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Rally GB (J) - 3-6 Oct 19

Posted: August 8, 2019 7:26 AM - 829 Hits

Round 12 - 2019 World Rally Championship
J - Counting Round WRC Junior Championship
Reserve Round - 2019 Welsh Rally Championship

ENTRIES NOW OPEN FOR NEW LOOK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWCASE

Posted: August 8, 2019 7:26 AM

The beginning of August marks another major milestone in the countdown to the UK’s celebrated round of the 2019 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 Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) have just opened.

Entries for the shorter two-day WRGB National Rally – based right in the heart the WRC Service Park on the Llandudno seafront – which shadows the main four-day event into the legendary Welsh forests on Friday and Saturday open Wednesday (7 August). These 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, 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 breaks new ground, too, living up to Visit Wales’ very pertinent ‘Year of Discovery’.

The 2019 route offers competitors all the classic Welsh forest stages plus some exciting new additions included to create extra interest. The Ceremonial Start takes place on Liverpool’s historic Pier Head, part of the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City UNESCO World Heritage Site on Thursday afternoon with the opening speed test following swiftly afterwards at the Oulton Park circuit near Chester.

There’s also a new Saturday evening test set on the Colwyn Bay Promenade – another new crowd-pleaser on the 2019 schedule.

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. What is more, this year’s Wales Rally GB hosts the thrilling finale to the 2019 FIA Junior WRC with just a single point separating the top two drivers Tom Kristensson and Jan Solans and double points on offer. It is going to be a nail-biter!

In total, a maximum of 90 entries will be accepted into the full event which includes 22 special stages adding up to just over 313km (196 miles) of world class competitive action.

The first 30 eligible entries from private entrants received before the 3 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.

Running alongside the main event, the WRGB National Rally has been a sell-out in recent years and this year’s 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 Wednesday 7 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 eight challenging stages totalling an extended 85 miles of competitive action, the WRGB National rally is priced at £900. 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 for both British and overseas competitors to be part of an event that is going to be one of the very best in the world,” said Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK, organiser of Wales Rally GB. “The latest generation of WRC cars just have to be experienced to be believed and we have a gripping three-way title battle adding even more interest. It’s certainly a world championship event neither participants nor spectators will want to miss.”

For those not lucky enough to be revving up for high-speed action, a wide range of early bird admission tickets are on sale offering considerable discounts. If purchased before midnight on 12 August, adult prices start at just £15 for the Colwyn Bay stage on Saturday evening. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.

SOLBERGS SAY HELLO AND WAVE GOODBYE ON WALES RALLY GB

Posted: July 24, 2019 4:32 AM

Fan favourite Petter Solberg, one of the FIA World Rally Championship’s most charismatic drivers, will end his professional career at this year’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) driving Volkswagen Motorsport’s Polo GTI R5.

The 2003 World Rally Champion is no stranger to Britain’s WRC encounter; he’s started it 15-times and won it no fewer than four times. Between 2002 and 2005, he and co-driver Phil Mills dominated the world championship’s Welsh stages. Mills will be dusting off his overalls once more and will return to revive the winning partnership.

Oliver Solberg was just one-year-old when his father started that extraordinary period of dominance of Wales Rally GB. This year the highly-rated young gun will be 18 and he will make his WRC debut in an identical Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 to that of his father in Wales.

“This is absolutely wonderful news,” said Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, organiser of Wales Rally GB. “As a four-time winner, Petter holds a very special place in Rally GB history and, being such a legend, is loved by rally fans all around the world. Oliver is clearly a chip off the old block and has already proved himself to be a star of the future. To have father and son competing against each other – and the best in the world – in Wales will be very, very special. We can’t wait to see who comes out on top!”

The Llandudno-based event marks the changing of the WRC guard in the Solberg household. The next generation has arrived on the sport’s highest stage… though Oliver’s entry is, obviously, dependent on him passing his driving test in Sweden ahead of the event!

Petter said: “Wales Rally GB has always been a special one for me and the chance to bring my professional World Rally Championship career to a close there is fantastic.

“There are so many memories from this rally, it’s an event which has really been one of the highlights of my career – winning my first-ever WRC round, then winning the championship a year later was so special. And so special for my co-driver Phil [Mills], who lives there.

