, and the grip can change quite dramatically depending on whether it is dry or raining. Everybody in the team is really giving their maximum effort to push towards the manufacturers' title, and Ott's chances are now very open in the drivers' championship after his recent victories. I am sure that Rally GB will be a great battle.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)
“Rally GB is one of those events I have always enjoyed, partly because it was my first ever WRC round back in 2002: This year will be my 17th start in Wales. We had a very good test last week. I was delighted that we had a lot of rain and muddy conditions, because this is normally what you get in Wales, yet in the previous two years it was dry during testing and I ended up with the wrong setup for the rally. In the test the car was working really well in the muddy conditions, and we managed to improve the traction, which was our weakness last year. All in all, I got a good feeling with the driving and with the car, so I'm looking forward to the event.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Normally, Rally GB is an event that I like. In an ideal world, I would like to have dry conditions and fast roads, but everybody knows that you cannot expect anything when it comes to the weather in Wales. During our test last week it was raining quite a lot so we had a nice amount of mud, which was perfect for testing really. We were able to do quite a lot of work to try and further develop the car and get more performance. I believe we did a good job and I'm looking forward to seeing how we compare against our rivals. Everything is possible now in the championship and I have a good feeling about what we can do in Britain.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)
“Our result on this event last year wasn't great, and the car wasn't really performing how we expected, but hopefully we have found something on our pre-event test that is going to help us to be much more competitive this year. Unlike for my team-mates, it was actually fully dry for my test day, so I would prefer it if the rally is dry. With the earlier date I hope that could be possible, but the weather is always unpredictable, so let's see. I really like the rally itself so I'm really looking forward to it: It would be great to have a good result, both for myself and to help the team in the championship.”

Local hero Edwards leads title race as BRC Showdown speeds into Wales Rally GB

Posted: September 28, 2018 2:36 PM

It all comes down to this. In it’s 60th anniversary year, the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship title fight will be decided on one of rallying’s greatest challenges – Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. With two sets of championship points on offer for the double-header, a battle royale is set to rage throughout the famous Welsh forests and four days separate the crews and their quest for glory.

The Fantastic Four

Four crews will arrive in Wales with a mathematical chance of clinching Britain’s premier rallying series. The star of the show will undoubtedly be home-grown hero Matt Edwards and co-driver Darren Garrod. The Ford Fiesta R5 crew have dominated to date and are within touching distance of their first BRC title. The Welsh duo are also going for a clean sweep of BRC victories – which would be the first time the feat has been achieved since the late, great Colin McRae in 1992.

Despite rolling out of the first round on the Pirelli International Rally, David Bogie and John Rowan have kept themselves in the hunt with podiums on the Tarmac of Belgium and Northern Ireland. 2011 Champion Bogie has a new Skoda Fabia R5 for this event and will have to outscore Edwards on both rounds to have a chance of lifting the trophy once again.

Edwards’ M-Sport team-mates Alex Laffey and Patrick Walsh and Bogie’s stable mates Rhys Yates and Elliott Edmondson have a mathematical chance of top honours but will need Edwards to come into trouble on both legs of the event.

Ice cool Laffey has progressed with every event, claiming a career-best on gravel on the Pirelli Rally before taking his best BRC result to date with fourth in Ypres and on the Ulster. The young Scot will be pushing hard on his less preferred surface as his first objective will be to notch up his first ever BRC podium.

Rhys Yates on the other hand comes to the Showdown with the most to gain and little to lose and will be solely focused on two outright wins this weekend. The Skoda Fabia R5 driver has come close on several occasions this year and will throw caution to the wind as he hopes to become a first time winner in the Diamond year of the BRC.

The Fab Four

The young upcoming drivers in the Junior BRC are vying for one of the most coveted prizes in British motorsport – a test with the Hyundai Motorsport team in the latest i20 R5 machine.

Steve Røkland has established himself as one of the best R2 drivers in Europe and has shown his star quality with wins on the gravel and Tarmac this year. The Peugeot 208 driver is in the pound seat ahead of the Welsh classic with his rivals having it all to do in the forests this weekend.

