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Rally GB - 27-29 Oct 17

Posted: October 28, 2017 3:43 PM - 9064 Hits

Round 12 - 2017 World Rally Championship

WRC: Live Results (GB 2017 WRC) Also available at: rally-base results
National: Live Results (GB 2017 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 - 10:20
SS8 Sat - 07:55
SS17 Sun - 08:34 (Winter Time)

Crunch time as Loeb and Grist team up to present Red Bull TV coverage in Wales

Posted: October 24, 2017 9:29 AM

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October), the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, could be a title-decider after one of the closest-fought seasons in which no fewer than six drivers from all four competing manufacturers have claimed wins.

And, with so much at stake, Red Bull TV has assembled a special guest commentary team starring the sport’s most successful driver, nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb, and Britain’s successful co-driver Nicky Grist.

They will be your expert guides as Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have their first chance to take an impressive fifth world title and their M-Sport team looks set to clinch what would be an emotional and historic victory in the Manufacturers’ Championship on home soil.

Rally GB was founded in 1932 and it was not until 1960 that the introduction of forest roads transformed the rally into what it is today. Originally the route toured England, Scotland and Wales but, since 2000, it has largely been based in the legendary forests of Wales. It is a classic on the calendar with world-renowned forestry stages. Britain’s unpredictable autumn weather also all-but guarantees wet, slippery and muddy conditions.

After two no-scores in Germany and Spain, Thierry Neuville – previously Ogier’s nearest rival – has gone from leading the Championship on equal points after nine of the 13 rounds to third position, 38 points adrift of the Frenchman and one point behind second-placed Ott Tänak.

Both Tänak and Neuville mathematically have everything still to fight for, but an unprecedented fifth Rally GB victory for Ogier or a 31-point lead would seal the title in Wales. In the Manufacturers’ Championship, M-Sport needs to get one of its registered cars to the finish to score four points and claim a momentous victory for the British based outfit.

An impressive entry of 79 cars for the international event is the biggest field since the rally moved to north Wales in 2013, so competition will be fierce in all the categories, not least the FIA WRC 2 Championship where 23 crews will be fighting for honours.

Red Bull TV’s dream team in Wales

With regular presenter Matt Wilson dusting off his rally overall and swapping his microphone for a driver’s seat in an R5 Fiesta for his home event, Red Bull TV has pulled out all stops for what could be a title decider in the fearsome Welsh forests.

Sébastien Loeb scored a hat-trick of Wales Rally GB for Citroën between 2008 and 2010 so knows what it takes to win one of the most famous and challenging rounds on the WRC calendar.

The Frenchman who’s now racing in the FIA World Rallycross Championship for the Red Bull backed Team Peugeot-Hanson outfit is joined by Nicky Grist is another multiple Rally GB winner. The Welshman was Juha Kankkunen’s victorious co-driver in 1993 and then won again with Colin McRae 20 years ago in 1997.

Between them, Loeb and Grist have no fewer than 99 WRC wins – television viewers couldn’t hope to have two more knowledgeable guest reporters providing unique insights from the inside. It’s not to be missed.

Follow Kalle Rovanperä’s WRC on Red Bull TV

Finland’s latest young gun only turned 17 earlier this month and will be competing in Wales rallying an M-Sport WRC2 car just days after getting his driving licence. Red Bull TV will be following his progress – in meantime here’s a video of Kalle Rovenpera taking a very special driving licence test.

Catch Red Bull TV times: highlights, live and exclusive features

Catch Sébastien and Nicky, together with show host Mike Chen on redbull.tv/wrc or via the Red Bull TV app. Saturday’s live programme comes direct from the Gartheinog forest stage in the Snowdonia National Park, bringing you all the action of SS12 as it happens. The show also features cutting-edge technology such as the live ghost feature – which displays rally drivers ‘racing’ each other in real time. Exclusive to Red Bull TV.

Tom Cave leaves no stone unturned as he prepares for Wales Rally GB

Posted: October 24, 2017 9:25 AM

Determined to do the best he can on his home FIA World Rally Championship event, Aberdovey-based rally driver Tom Cave has been meticulously preparing for next week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. His focus of attention will be firmly fixed on the highly competitive WRC2 category, a class that sees many of the world’s leading young drivers compete in R5 specification cars in their quest to secure a seat in a WRC car.

“It looks like all of the forests we’ll be visiting on Rally GB I’ve driven before and when they’ve been used on a national-status rally I’ve won it! In fact, looking at the route, one of the stages runs less than 10 miles away from where I live. However, you can never be complacent, as the conditions at this time of year can change extremely quickly. I therefore have to be sure I’m on the top of my game next week.”

In order to get acquainted to the new Dom Buckley RSC prepared Ford Fiesta R5 he’ll be using for this year's Rally GB, Tom has just completed two full-day’s of testing: one in Carno Forest in north Wales and the other at the Sweet Lamb complex in mid-Wales.

“The weather was horrendous. It rained continuously during the first day of testing and then ‘Storm Brian’ did its worst during the second. I don’t think that in all my eight years of rallying, I’ve ever driven in conditions like that. While it was great preparation for what might happen on the rally, thankfully the forecast is looking dryer, which will be so much better for the spectators, marshals and organisers.

“Even though it was wet and slippery during the test, the car felt great. The latest version of the Fiesta is definitely an improvement on the previous one. It felt sharper and more responsive. The engine is stronger too. I must admit that having driven the Hyundai i20 R5 earlier this year, I thought the Ford may not be as competitive in certain circumstances, but M-Sport have obviously done a good job since the last time I drove one of their cars.

“So, with the car inspiring confidence, my regular co-driver James Morgan beside me, the rally using roads I’ve driven before and, having worked with the Dom Buckely RSC team previously, I’m feeling as ready as I can be at this point before the event. As I’ve said before, having been beaten by a Finn in Finland, I’m looking to turn the tables here in Wales. Bring it on!"

The Dayinsure Wales Rally GB represents the penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship. It commences on Thursday (26th) evening with a spectator stage at Tir Prince on the Flintshire coast. Friday sees six stages in mid Wales, followed by a further six stages in the north Wales forests - plus a spectator stage at Cholmondley Castle - on Saturday.

Sunday sees the route remain in north Wales and features another five stages before the ceremonial finish in Llandudno. All of the event’s service halts take place at Deeside Industrial Park.


Posted: October 24, 2017 9:20 AM

As M-Sport embark on the twelfth and penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, the stage is set for a historic Dayinsure Wales Rally GB – the Cumbrian squad in with a strong chance of securing the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers.

With the crown within touching distance, M-Sport require just one of their three Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs to reach the flying finish of the final stage. Do that, and the Cumbrians achieve the unthinkable – a private team from the edge of the English Lake District beating some of the world’s largest automotive companies.

If that weren’t enough, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia also have their first mathematical chance of securing the drivers’ and co-drivers’ titles – giving Malcolm Wilson’s team the potential of a dream double celebration on home soil.

With a record-breaking 13 Ford Fiestas in the M-Sport service park, the team will have to be at the top of their game and have left no stone unturned in their pursuit of success – success which they hope to celebrate throughout the field.

There’s nothing quite like rallying on home soil and, call us biased, but Wales Rally GB is one of the most anticipated and celebrated events on the calendar.