“It is going to be an emotional rally, especially competing on a WRC round for the first time with my son Oliver. It’s an incredible moment for the Solberg family as one chapter closes and another one opens.”

Petter announced his Farewell Tour earlier this season and kicked that off with an outstanding trip to the Goodwood Festival of Speed (July 4-7), where he and Oliver stole the show – not to mention the hearts of hundreds of thousands of fans – as they turned on the speed and style in West Sussex.

Petter continued: “Rally GB is part of my Farewell Tour which is something that’s so important to me. I didn’t want to just make a press release talking about what I’d done in the sport and what a good time I’d had. I always wanted to get out there and do what I’ve always loved to do, what my life has been about: driving competitively.

“All of my career, the fans and spectators have been really close with me and I want this chance to see them all again and give them something to smile about. I started with the Festival of Speed at Goodwood which was a fantastic event – I’m sure Wales is going to be the same as well.

“But as well as thanking the fans and the media, I have to say a big thank you to Volkswagen Motorsport for their support with my Farewell Tour and to my long-term partner Monster Energy.

“For me and for once, the competition isn’t absolutely everything. Like I say, I want to enjoy this rally and driving Volkswagen’s Polo GTI R5 and I really can’t wait to share a round of the world championship with Oliver. I hope I can share this moment with you as well.”

Oliver, already a rally winner on both sides of the Atlantic, is equally excited. “Fantastic. Just incredible,” he enthused. “I have so many memories of papa driving and winning in this rally. Earlier this year I was over doing some testing in the Sweet Lamb stage and honestly it gave me the [goose] bumps on my arm when I was driving there for the first time.”

Fans wishing to bid farewell to Petter and at the same time welcome Oliver to the WRC fray, can take advantage of early bird tickets now on offer with adult admission for the 22 competitive stages starting at just £15. Accompanied children aged 15 and under enjoy free admittance to all 22 stages.

WALES RALLY GB: ROUTE REVEAL

Posted: July 22, 2019 6:11 AM

This year, Wales Rally GB, has a vibrant new home , right in the heart of Llandudno, on the coast of North Wales.

Following a final pre-event Shakedown in Gwydir Forest, Snowdonia, on Thursday morning, all the competing teams will make their way over the border to the Liverpool for the Ceremonial Start. Teams will then blast off to Oulton Park circuit, where a full evening of entertainment is planned, with appearances from WRC legends and iconic vehicles, live music and DJs, historic rally displays and an autograph session which will be open to all spectators.

Friday is based in the forests of the Snowdonia National Park. The day opens with classic stages in the forests of Elsi and Penmachno before moving towards Welshpool for timed tests in the Dyfnant and Aberhinant forests. All four stages are repeated in the afternoon after a lunchtime service in Llandudno with the second run through Aberhirnant taking place well after sunset and in total darkness. Friday afternoon will also see the rally return to Slate Mountain.

‘Super Saturday’ is back for 2019 with three epic special stages, all set in the mountains to the east of Aberystwyth, with the addition of the new street stage on the seafront at Colwyn Bay. Dyfi, Myherin and Hafren, incorporating the Sweet Lamb complex, will push crews to their limits as they tackle all three stages twice. A lunchtime regroup will be hosted on the streets of central Newtown.
The rally returns to the Service Park in Llandudno via an all-new Saturday evening spectator stage on the promenade in Colwyn Bay. We can expect plenty of donuts, hairpins and chicanes!

Sunday’s action will take place at Llyn Brenig Reservoir, with both Alwen and Brenig tests running twice either side of a timed section around the iconic Great Orme peninsula. The second visit to Brenig is the event’s concluding Wolf Power Stage.

INNOVATIONS POWER WALES RALLY GB TO NEW HEIGHTS

Posted: July 22, 2019 6:09 AM

This autumn’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) will be more accessible, more challenging and more exciting than ever before with major innovations adding yet more to one of the UK’s premier sporting events, round 12 of the prestigious 14-round 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).

Celebrating the milestone 20th running since the international event moved to Wales at the start of the millennium, a vibrant new base within the resort town of Llandudno has already been revealed along with a new family-friendly Saturday evening street stage set on the recently refurbished promenade of neighbouring Colwyn Bay.