Welshman James Williams won in Ypres and will be eager to perform on home soil in his Vauxhall ADAM R2. Williams will need two victories and Røkland two thirds or less to snatch the glory from his rival. On home soil, Williams will be hoping for the local support to carry him to victory this weekend.

William Creighton from Northern Ireland will use his experience of the Welsh forests gleaned from last year in the hope of taking the fight to the two drivers ahead of him in the standings. Creighton has two podiums in the bank currently and would love a win to round out his second season in the series.

Kevin Horgan in his Skoda Fabia R2 has grown in confidence will need the other three to falter if he has any chance of the Junior BRC honours. It’s a tall order, but stranger things have happened in a BRC championship showdown.

The Fearless Four

Four young drivers are about to embark on their biggest and toughest challenge to date. The fearless, young Cadet crews will not only have to contend with four days of challenging stages but they will also have the added pressure of fighting tooth and nail for the Cadet Cup crown – and with it free entries into every round of the 2019 BRC series.

The two rounds will create a spectacular bout between Englishmen Jordan Reynolds and Bart Lang, Irishman Johnnie Mulholland and Scotsman Finlay Retson.

Elsewhere, John Morrison and Peter Carstairs will be putting their Mitsubishi into a victory parade as they have already claimed the National Rally Cup while Spencer Wilkinson and Glyn Thomas will be searching for two strong finishes to secure them back-to-back Production Cup titles.

The stage is set…

The BRC has helped springboard the World Rally Championship careers of the likes of Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Elfyn Evans. To join that elite club of BRC champions, crews must first face over 200 miles featuring classic gravel stages in mid and north Wales before a ground-breaking special stage through the heart of Llandudno town centre where the victors will be crowned in front of thousands of spectators.

“Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is going to be a cracker,” enthused BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell. “It all comes down to the final two rounds, and by the end of the weekend we will be crowning several champions. It’s all about the number four in 2018. We have four BRC titles to be decided and in the main category, Junior BRC and Cadet Cup, four drivers in each have a mathematical chance of clinching it in Wales.

"Matt Edwards has been the stand out driver of 2018 and could seal the championship on home soil. However, the BRC is notorious for springing surprises as shown last year when the championship went down to the final stage on the final rally of the year. Let battle commence!”

Brand Manager for Prestone, Stephanie Hickford said: “The grand finale in Wales is set to be a showstopper, as we cheer on the drivers for the title decider.

“The team at Prestone are really looking forward to the event; we’ll be stage side all weekend as we host interviews with drivers, chat to supporters in Wales and celebrate 60 years of the British Rally Championship!

“Our brand ambassadors Henry Catchpole and Luke Barry will be filming exciting footage with the nation’s favourite rally legends and getting behind the scenes for all the trackside news. Keep an eye on our social media channels for all the latest news and action.

All of this adds up to an exciting weekend of motor sport action, with a large crowd expected to line the stages. Highlights from the rally will be broadcast around the world via Channel 4, BT Sport and Motorsport TV network shortly afterwards.

Entry Lists - WRC & National

Posted: September 17, 2018 3:24 AM

Entries now open for milestone World Championship showdown

Posted: August 3, 2018 5:44 AM

The beginning of August marks another major milestone on the countdown to the UK’s history-making round of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship.

With little more than nine weeks remaining until the thrilling WRC title fight arrives on these shores, official entries to this autumn’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October) have just opened.

Entries for the shorter two-day WRGB National Rally that shadows the main four-day event into the legendary Welsh forests on Friday and Saturday open next Wednesday (8 August) and will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. This concurrent event offers enthusiastic amateurs an extraordinary opportunity to compete alongside their World Championship heroes.

From all perspectives, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB has always been one of the classic rounds on the WRC calendar attracting top class entries from right around the world. This year’s International event, though, will be even more exceptional than last year’s huge success.

Now, making more history, this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will witness the thrills of world championship motor sport on closed sections of public roads for the first time ever on the British mainland.