Steeped in motorsport history, the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship is an iconic event that has come to epitomise the sport of rallying. Founded in 1932, the introduction of forest roads in 1960 saw the emergence of what we know today.

Formally venturing into England, Scotland and Wales, the event has been focused on Wales since 2000 but continues to draw inspiration from the past.

Harking back to the rallies of old, endurance is the name of the game and the crews will have to tackle a mammoth 17-hour day on Saturday before the switch back to Greenwich Mean Time that same evening.

But the long hours are compensated by some of the most picturesque landscapes and exciting gravel stages of the year.

With classics such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren and Dyfi all on the agenda, the crews will navigate familiar territory through picture-postcard forests. But they won’t have time to stop and admire the scenery.

Rain, fog and even ice are all to be expected and that presents a particular challenge. The fast, flowing stages might not be technically difficult, but muddy conditions add a treacherous twist with ever-changing grip waiting to trap the unwary.

As a driver and a Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson has tasted his fair share of champagne at the British fixture, but this year’s vintage could be the sweetest yet.

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It’s hard to find the words to describe just what a momentous achievement we are on the verge of securing this week.

“When we started developing the Ford Fiesta WRC, I knew we had the people to design a competitive, rally-winning car, and we always hoped to be in this sort of position. Now that it is a reality, it really is hard to find the words.

“But it’s not done yet and we cannot forget just what a challenging event Wales Rally GB can be. The changeable weather, unpredictable grip and long days make it one of the most demanding events of the year.

“All three of our drivers have proven what they are capable of in Wales, and I have no doubt that all three of them are capable of securing the best possible result. But anything can happen and we must remain at the top of our game to get the job done.”


Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have an opportunity to rewrite not one but two history books at Wales Rally GB.

Having won the event on four previous occasions, a fifth victory would make the French pairing the most successful in the event’s 85-year history.

A win would also see the reigning world champions retain their crown for a fifth straight season. Second place and a Power Stage victory would also see Ogier and Ingrassia seal the deal – regardless of what their nearest rivals achieve.

Other permutations rely on the performance of team mate Ott Tänak and rival Thierry Neuville, but Ogier can lose six points to Tänak, seven to Neuville and still take the crown.

Calculators at the ready…

Previous starts: 9
Best result: 1st (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016)

Sébastien Ogier said:
“This event is steeped in motorsport history and I think it’s fair to say that Wales Rally GB is one of the most iconic events on the calendar. It’s one that everyone wants to win and we’ll certainly be hoping to be in the battle for victory.

“It’s one of the most challenging rallies of the year and there is a real art to judging the grip levels through the forests. It’s an event that takes a while to get to grips with – quite literally – but I have to say that I now feel at home on the Welsh stages.

“Clearly, this could be a very special event for the team and it also provides us with our first mathematical chance of securing the drivers’ championship. But we can’t think too much about that. We just need to focus on enjoying the rally and delivering the best performance we can.”


Having made his world rally car debut at Wales Rally GB in 2011, the British fixture holds special significance for Ott Tänak who has driven a top-specification Fiesta on five of his six previous outings in the Welsh forests.

Relishing the challenge of unpredictable grip through the fast, flowing stages, Tänak secured his best result of second at the event last year in the closest finish of the 2016 season.

This year, he and co-driver Martin Järveoja will be looking to go one better – keeping their championship fight with team mate Ogier alive in the process.

Previous starts: 6
Best result: 2nd (2016)

Ott Tänak said:
“Wales Rally GB is a classic in every sense of the word. The days are long and the conditions are unpredictable, but that is rallying and that’s what makes it one of the biggest challenges on the calendar. When you secure a strong result in Wales, you know that you have delivered.

“This will be my seventh time competing in Wales, and six of those were with the top-specification Fiesta. I’ve got good experience here, and the stages are fast and flowing which I really enjoy. They can get quite slippery and ‘polished’ over the second pass but, again, that just adds to the challenge that makes this rally so special.

“Obviously, this will be a very important weekend for the team. We’re on the verge of securing something really amazing and everyone will be working their hardest to secure that goal. If we could top the weekend off with a win, it would be even better!”


As Wales’ most successful WRC driver, Elfyn Evans is never short of support at Wales Rally GB and this year looks set to be no different with the creation of ‘Elfyn’s Corner.’ Situated towards the end of Myherin, Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt can expect an enthusiastic welcome as they power their Ford Fiesta WRC into sight.

Having made his WRC debut on home soil with the Ford Fiesta ST in 2007, Evans won his class and continued to shine thereafter – a WRC 2 victory in 2013 quickly followed by a top-five finish on his world rally car debut in 2014.

With the Welsh fans behind them, the all-British pairing will be keen to deliver another strong performance this week.

Previous starts: 5
Best result: 5th (2014)

Elfyn Evans said:

“There’s nothing quite like rallying at home and we’re in for a classic Wales Rally GB this year. The iconic stages, the weather, the night stages, the long days – this year’s offering has it all and it’s that sort of challenge that I really enjoy. I’m looking forward to it and to playing my part in what could be a really historic event for the team.

“It’s always amazing to see the Welsh fans out on the stages, and it’s true that their enthusiasm gives you that little bit extra. We’ll have to wait and see how the conditions suit our package, but we’re hungry for a strong result before the end of the year and will be giving it our all this weekend.”


Autosport International is recognised as the traditional start of every motorsport season, and Wales Rally GB will see M-Sport support the iconic show once again – the show’s logo proudly displayed on the Ford Fiesta WRCs of both Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tänak.

First run in 1991, Autosport International attracts the world’s best motorsport personalities to Birmingham’s NEC year after year. Next year, the show runs from January 11 until January 14 and more information can be found at www.autosportinternational.com.

M-Sport will be there, will you?

Autosport International show director, Kate Woodley, said:
“Autosport International is recognised around the world as the start of the motorsport season and in January we were delighted to have M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta WRC unveiled at the show. How things have progressed for Malcolm [Wilson], Sebastien [Ogier], Ott [Tänak] and the whole team since then.

“We are absolutely delighted to renew our association with M-Sport and the cars at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB – such a pivotal point in what’s looking like a history-making year for the team. A superb Autosport International kick-started an exceptional year for M-Sport and we look forward to reflecting on that at the NEC in January.”


Posted: October 22, 2017 5:47 AM

In theory, Kris Meeke arrives home for next weekend’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October) on the crest of a wave after winning the previous round of this year’s pulsating FIA World Rally Championship earlier this month in Spain. But, in reality, this has been an erratic campaign for the 38-year-old Ulsterman from Dungannon who started the year as one of the title favourites.

Victories in both Spain and Mexico (albeit only after surviving a last corner excursion through a spectator car park!) can not mask what, overall, has been a frustrating season.

Despite taking a sabbatical in 2016 to develop a new be-winged C3 to meet the latest technical regulations which have spawned a faster, wilder breed of WRC cars, Citroën’s contender has proved surprisingly volatile: ultra-competitive on some events and thorny on others. When combined with Meeke’s renowned no-holds-barred approach, its spikey-side has resulted in numerous crashes and the Ulsterman being ‘benched’ by the team for Rally Poland.