Now a further raft of new developments has been announced with today’s (Wednesday) unveiling of the full four-day draft competitive route for the 2019 Wales Rally GB and the on-sale of money-saving early bird tickets.

For the first time in recent history, Wales Rally GB will kick off over the English border on Thursday afternoon with its showpiece Ceremonial Start relocating into Liverpool’s iconic Waterfront sharing the World Rally Championship with an even wider audience – a world apart from the Welsh mountains where most of the action is staged.

Another new addition follows swiftly with an early evening opening special stage set at Oulton Park, the well-known race circuit situated in rolling parkland close to Chester. It will be the first time Oulton Park has hosted the WRC for more than 25 years and, like Liverpool, its easily accessible location is certain to attract a huge crowd.

For many, the Thursday evening will be their first opportunity to experience the latest generation of superfast World Rally Cars and to witness the extreme skills of star drivers such as multiple World champion Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak and local heroes Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans, winner of Wales Rally GB in 2017. Again both stars and cars are world apart from everyday motoring.

A full evening of entertainment is planned, with appearances from WRC legends and iconic vehicles, live music and DJs, historic rally displays and an autograph session which will be open to all spectators.

Friday’s schedule switches to more familiar rallying heartlands in the forests of north Wales and also – back by popular demand from both the public and competitors – sees the return of a spectacular stage run in darkness through the Aberhirnant forest close to the market town of Bala in south east Snowdonia. Underlining the unique challenge presented by Wales Rally GB, it will be the only true forest stage run after dark on this year’s WRC calendar. For the less intrepid, there is also a return to Slate Mountain.

A gruelling ‘Super Saturday’ schedule will move the battleground to mid Wales and the legendary forests of Dyfi, Myherin and Sweet Lamb Hafren. These well-established rally venues offer plenty of capacity for the large numbers of spectators now regularly drawn by the latest generation of WRC cars plus the prospect of escalating title battles between the top drivers and manufacturers and the presence of two proven British winners – Evans and Meeke.

Sunday morning sees two more forest tests this time set on the Denbigh Moors – including Brenig which will be the points-scoring Wolf Power Stage finale. The morning will also feature a dash around the iconic Great Orme peninsula which protrudes into the Irish Sea to the west of Llandudno. With the Great Orme, a mid-morning visit to the Service Park and the Ceremonial Finish all taking place in and around the resort, Llandudno will be abuzz on Sunday.

In its entirety, the refreshed 2019 route adds up to 22 stages totalling more than 320km (200 miles) of high-octane world championship competition like no other. More significantly, the introduction of Liverpool, Oulton Park and Colwyn Bay will supplement the event’s move to a more dynamic new base in Llandudno, further confirming Wales Rally GB’s position as a truly outstanding and welcoming world class event.

Tickets now on sale

To encourage everyone to experience the unparalleled wonders of the FIA World Rally Championship on its only visit to the UK, visitors are once again offered a number of free-to-view opportunities – at the Ceremonial Start in Liverpool and buzzing Service Park in Llandudno, the event’s lively pits and paddock complex. The colourful Regroup in central Newtown around mid-day on Saturday provides fans with another chance to see the WRC stars and cars close-up at no financial cost.

As a further incentive to inspire the next generation of potential rally fans, all those aged under 16 continue to be provided with free general admittance to all 22 timed special stages when accompanied by an adult.

Early bird tickets are now on sale offering significant savings for those purchasing now. An adult Day Pass provides access to all stages on the selected day and, for all those taking advantage of the current early bird offer, costs £32 for Friday and Sunday and £35 for ‘Super Saturday’. Providing extra value for money, every ticket includes a free glossy programme priced at £9* and booking fees are included.

Adult tickets for Saturday evening’s seafront showpiece in Colwyn Bay are available in advance for just £15 – again those aged under 16 and accompanied by an adult enjoy free admission.

Oulton Park tickets can be purchased for £25 per adult with a £25 Grandstand upgrade option also on offer. Access is strictly via advanced tickets only as no tickets will be available on the gate.

The early bird price of the premium four-day World Rally Pass, ensuring access to all 21 competitive special stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown, is priced at £109. Befitting the standout value of this prestigious ticket, purchasers will receive a programme, a hard pass and lanyard by post plus a special car pass that offers free overnight parking where available. World Rally pass holders are also offered access to Oulton Park for just a £5 supplement.