The 2018 route offers competitors a number of more challenging speed tests with sections of forests now linked together by road closures plus a spectacular headline grabbing finale on the Welsh coast with crews racing around the iconic Great Orme and onto the closed streets of Llandudno.

With the title race hotting-up, a full field of the latest generation of awe-inspiring WRC cars is expected with Citroën, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota all well represented at the front of the premier league pack.

Swelling the numbers, the UK’s premier rally is also a round of WRC2 and WRC3 championships as well as the final two rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the UK’s premier series. Moreover, as debuted last year, those with nationally-registered machinery will again be eligible for the main WRC event.

In total, a maximum of 90 entries will be accepted into the full event which includes 23 special stages adding up to just over 318km (199 miles) of world class competitive action.

The first 30 eligible entries from private entrants received before the 4 September closing date will be automatically accepted. A full breakdown of entry fees is available in the Supplementary Regulations found on the walesrallygb.com website with local crews able to take advantage of the discounted British privateer entry fee of £2200 including VAT). An even greater discount is offered to those registered for the BRC, their entries priced at just £1650 (including VAT).

Running alongside the main event, the WRGB National Rally has been a sell-out in recent years and this year’s revised two-day event is again likely to be oversubscribed. Initial entries will be restricted to maximum of just 70, though this figure could be increased to make a total field of 160 cars should the International event attract fewer than 90 starters.

The first 55 completed registrations received after National entries open at noon on 8 August will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, with the remaining 15 places to be allocated at the organisers’ discretion – several of these being reserved for outstanding performers in the UK’s major domestic championships via the Road to Wales initiative.

With ten challenging stages totalling an extended 85 miles of competitive action, the WRGB National rally is priced at £900 + VAT. To register, fully paid entries must be made online through the official walesrallygb.com website when entries open next week.

“This is an incredible opportunity opportunity for both British and overseas competitors to be part of an event that is going to be a very, very special,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “We have the return of the stunning new-era WRC cars, the fiercest title fight for more than a decade, a British driver targeting back-to-back victories plus a radical new route ending with a fantastic finale on the Promenade in Llandudno.

“It all adds up to an epic world championship page-turner that no one – whether spectators or participants – will want to miss.”

For those not lucky enough to be revving up for action, admission tickets are on sale offering considerable discounts for those buying in advance. If purchased now, adult prices start at just £15 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £20 for a grandstand seat in Llandudno, £28 for a day pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.

Full information can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website and via the event’s social media channels.

RALLY GUIDE 1 PUBLISHED

Posted: May 31, 2018 3:47 AM

Available at:

Exciting new-look route for 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

Posted: March 22, 2018 4:39 PM

After the success of last year's incredible Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, we have been working hard to ensure that this year's event is no less amazing and are confident the earlier date (4-7 October) will bring even better weather!

We will announce the full route next month when tickets go on sale, but in the meantime we just wanted to update you on the key changes to our exciting new-look route to enable you to plan your trip.

As in 2017, the event will blast off at Tir Prince on Thursday evening, but Friday's stages will be based in north Wales forests, rather than the traditional stages around Newtown. We will only head to mid Wales for 'Super Saturday' which will be a long, dramatic day featuring many of the classic forest tests in the region. The show moves back to north Wales on the Sunday and comes to a climax with a new Power Stage venue.

The itinerary will also include a lengthened WRGB National Rally which will run to a longer two-day format and will include all of the special stages on both Friday and Saturday. The National winners will be crowned on their return to the busy WRGB Rally Village late on Saturday afternoon.

As in 2017, those amateur crews wanting to compete in the full four-day WRC event will be able to do so in non-homologated machinery.

Adding further appeal, this year’s event also features the concluding two rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the UK’s premier national series. This means that the best British drivers will all converge on Wales at the start of October to finally decide who will take the coveted Prestone-backed crown this year.

The final route for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB – and the WRGB National Rally – will be announced in April when tickets go on sale.