The French equipe, though, has been working hard with the help of its former champion Sébastien Loeb to make its red rocketship more user-friendly and, while one eye is already on 2018, Meeke would dearly love add a home victory in Wales to the five WRC wins he amassed to date. You can find out more in the interview below…

How does the win last time out in Spain boost your hopes for a follow-up win on Dayinsure Wales Rally GB?

“It’s certainly boosted our season. We had a fairly difficult period in the middle of the year and the win has boosted morale within the team. Hopefully, we can now carry that confidence forward. The car worked very well on the Tarmac surface in Spain but, as regards to raising expectations for GB, it’s difficult to say. We’ll have to wait and see how the car feels in the Welsh forests. The confidence boost, though, can only help us.”

The C3 wasn’t at its strongest in Finland which is considered to be similar to GB in many ways; do it expect it to any more competitive in Wales?

“We really don’t know. We know the car is fast – that’s for sure. But at times the car has felt a bit nervous on certain types of gravel. We will simply have to wait and see. It’s impossible to say and to judge what the car will be like; indeed, what the weather conditions will be like… We know our lowly road position of ninth [his championship position] on Friday is not ideal for having a competitive edge, as running near to the front on this event is an advantage. Predictions aside, the only thing I have to do is my very best – as I always do. The important thing is to get a good finish.”

On a positive note, you should be better placed for Saturday which is the event’s longest, toughest and most challenging day starting before dawn and concluding well after dark.

“For me the changes to year’s itinerary are really good. We need good long days like this on Rally GB, and rallying into the darkness is something pretty special. This is probably the only event in the year where we have can have gravel stages at night, as there are no problems with dust. The atmosphere is great and Rally GB should always be about endurance as well as creating a spectacle. It’s going to be a long, tricky weekend as it always is, but everyone should enjoy it.”

Indeed, everyone is looking forward to seeing these new, more powerful and exciting WRC cars competing here in Britain – what are they like to drive?

“With this year’s new regulations, the cars are visually a lot more dramatic. We have quite an increase in horsepower, too, and they are a very different animal to handle. They certainly are going to be exciting come Wales Rally GB on the high speed sections and the spectators are going to enjoy them as they certainly are very spectacular to watch. They are more powerful, so hopefully everyone will stand in safe place and enjoy the show.”

As a child you were inspired by the likes of Colin McRae; coming to Wales do you see yourself as someone who can inspire future generations of British rally drivers?

“To be honest when you’re in the gold-fish bowl of the World Championship, you are solely focused on doing your job. As a paid professional there’s pressure to perform and to get results. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine that people are looking up to me as I feel that I’m just doing what I’m paid to do to the best of my ability. For sure it would be great to inspire a new generation of rally enthusiasts and drivers. It’s what the sport needs, and a local guy doing well keeps the appetite going in a country. Hopefully between me, Elfyn Evans and Craig Breen we will give the home support something to cheer in Wales.”

How will the title fight between the top three in championship – Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville – affect your rally?

“Unfortunately we’re not in the fight so it won’t affect me whatsoever. I’m simply trying to get my season back on track as much as I can and to prepare for next year. We have to get the best result possible – what happens between Neuville, Tänak and Ogier is their own affair.”

You talk about 2018, do you see Dayinsure Wales Rally GB as a test session for that, or a chance to win? After all, this is one of the events you have always said that you really wan to win having finished third in 2014 and second in 2015.

“To win in Finland, Argentina, Portugal, Mexico and now on the asphalt in Spain are all special but, for sure, winning Rally GB is a box I’d dearly love to tick. But you learn over the years not to go to events with huge expectations because everything needs to come together over the weekend – most importantly the feeling in the car, and we don’t know yet whether that’s going to be there in Wales. Let’s see how we get on. Hopefully, we can set off on the right foot and then see how we go from there. But, yes, I’d dearly love to win the rally but, whether that’s this year or not, I’ve no idea.”

Obviously you must be disappointed not to be in contention for titles, but you must get some pleasure from seeing those at your former team M-Sport on the cusp of both Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ crowns?

“Yes, you have to give credit where credit is due. Bringing Ogier into the squad at the start of the season has been a major factor; it’s giving them a sense of belief. The reliability and strength of the Fiesta on different surfaces has been there throughout the year, too. It looks like they are on track to win the Manufacturers’ title and, quite possibly, score a one-two in the Drivers’ title; you have to respect them for what they’ve done this year.”

Finally, what is our favourite special stage on Wales Rally GB?

“I have so many of those! I do particularly enjoy Hafren, but also Dyfi and Dyfnant – these are stages that I did on my very first rally in a little Peugeot 106 many, many years ago in the Bulldog Rally. Talking about these stages just makes me think of the Welsh air, the smell of the forests – I just can’t wait to get going.”

Fans wanting to experience Meeke and all the other high-flying WRC contenders competing in the Welsh forests can still take advantage of advance tickets which offering considerable discounts.

Advance adult prices start at just £10 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £23 for Saturday’s family-friendly Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £28 for a Day Pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass (World Rally Pass). Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.

Full details of 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB including route, timetable and ticket information can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website, link below.

Tunnock’s takes on the world with M-Sport

Posted: October 22, 2017 5:45 AM

Scotland’s world-famous biscuit baker Tunnock’s will join forces with Cumbrian firm M-Sport for Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship next week.

Estonian superstar and two-time world rally winner Ott Tänak will have Tunnock’s incorporated into the livery for his Ford Fiesta WRC on Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (Deeside, October 26-29), while member of the Tunnock’s firm Stuart Loudon will co-drive for Matthew Wilson in a car liveried completely in one of Scotland’s most iconic brands.

Stuart, who has worked with the M-Sport World Rally Team throughout the season, explained how the deal came about.

Stuart said: “I was talking to Richard Millener (M-Sport’s client liaison manager) about some ideas we had to promote Tunnock’s earlier this year and he asked if we would be interested in doing something on the cars for Rally GB.

“M-Sport then contacted dad (Fergus Loudon) and they put the deal together for us to be on Ott’s car and the Fiesta R5 which Matthew and I will be competing in on our home round of the World Rally Championship.

“Naturally, I’m really pleased to see the name of the family firm on the side of the car – and we’re really pleased with the deal and the opportunity it’s given to Tunnock’s – but Matthew and I had planned to compete in Wales from pretty early in the season.”

Tunnock’s joins M-Sport at a crucial time in the FIA World Rally Championship season, with just two rounds remaining the British team is in great shape to lift its first world title in 10 years.

Even better, Tunnock’s-backed Tänak remains in the thick of the fight for the drivers’ title, although his team-mate Sébastien Ogier (FRA) is in a stronger position ahead of Rally GB.

Fegus Loudon, a former West of Scotland Champion co-driver himself, said: “Rallying and motorsport has always been important to us as a family; Stuart’s grandfather competed, as I did. But the opportunity for us to use M-Sport and the World Rally Championship as a platform to potentially further the reach of Tunnock’s is one we weren’t going to miss.

“Millions of people will be tuning in to watch the action from Wales next week and when they do, we’re hoping they’ll see the Tunnock’s name leading the way – and possibly contributing to a British world title.”

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson OBE said: “We’re delighted to have Tunnock’s with us for the last European round of this year’s World Rally Championship and they really couldn’t have joined us at a better time.

“We’ve had a long association with Tunnock’s, right from when Colin McRae was driving for us from 1999 until 2002. Tunnock’s was one of Colin’s personal sponsors and everybody in the team enjoyed the benefit of that!