Hospitality

Rally Xtra hospitality options are now on sale for visitors seeking an enhanced experience at Sweet Lamb and Colwyn Bay on Saturday and Brenig on Sunday.

Early bird tickets for these Rally Xtra packages are priced at £129 adult / £92 per child (aged 6-15 years old) and offer fans an attractive upgrade opportunity by providing food, dedicated viewing areas, premium toilet facilities, free tea and coffee, commentary and results. Numbers are strictly limited and tickets completely sold out in 2017 and 2018. Details of a further hospitality opportunity at Oulton Park will be announced at a later date.

Full details of all tickets – including terms and conditions – can be found on the official website, link below:

Llandudno is the new home for Wales Rally GB

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:58 AM

This year’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) will have a vibrant new home right in the heart of Llandudno on the coast of north Wales.

With enthusiastic support from Conwy County Borough Council, the popular resort town has been a regular feature in recent years by hosting official Ceremonial Starts and Finishes.

Moreover, its seaside streets made history last October when, for the very first time on the British mainland, fans witnessed the spectacle of World Championship motor sport action on closed public roads.

New for 2019, all the teams and manufacturers contesting Britain’s high-profile round of the FIA World Rally Championship will be based in Llandudno for the very first time, alongside the international event’s busy headquarters based at Venue Cymru.

For the past six years, Wales Rally GB has been located next to the Toyota Engine Plant in Deeside, following the event’s revitalising switch to a new base in north Wales in 2013.

The move to Llandudno will not only allow a new town centre audience to experience the excitement of the busy pits and paddock complex, but will also generate significant economic benefits for the town’s many hotels, shops and other businesses.

Furthermore the town’s streets and famous promenade will be bustling with entertainment while an interactive and engaging Big Bang event will inspire the next generation of local students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

“Motorsport UK is delighted to be bringing all the atmosphere and prestige of a World Rally Championship Service Park to Llandudno, and to create an interactive fan zone in the town centre; but at the same time we must say a massive ‘thank you’ to all those at Toyota – as well as our local partners in Deeside topped by Flintshire County Council – for playing such a major role in helping us to re-establish the UK’s round as one of the true classics on the WRC calendar,” said Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK, organiser and promoter of Wales Rally GB.

“As our official ‘Host County’ partner, Conwy County Borough Council has also been one of the driving forces behind the event’s resurgence and we are now relishing the opportunity of furthering that relationship in the autumn. There are many attractions and opportunities arising from the World Championship being based in a town centre, and we will be working closely with those at the Council to create a truly memorable motor sport festival right at the heart of Llandudno.”

As a long-time supporter of Wales Rally GB, Conwy County Borough Council is equally enthusiastic to see the full WRC show coming to Llandudno.

“We’re thrilled to once again be Host County for this prestigious event, but this year is extra special with having the World Championship based in Llandudno,” said Councillor Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development. “We’ve worked with Wales Rally GB since 2009, and each year the number of spectators the rally’s attracted to Conwy County has increased, and to now have the manufacturers and teams based with us is very exciting. The Worldwide media coverage that comes with this event helps put Conwy County well and truly on the map, so we welcome the opportunity to work with the rally team again, especially with the new developments.”

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas said: “Wales Rally GB is one of our flagship events which is well-established in north Wales and a vital part of an international world-series event. I’m delighted that the organisers are yet again looking at new ways of refreshing and improving the experience for visitors. This move will see Llandudno becoming a hub of activity for spectators and competitors and will create an excellent festival atmosphere during the event in October. It will also attract visitors who may be new to rallying as a spectator sport. This will be an additional boost for the town and we look forward to working with partners on new and exciting developments presented by the move.”

Prospects for another thrilling Wales Rally GB are already rocketing, after the opening three rounds of this year’s fiercely-fought FIA World Rally Championship in Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico further underlined the series’ current competitiveness.

With victories and championship points being shared between the top protagonists, both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ title fights will be reaching their climax when the teams arrive in the UK for what is the 12thof 14 rounds on the expanded 2019 WRC calendar.

Tickets for this year’s new-look Wales Rally GB will go on sale in the spring when the full competitive route is announced.

Event Website

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:56 AM

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