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB welcomes new closed-roads opportunities 

Posted: February 11, 2018 10:26 AM

International Motor Sports Ltd (IMS), organiser and promoter of Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, is delighted that new laws facilitating closed-road motor sport events have today (2 February 2018) come into force in Wales.

The new regulations follow a long campaign by the UK governing body of four wheeled motor sport, the Motor Sports Association (MSA), and allows IMS to explore a range of new opportunities for this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB route (4-7 October).

"We have been working closely with the Welsh Government on achieving this exciting piece of legislation,” remarked Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “We are already looking at what this might mean for this year’s event.

“Whether it’s the introduction of an entire special stage set on closed roads or just closing a small section of highway to link two existing forest tests, we will be considering all the options. It’s really exciting!”

The landmark development for Welsh motor sport comes after the MSA spent several years campaigning for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motor sport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament. New enabling legislation commenced in England on 10 April 2017.

Following a further consultation, the Welsh Government has now published its own Statutory Instrument that will facilitate closed-road motor sport in Wales from 2 February 2018. As in England, it names the MSA and its sister governing body for two-wheel UK motor sport, the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), as the authorising bodies for closed-road motor sport events such as racing, rallying and hillclimbs.

Dolgellau’s Elfyn Evans, FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) driver and winner of the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, welcomed the news as a huge boost for motor sport in his home country.

“Wales has some of the best driving roads in Europe and this initiative will provide the perfect platform to showcase the very best of the Welsh countryside,” said Evans. “With the success of events like Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, Welsh motor sport is very much on the up and this will only encourage even more visitors to our region.”

Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said: “Wales is home to a dynamic automotive sector with an annual turnover of some £3 billion and this is an excellent opportunity to inspire people to become a part of automotive and engineering industries in the future. I also recognize how such events can boost local, often rural, economies through increased tourism and hospitality, and offer community opportunities such as volunteering.”

The final route for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will be announced in April when tickets go on sale. Last year’s event attracted more than 100,000 visitors, a record since the rally moved to north Wales in 2013.

PLANNING STARTS FOR 2018 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB

Posted: February 11, 2018 9:40 AM

The countdown to this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October) has commenced. The clock started ticking with the official high profile launch of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship at last weekend’s Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC.

The spectacular 13-round series blasts off later this month with the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally (25-28 January) and travels the globe before reaching the legendary Welsh forests in the autumn.

While there is nearly nine months of thrilling world championship action before the WRC returns to headline in Wales, there is less time for fans to wait than in recent years as Dayinsure Wales Rally GB has advanced from the penultimate to the 11th round on the calendar. As a result, it has moved forward by three weeks to a new date at the start of October.

Whetting the appetite for the excitement ahead to UK audiences, manufacturer teams representing Citroën, Hyundai, M-Sport Ford and Toyota revealed their latest 2018 World Rally Cars at the Autosport show.

All the big-name drivers, co-drivers and team principals were present to share their views on the new season, which promises to be another dramatic and exciting world championship.

The introduction of more powerful cars produced a memorably thrilling series in 2017 with record crowds flocking to the Welsh stages to witness history as home hero Elfyn Evans claimed his maiden WRC victory.

“The stars really aligned last year with Sébastien Ogier and the M-Sport team clinching their respective World Championship titles and Elfyn, of course, winning the event outright. Now, judging by the incredible anticipation from all those at the WRC launch, we are going to be treated to a repeat performance come October,” enthused Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director, Ben Taylor.

“It was wonderful to have all the WRC teams and drivers launching their new cars right here in Britain. It reflects the importance of the UK market to the sport and gives us a great opportunity to build awareness of our earlier date, as well as maintaining the momentum after the huge success of last year.”

In the meantime, all those wanting to follow the globe-trotting WRC en route back to the UK are spoilt for choice with both live and highlight television coverage on Channel 5, BT Sport, S4C and Red Bull TV.

Tickets for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will go on sale when the competitive route is revealed in April.

Event Website

Posted: February 11, 2018 9:40 AM

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