“It’s been the same this season. Working on the co-ordination of the team, Stuart has become an integral and very valuable part of M-Sport’s battle to become world champions this year – and I know he’s become a very, very popular fella with plenty in the team for his constant supply of Teacakes and Caramel Wafers!”

Tunnock’s managing director Boyd Tunnock CBE is delighted with the association and admitted parallels between the two firms were easy to find.

“The cars look fantastic,” said Boyd. “I smiled as soon as I saw them and got my phone out to take some pictures to show everyone back at base. Rallying is an exciting spectator sport and they don’t get more exciting than Wales Rally GB. I can’t wait to see these cars in action.

“Like M-Sport, Tunnock’s is a family business and I see a lot of similarities between our two companies. We might make biscuits, and they might make rally cars, but a lot of the basic principles are the same.

“Walking through the workshop at M-Sport, you can see that everyone takes real pride in what they are doing, and that is the same attitude in our factory. Both work forces are passionate about what they are doing, and this is something that yields success. We’ll be hoping to see plenty of that on the stages next week.”

Stuart’s team co-ordination role will take a back seat in Wales when he and Matthew join forces for the first time since they finished second on last year’s Pirelli International Rally.

“I’m delighted to be working with Matthew again,” said Stuart. “The last time I did this rally was three years ago with England cricketer Graeme Swann, when we made a documentary for television. Graeme could bowl a mean off-spinner, but Matthew’s in another league when it comes to driving. The car we’re using next week is four-wheel drive rather than just the front-wheel drive Fiesta I was in with Graeme in 2014. Basically, everything has gone up another level next week. But at least when I get out of the car I’ll be greeted by a familiar colour scheme – in fact, it’ll remind me of the day job I’ll be going back to the week after!

“It’s going to be a great week in Wales. We’re packing hundreds of biscuits to bring down with us, so if you’re in the service park on Deeside, give us a wave – there might be a Teacake in it for you!”

Four-car challenge for Hyundai Motorsport at Wales Rally GB

Posted: October 22, 2017 5:28 AM

Hyundai Motorsport will field a four-car entry into Wales Rally GB next week, the penultimate event in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and the final round in Europe.

Following a series of disappointing events, the team is fully focused on securing a strong team result on the Welsh gravel roads with its most comprehensive line-up of the season.

Returning from a one-off rally absence, Hayden Paddon will take to the #4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, co-driven by Seb Marshall. Thierry Neuville will be aiming to regain second place in the Drivers’ Championship in the # 5 car with Andreas Mikkelsen lining up in the #6 in his second rally as a Hyundai Motorsport driver.

Dani Sordo will take control of the fourth car, running as the #16 entry, although the Spaniard will not be eligible to score Manufacturer Points.

Slippery when wet

Wales Rally GB will have a familiar feel to crews with just a few changes compared to the 2016 itinerary. Legendary stages such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren all make a welcome appearance on the schedule, which covers a total stage length of 304.36km. Meanwhile, Gwydir makes its first appearance since 2013, and sees crews compete in the picturesque Snowdonia Mountains.

Despite being one of the shortest overall distances of the season, the challenges offered by the Welsh stages will be augmented by the likelihood of wet autumnal conditions, which can leave stages incredibly treacherous.

Hyundai Motorsport’s crews have prepared for the rally by testing the latest specification Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on the Welsh roads last week. Despite recent setbacks in the Championship, the team is determined to put in representative performances in the final two rounds of the season – and to end 2017 with a positive foundation for next year.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“We head to Wales focused on securing a good all-round team result in this penultimate round of the season. Entering four cars gives us a chance to perform at our highest level, but at the same time we recognise the challenges that this rally poses. We can never be sure of the weather conditions, and if it rains the stages can become incredibly slippery and tricky to tackle. We have been gradually improving our results in Wales each season. We finished on the podium there twelve months ago with Thierry, which gives us a positive feeling for this year. With Hayden, Andreas and Dani also showing good form in Wales in the past, I hope we can enjoy a more trouble-free weekend and pick up a better result for our team compared to recent rallies.”

Crew Notes: Paddon/Marshall (#4 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Paddon returns to WRC action on his favoured gravel surface and is looking to end the 2017 season in competitive form. He has taken top-five finishes in Wales in the past two seasons, and will be aiming to fight for his second podium of 2017 after finishing second in Poland back in July.

Paddon said: “Wales Rally GB is an iconic rally with plenty of driving challenges. The event has always been run late in the season, so we can expect some rain and potentially foggy conditions. In many ways, it is like being back home in New Zealand. There are some very nice, fast stages, and it is a rally I enjoy. Hopefully we can put together a good result and build up to a positive conclusion to what has been a tough season.”

Crew Notes: Neuville/Gilsoul (#5 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

Neuville is still mathematically in the Drivers’ Championship hunt so, along with compatriot Belgian co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul, he will be putting in a big effort in Wales. Having taken the team’s maiden Welsh podium in 2016, all eyes will be on another top-three result in this year’s round.

Neuville said: “We were dealt something of a harsh blow in Spain, but we are ready to fight back in Wales. It is a unique event on the calendar, a rally where weather conditions can really dictate performance and confidence levels. If it’s raining, windy and muddy, the stages become incredibly slippery. It is without doubt a tough event, but one that I relish. I have finished on the podium a couple of times, and get a buzz from the fantastic atmosphere. Driving at high-speed through the forest stages, sometimes in the dark, is just incredible. I intend to keep pushing right to the end of the Championship.”

Crew Notes: Mikkelsen/Jæger (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

In their first WRC event with Hyundai Motorsport, Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jæger quickly made a positive impression. Leading the rally at the end of the opening day, it was a steep learning curve for the Norwegian duo. Their adaptation to the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will continue on the all-gravel stages in Wales.

Mikkelsen said: “It is great to have a rally under my belt with the Hyundai Motorsport team and with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. It was a really valuable learning experience in Spain. Wales Rally GB has always been a special event for me, personally, as it was where I had my first-ever WRC event as a 17-year-old. I know the rally very well so I have an appreciation for its difficulties. It is a fair assumption to expect rain at some point, which creates a very slippery surface, but overall it is highly rewarding and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully to challenge near the front.”

Crew Notes: Sordo/Martí (#16 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)

For Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí, a promising home rally in Spain turned to frustration. As the only crew to have taken maximum Power Stage points in consecutive rallies this season, they will be targeting a less turbulent event in Wales Rally GB.

Sordo said: “Wales Rally GB is an event that most crews anticipate and enjoy. The combination of gravel stages, inclement weather conditions, and high speeds makes for a thrilling rally. Of course, when it is muddy, it gets slippery, so you need to have the confidence inside the cockpit to tackle the stages aggressively. The forest setting and narrow sections make it difficult but highly enjoyable. I am determined to end the year with a positive result. We missed out in Spain, where I know we could have finished on the podium, so that’s something I want to rectify in Wales.”

Wales Rally GB at a glance

Run over 21 special stages and a distance of 304.36km, Wales Rally GB offers a tough schedule with stages deep in the Welsh forest, often in muddy and unpredictable conditions.

The opening day kicks off with a short 1.49km test at the new Visit Conwy Tir Prince before crews move onto a combination of Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren – the longest individual stage of the rally at 35.14km – on Friday.

Saturday is the longest day of the weekend and incorporates stages run in the dark. The 13.91km Aberhirnant stage gets underway at 7.55am local time, and the day’s action concludes twelve hours later at the 17.91km Dyfnant. The short 1.80km Cholmondeley Castle splits up the loop of four stages, which is repeated in a different order on the second pass.

Sunday morning takes in five stages, Alwen and Brenig will be run twice, the latter as the rally-concluding Power Stage, with a solitary run through Gwydir. Dark mornings and evenings make for a typical late autumn rally with the Welsh weather always ready to play its part.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing ready to attack the Welsh forests

Posted: October 22, 2017 5:24 AM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team takes on one of the most famous rounds of the FIA World Rally Championship with Rally GB from October 26-29. Drivers Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hänninen and Esapekka Lappi will head into the forests of Wales for the penultimate round of the season, looking to add to the strong potential displayed by the Yaris WRC during its debut campaign.

Rally GB takes place over forest tracks through mid and north Wales. In dry conditions these stages can be driven at fairly high speeds, but in the Welsh autumn the pace is tempered by mud, which can make the surfaces treacherously slippery. Fog and even ice can add to the challenge, particularly early in the morning or late in the evening.

The rally begins on Thursday night with a new spectator stage at the Tir Prince trotting track on the north Welsh coast, east of the service park in Deeside. Friday consists of the classic Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren stages, run twice with only a tyre fitting zone in between the two loops. A marathon Saturday features nine stages and ends in darkness. Five more stages conclude the action on Sunday, ending with the Brenig Power Stage.


Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“In 2003 I was fighting for the podium with Colin McRae on my last world championship rally, so personally I have really nice memories of Rally GB. It’s the sort of place where you need a lot of confidence with the car, as often there is actually more grip than there appears to be. Then you have the fog and the rain, which is a big challenge. After Spain, we identified some things that we could do a bit differently, so it will be interesting to see the effect of these changes now. Conditions in our pre-event test were warmer than usual, but that should not affect us too much: in the end it is a question of dialling the car into the nature of the roads, and that doesn’t really change. I think we’re well-prepared.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Britain is a bit like my second home as it’s where I started my career and it was also my first world championship rally. There are some fantastic stages like Myherin and Dyfnant, which I’m looking forward to going back to. We obviously had a few technical issues in some of the recent rallies, but I feel confident that the team has got completely on top of those now and I just want to have two strong events to finish this incredible season. The first few rallies were challenging but maybe less demanding on the car than these events now at the end of the year, so we are learning more all the time as it is still only our first season as a team.”

Kaj Lindström and Juho Hänninen
Juho Hänninen (Driver car 11)
“I’m happy with what we managed to do in Spain, so we go into Rally GB with a lot of confidence. This will be my last rally of the year, so most of all I just want to enjoy it. I’ve not actually competed there since 2014, but luckily most of the stages are still quite the same. Even though I don’t have a huge amount of experience in Wales I’ve always liked it, so I want to make sure that this rally is a nice one for us. We don’t have a particular plan: we just want to take it stage by stage and build on our pace. It’s a strategy that has worked well before.”

Janne Ferm and Esapekka Lappi
Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 12)
“Our pre-event test was good but it was very strange weather: I brought my winter jacket and my hat, but when I stepped out of the hotel it was 22 degrees! Still, I think what we worked on can still be useful if it’s wet and muddy, which is normally what happens on Rally GB. I just hope that there’s not too much fog, as that can be really difficult. We changed some suspension settings and there are a few other lessons that we learned from Spain that I was able to improve on, so we made a lot of progress during the test. Normally I have a good feeling with Rally GB, so now I’m looking forward to getting out on the stages and hopefully we can have a good result at the end.”


Posted: October 22, 2017 5:02 AM

Although none of them are actually Welsh, Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Craig Breen, Scott Martin and Chris Patterson all think of Wales Rally GB as their home rally. Three weeks after winning in Catalonia, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT heads into the penultimate round of the season full of determination and ambition.


Rain, mud, fog and occasionally, even ice… This is what awaits in the forests of Wales for the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship! But make no mistake, despite this rather gloomy description, Wales Rally GB is a hugely popular event with both drivers and fans alike. Spectators are more than prepared to brave the poor weather in order to watch and admire their favourite drivers flying at full speed along the gravel roads, famous for their constantly changing levels of grip.

This year's event promises to be interesting, first and foremost since it will be the first outing of the 2017 World Rally Cars on the slippery and ever-spectacular Welsh gravel. Moreover, the outcome of the world titles may be decided by the end of this twelfth round.

Based in Deeside, in the north of Wales, the event starts on Thursday evening with the super special stage held on the Tir Prince raceway. The real action will get underway on Friday, with two loops of three classic stages, well known to the drivers. With just a tyre-fitting period at midday, any mistake or mechanical problem is likely to prove very costly. Day two will be even more difficult: a mighty seventeen hours long, featuring seven stages contested without service and then two speed tests held after dark. On Sunday, the last five stages will determine the finishing order of the leading contenders, who will then head for the podium ceremony in Llandudno.

Beginning with the ceremonial start at Tir Prince, fans will have several opportunities to see the drivers close up, with the tyre-fitting zone in Newtown (Friday at 1.27pm), regroups in Chester (Friday at 7.01pm), Corris (Saturday at 11.13am) and Brenig (Sunday at 11.28am), as well as the stage held in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle (Saturday at 3.45pm). All from the British Isles, Kris Meeke (Northern Ireland), Paul Nagle (Ireland), Craig Breen (Ireland), Scott Martin (England) and Chris Patterson (Northern Ireland) will undoubtedly be among the most sought after during the autograph-signing sessions!


With Andreas Mikkelsen's second place in Germany and Kris Meeke's win in Spain, the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT has begun a cycle of positive results at the last two rallies. The hard work of the engineers, technicians and crews has started to pay dividends and these results have only strengthened the determination of the team managed by Yves Matton.

That said, everyone knows that the physical characteristics of the Welsh roads are different to the last few rounds. However, the performance shown in Poland suggests that the Citroën C3 WRC has real potential on slippery gravel surfaces. As is often the case, the combination of weather conditions and the running order for the first leg may have a major influence on the outcome of the race. If it rains on Friday, the eighth and ninth positions of Craig Breen and Kris Meeke on the start list will be a difficult handicap to overcome. Whatever happens, the Citroën drivers are really determined to put on a show for their home fans!

Before arriving in Wales, Kris Meeke will have spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a WRC. As soon as he completed pre-event testing for Wales, he set off for San Marino to take part in Rallylegend in a Citroën Xsara WRC. Winner of two rallies this season – like Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tänak – Kris will inevitably be in the spotlight at his home round. As the end of the year approaches, the Ulsterman wants to be in the best possible shape ahead of 2018 season. For his tenth appearance at the event, he would dearly love to repeat his almost perfect race of 2015, at the end of which he finished as runner-up.

A six-time participant at this rally, Craig Breen has less experience than his team-mate. But he has regularly proven his ability to adapt and demonstrated his consistency in the Citroën C3 WRC. Having finished fifth six times this season, the Irishman will be aiming for a similar result... if not better! The third car will be driven by Khalid Al Qassimi. The Abu Dhabi driver hasn’t contested the British round of the WRC since 2010, but he is also very motivated to keep improving behind the wheel of the C3 WRC.

To prepare for this event, Citroën Racing held a test session in the south of France, on surfaces similar to those of the Welsh forest gravel roads. Rain, mud and fog all made an appearance in order to get the crews into the mood!


Posted: October 17, 2017 5:47 AM

Wales’s most successful rally driver, David Llewellin, is tipping his fellow countryman Elfyn Evans for great success – and even an historic victory – on this month’s eagerly-awaited Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October).

Although a number of Welsh co-drivers have won Britain’s classic round of the FIA World Rally Championship, no Welsh driver has ever stood on the podium let alone won their home event. Indeed, no British driver has triumphed since Colin McRae and Richard Burns racked up three wins apiece in the glory years between 1994-2000.

Llewellin (below bottom right), a double British Rally Champion in 1989 and 1990, led the event briefly when competing for Toyota in 1989, but ultimately never finished higher than sixth.

Now aged 57 and living in his native Pembrokeshire, the former champ still follows the sport avidly and is one of a number of Welsh Rally Legends being honoured on this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. What’s more, he firmly believes that the country’s latest rallying star, Evans from Dolgellau, has what it takes to write the history books in the coming weeks.

“It would be fantastic to see Elfyn do it this year and I think he has a very good chance,” predicted Llewellin. “I’ve been watching him closely and he’s been improving over the last 18 months – he’s shown he’s one of the best in the world. If things work for him, we could see a Welsh winner.”

Evans, who missed last year’s event while securing a top drive for 2017, already has two top six Wales Rally GB finishes under his belt. Now, as a member of the title-hunting M-Sport squad, he has underlined his potential with second places in both Argentina and Finland – two loose surface rounds that are not dissimilar to the tricky conditions found in the legendary Welsh forests. But can he – together with his Lancashire-born co-driver Dan Barritt – live up to Llewellin’s expectations and score what would be a hugely-popular win on home soil?

“We’re really in for a classic event and it should present us with a really good opportunity,” he admitted. “Hopefully we can bring home a great result.”

To do that, Evans will have to overcome a star-studded field that includes his two M-Sport team-mates Sébastien Ogier and Ott Tänak as well as Hyundai’s top gun Thierry Neuville – all three are still locked in battle for this year’s WRC crown. Although enjoying a best-ever season, sixth placed Evans is no longer in title contention.

Whatever his prospects in Wales, the 28-year-old from Gwynedd is certainly looking forward to what promises to be a fantastic spectacle featuring a new era of even more powerful and spectacular rally cars.

“The feeling driving these new-generation cars has been absolutely incredible all season, and I really hope that the spectacle on the outside will be everything that it is for us inside the car,” grinned the 2012 WRC Academy champion.

“There are some fantastic stages and this year, they will be combined with an element of endurance. Saturday in particular will be a tough stint, going back out in the evening in the dark – that will be tricky, as will the whole rally, to be fair.

“I hope to see a lot of fans out there on the stages cheering us on. It’s normally a fantastic atmosphere, and I’m sure this year will be no exception. Hopefully we can reward them with something to cheer on Sunday afternoon.”

Fans wanting to witness Evans’ efforts to make history can still take advantage of advance tickets which offer considerable discounts.

Advance adult prices start at just £10 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £23 for Saturday’s family-friendly Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £28 for a Day Pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass (World Rally Pass). Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.

Full details of 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB including route, timetable and ticket information can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website, link below.


Posted: October 7, 2017 4:43 AM

National Seeded Entry List

Posted: October 5, 2017 6:13 AM


Posted: October 4, 2017 6:56 AM

This month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October) will feature a star-studded line-up after organiser, International Motor Sports, confirmed it has received a record 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 WRC closed earlier this week, with a world-class field of 77 International cars representing 22 nations lining up to compete against-the-clock on the 21 gruelling special stages, all but two of which are set in the legendary Welsh forests. It’s the biggest international field since the rally moved to a new base in north Wales in 2013 and is topped by no fewer than 14 of the new-era, more powerful WRC cars.

Crews are coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Japan, South Africa and Argentina to contest what is predicted to be one of the most exciting and challenging in recent years.

With Wales celebrating its ‘Year of Legends’, the packed four-day schedule includes a new Thursday evening curtain-raiser at the Tir Prince Raceway in Conwy County and the welcome reintroduction of super-tricky night stages after sunset on Saturday.

It could also be the fiercest-fought in memory, as the first ten rounds of the 2017 series have produced six different winners, meaning that the title race will still be raging when the teams arrive in the UK.

With three rounds remaining, Cumbrian-based M-Sport’s new recruit Sébastien Ogier tops the points table but he has Hyundai Motorsport star Thierry Neuville and fellow Fiesta ace Ott Tänak hot on his heels. All three were on the podium in Wales last year and are certain to be among this year’s pacesetters.

As well as targetting a fifth world title, Ogier is also gunning for a fifth Rally GB win – a feat no driver has achieved in the event’s 85-year history, let alone the five in succession, which the exceptional Frenchman is eyeing.

To rewrite the record books, Ogier will have to overcome the most competitive field yet. For the first time this season, Hyundai Motorsport is fielding four of its latest i20 Coupe WRCs for Neuville, Hayden Paddon, Danni Sordo and new signing Andreas Mikkelesen.

Back in the WRC for 2017, Toyota has entered a trio of Yaris WRCs for Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hänninen and young gun Esapekka Lappi. Latvala and Lappi are already among this year’s winners.

Citroën has also returned to the WRC fray with a factory-team and its three-pronged attack includes local hero Kris Meeke, Irishman Craig Breen and Khalid Al Qassimi from the United Arab Emirates.

Ulsterman Meeke won in Mexico in March and finished second in Wales two years ago. Both he and Welshman Elfyn Evans, who lines up in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, are hoping to become the first home winner since Richard Burns last sprayed the champagne back in 2000.

Other notable entries include an encouraging number of British contenders in the R5 class. Among these are Callum Black, David Bogie, Tom Cave, Gus Greensmith, John MacCrone, Euan Thorburn, Matthew Wilson and Rhys Yates.

They will face stiff opposition from Skoda Motorsport duo Pontus Tidemand and Ole Christian Veiby as well as three of the sport’s most promising young guns: Jari Pekka Huttunen, Kalle Rovanperä and Max Vatanen. Huttunen has just won a prize drive from Hyundai Motorsport, Rovanperä is making his WRC debut having just turned 17 while Vatanen is the son of 1981 World Champion Ari Vatanen.

Another legendary rally family name is on the entry list, too, with Jimmy McRae contesting the main event for the first time since 2004. The five-time British Rally Champion and father of the late Colin McRae joins 2016 FIA 2WD European Rally Champion Chris Ingram in a pair of Opel ADAMs supported by the ever-enthusiastic Network Q dealer group.

Alongside Ingram in the R2 category is Gee Atherton, with the multiple mountain-bike Downhill World Champion another of the stand-out Rally GB rookies.

Adding yet more diversity and interest, enthusiastic amateur crews with nationally-registered machinery have been allowed to join the main WRC event for the first time. As a result, the entry list boasts the return of much-loved Subaru Imprezas, Mitsubishi Lancer Evos plus a pair of Ford Escort Mk2s.

Entries for the accompanying WRGB National Rally which shadows the main event have also closed and, with more than 80 amateur crews eager to seek a once-in-a-lifetime experience to competing alongside the best drivers in the world, a full capacity 160-car entry is all set to provide some spectacular entertainment.

Tom Cave gets set for WRC home run

Posted: October 2, 2017 7:19 AM

Aberdovey-based rally driver Tom Cave will take part in next month’s Wales Rally GB, the UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship. With much of the event’s competitive mileage taking place in the north Wales forests, many of the stages represent familiar territory to Tom, who will be contesting this world championship qualifier for the fifth time.

Having impressed when driving a Hyundai i20 R5 earlier this year by leading various rounds of the British Rally Championship and finishing third in the WRC2 category on Neste Rally Finland, the talented 25-year old will return to a Ford Fiesta R5 for Rally GB. Tom has driven a similar car on the event twice before andhe finished second behind the wheel of an R5 Fiesta in the MSA British Rally Championship last year.

“After a season that promised so much, I am eager to round off my year by competing in my home world championship event against some of the best R5 class drivers there is”, explains Tom. “My most recent event was Rally Finland and, after finishing third in WRC2 and with a Finnish driver winning the class, I really want to see if I can turn the tables in Wales.”

Tom will be partnered on Rally GB by his regular co-driver and fellow Welshman James Morgan from Hirwaun, who also brings with him a wealth of experience when if comes to his home country’s forests. The car Tom will be using will be a brand new, latest specification Fiesta R5, prepared and run by Dom Buckley RSC - a team that Tom has worked with on previous occasions.

“I really enjoy competing in the Welsh forests, not just because they are close to where I live, but the stages are fantastic - some of the best in the world - and when you get them right, there’s nowhere that gives you the same buzz. So, with an area, a car, co-driver and team that’s familiar to me, I’m hoping it's going to be a successful combination.”

The Wales Rally GB takes place from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th October and represents the penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship. The event commences on Thursday evening with a spectator stage at Tir Prince on the Flintshire coast, followed by six stages in mid Wales on Friday.

Saturday’s itinerary features six stages in the north Wales forests, plus a spectator stage at Cholmondley Castle. Sunday’s route continues the competition in north Wales and features another five stages before the ceremonial finish in Llandudno. As it has done in recent years, all of the event’s service halts take place at Deeside.

Hyundai Motorsport announces Wales Rally GB line-up

Posted: October 2, 2017 3:51 AM

Hyundai Motorsport has confirmed a four-car line-up for the penultimate round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), Wales Rally GB.

Drivers’ Championship title contender Thierry Neuville will compete in the gravel event alongside Hayden Paddon, Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo.

Hyundai Motorsport believes this crew composition will offer the team a competitive line-up for the event, and a chance to keep its Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championship title hopes alive.

Neuville secured the team’s maiden Wales Rally GB podium in last year’s event, while Mikkelsen has also previously registered a top-three finish in the rally.

Paddon will be re-joining the team after missing Rally de España. The event will offer him the ideal opportunity to get back into a competitive rhythm on his favoured surface. Sordo, twice a podium scorer in Wales, will be aiming to emulate his previous feats.

The team’s line-up for the final round of the 2017 season, Rally Australia, will be decided in due course.

Team Principal Michel Nandan said:
“We had always retained the hope of running four cars in Wales Rally GB. We believe that this competitive line-up gives us a chance of keeping both drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles alive. Thierry scored a podium last year, something Andreas achieved in 2015, so we know their potential there. Hayden has finished strongly in this event previously, so it will be the perfect occasion for him to return to form. Dani, meanwhile, as a previous podium scorer in Wales, will give us a solid benchmark in the fourth car.”


Posted: September 26, 2017 9:44 AM

Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, is delighted to announce an extensive new partnership that will see Toyota not only become the event’s ‘Official Car Partner’ but also take title sponsorship of the family-focused Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle.

Toyota returned to the WRC with a factory-backed team at the start of this season, but has played a pivotal role in the staging of the UK’s WRC event since 2013, when Toyota Manufacturing UK first hosted the Deeside Service Park on-site at its engine manufacturing centre.

Toyota is also supporting a schools’ design competition, organised by the Welsh Government and Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. The winning livery will be applied to a Toyota GT86 coupe and displayed in the Rally Village.

As ‘Official Car Partner’, Toyota will supply a fleet of liveried vehicles for use on the event by key members of the organisation team, safety crews and international dignitaries.

The versatility of the company’s range will be fully demonstrated with Land Cruisers employed as Safety Cars running on the rally route ahead of the competition cars; Toyota Hilux pick-ups used by crews setting up the competitive stages; and Proace Verso MPVs ferrying rally personnel between venues.

Toyota Auris Touring Sports and C-HR hybrids will also be supplied, equipped with engines manufactured at the Deeside facility. The use of these state-of-the-art petrol-electric hybrids will contribute further to the rally’s already pace-setting sustainability credentials.

Many of these vehicles will be out in force at the Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle on 28 October (top row below) – a family-friendly speed test in the grounds of the famous stately home in Cheshire. A selection of Toyota’s classic rally cars will also be on display, offering the many thousands of visitors a wonderful showcase of the company’s rallying heritage.

“We have built up a great relationship with Toyota at Deeside during the past four years,” said Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “The company has been a fantastic supporter of the rally, not just as our landlord, but also in giving its backing for various initiatives with young people, such as the Big Bang exhibition and Dare to be Different. With Toyota’s return to the WRC this year, the Official Car Partnership was a natural progression and we look forward to working closely together on the 2017 event.”

Andrew Cullis, Toyota (GB) Marketing Director, said:
“Our partnership with Dayinsure Wales Rally GB and support for RallyFest gives us a great opportunity not only to celebrate our return to the pinnacle of world rally competition, but also to demonstrate our leadership in advanced technologies for road cars. It’s fitting that our new petrol-electric hybrid models will be helping with the smooth running of the rally, right on the doorstep of where their engines are manufactured in Wales.”

The newly-formed TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team, run by four-time World Rally Champion Tommi Mäkinen, has taken outright WRC wins in both Sweden and Finland this year. Those two successes in Scandinavia will give the team strong confidence heading into the Welsh forests – more so, as its line-up of Yaris WRC drivers includes Jari-Matti Latvala, one of only two past winners taking part in the event.


Posted: September 26, 2017 8:40 AM

Top Welsh rally legends will be honoured during next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October), Britain’s prestigious round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Tribute will be paid to a number of high-achieving sporting luminaries including both drivers and co-drivers. The impressive roster features World and British Champions as well as much-admired national heroes and multiple Rally GB winners. All will be present on the event, renewing old friendships and rekindling past memories with photo and autograph opportunities.

The special celebration was announced at the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Media Preview hosted at Cholmondeley Castle and endorses the Welsh Government’s own ‘Year of Legends’ campaign, overseen by Visit Wales.

The roll of honour is topped by two World Championship winning co-drivers. Phil Mills from Newtown, Powys guided Petter Solberg to the 2003 WRC title, as well as no fewer than four consecutive Rally GB victories between 2002 and 2005.

David Richards CBE from Ruthin, Denbighshire took the 1981 crown with Ari Vatanen and more recently founded prominent motor sport company Prodrive – the crack team behind Subaru’s many WRC successes. Richards also found time to run the Benetton and BAR F1 operations and to be Chairman of Aston Martin.

Wales’ most successful performer at World Championship level, though, is Nicky Grist. Hailing from Ebbw Vale, he joined forces with Juha Kankkunen and Colin McRae to win 21 rounds of the WRC, including triumphs on Rally GB in 1993 and 1997.

Neil Wilson from Corwen, Denbighshire is another Rally GB winning co-driver – his moment of glory came in 1985 when sitting alongside the late, great Henri Toivonen in one of Lancia’s fearsome Delta S4 Group B monsters.

A quartet of Welsh-born British Champions – Howard Davies (Machynlleth), Gwyndaf Evans (Dolgellau), David Llewellin (Haverfordwest) and Phil Pugh (Tywyn) – are also among those being honoured next month, along with fans’ favourite Phil Collins (Pontrilas).

Mills, Grist, Davies, Collins, Llewellin, Wilson and Pugh were in attendance at the Cholmondeley Castle preview where they were joined by Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Welsh Government.

“This is the perfect time for us to be celebrating Welsh rally legends,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “Not only is this Wales’ official ‘Year of Legends’ but the nation’s top current star, Elfyn Evans, is sixth in the World Championship – that’s higher than any Welsh driver has ever been. Should he win next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, that really would be the icing on the cake!”

All of the invited legends will be present in Chester city centre on Friday evening of the rally and again at Saturday’s family-friendly Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. A number will additionally be attending Thursday evening’s opening speed test at Tir Prince Raceway in Conwy County and the Sweet Lamb special stage on Friday.

Tickets for Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are on sale with significant savings for those buying in advance. If purchased now, adult admission starts from just £10 with accompanied children aged under 16 admitted free of charge.

Full details of the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB including route, timetable and ticket information can be found on the official website, link below.


Posted: August 24, 2017 6:32 AM

The end of August marks another major milestone on the countdown to the UK’s eagerly-anticipated round of the 2017 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 (26-29 October) have just opened. Entries for the shorter two-day WRGB National Rally that shadows the main four-day event over the weekend open next Wednesday (30 August) and will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

As one of the classic rounds in the WRC, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is always one of the most popular on the calendar attracting top class entries from right around the world. This year’s International event, though, is all set to boast its biggest-ever entry since moving to its new home in north Wales in 2013.

With the title race going down-to-the-wire, a full field of exciting new-era 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 and, thanks to a new FIA regulation, enthusiastic amateur crews with nationally-registered machinery will be eligible for the main WRC event for the first time ever.

In total, a maximum of 90 entries will be accepted into the full event which includes 21 special stages adding up to just over 300km (187 miles) of world class competitive action.

The first 30 eligible entries from private entrants received before the 26 September closing date will be automatically accepted. A full breakdown of entry fees is available on the walesrallygb.com website with local crews able to take advantage of the discounted British privateer entry fee of £1995 (£1662.50 + VAT).

Running alongside the main event, the WRGB National Rally has been a sell-out in recent years and this year’s shorter 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 entries open at noon on 30 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 totaling 60 miles of competitive action, the WRGB National rally is priced at £625 + VAT. To register, fully paid entries must be made online through the official walesrallygb.com website.

“With so much excitement surrounding this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, we are expecting huge demand from competitors wishing to enter both International and National events,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “The new-look World Championship is proving to be a massive draw and we have never before offered privateers more opportunities to be part of such a wonderful sporting showcase.”

The promise of such a massive entry – topped by four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier in a British-built M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC – adds further to the event’s ever-growing appeal.

Tickets are on sale offering considerable discounts for those buying in advance. For those purchasing now, adult prices start at just £10 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £23 for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £28 for a day pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.


Posted: July 5, 2017 8:48 AM

    Myherin stage shortened due to tree disease in sections of forest
    Aberhirnant becomes a double-run stage
    Modified itinerary features 21 Special Stages over four action-packed days
Organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB have today (Wednesday 5 July) announced a revised four-day route following the discovery of tree disease in mid-Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) who manage the forest estate in Wales.

The original itinerary announced in May included two runs through the full Myherin Special Stage on Friday – this has now been shortened to allow contractors to remove infected larch trees. The spread of fungus-like Phytophthora ramorum can only be detected with the advent of early summer growth – hence the belated need to amend the previously confirmed route.

However, the UK’s penultimate round of the thrilling 2017 FIA World Championship still features more than 300km (187.5 miles) of competitive action, as crews will face a second run through the Aberhirnant stage. This has been added to Saturday morning’s schedule and will offer the fans and crews an early sighter in advance of the evening’s final stage.

Located close to Bala, Aberhirnant is one of the event’s fastest and most spectacular tests, so its double inclusion is sure to be popular with both competitors and fans eager to experience the new generation of more powerful WRC cars on maximum attack.

“We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and work closely with NRW,” explained Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “Come October, NRW will be clearing the infected trees out of Myherin, so we have to make other plans. Luckily, we have a route guru in Andrew Kellitt who has crunched the maps and the figures to replace the lost mileage by adding another run through Aberhirnant on Saturday morning.

“That sounds an incredibly simple solution, but believe me, it has taken about ten route iterations to get there and has had a massive knock-on effect throughout the whole event – stages have been reversed, fuel locations altered and the entire schedule reworked. But we’re there now and looking forward to making this fantastic event come to life in October.”

Spectators are advised that the changes in Myherin have necessitated the creation of new car parks and viewing areas. As a result, fans will not be able to access the stage through the normal routes and should check the rally planner in September for parking directions.

Organisers have also confirmed that the first running of the Gwydir stage on Sunday morning has been cancelled from the original schedule, with the final day now starting at Alwen.

Full details of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website (link below) together with updated ticket information.


Posted: July 5, 2017 8:47 AM

Thursday 26 October:
SS1: Visit Conwy Tir Prince

Friday 27 October:
SS2: Myherin 1
SS3: Sweet Lamb 1
SS4: Hafren 1
Regroup: Newtown
SS5: Myherin 2
SS6: Sweet Lamb 2
SS7: Hafren 2
Service: Deeside Rally Village

Saturday 28 October:
SS8: Aberhirnant 1
SS9: Dyfnant 1
SS10: Gartheiniog 1
SS11: Dyfi 1
Regroup: Corris
SS12: Gartheiniog 2 (Live TV)
SS13: Dyfi 2
SS14: Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest
Service: Deeside Rally Village
SS15: Aberhirnant 2
SS16: Dyfnant 2
Service: Deeside Rally Village

Sunday 29 October:
SS17: Alwen 1
SS18: Brenig 1
SS19: Gwydir
SS20: Alwen 2
Regroup: Brenig
SS21: Brenig 2 (Power Stage – Live TV)
Ceremonial Finish: Mostyn Street, Llandudno

ALL-COMERS WELCOME TO ENTER DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB - Non-homologated cars now permitted to contest main WRC event

Posted: June 28, 2017 7:32 AM

Competitors wanting to pit their skills against the sport’s elite have never had such an exciting, varied and affordable way to enter the UK’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Organisers of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October) have announced that nationally-registered machinery will be eligible for the main WRC event. Thanks to a new FIA regulation, owners of cars with a national MSA registration – typically older icons such as Mitsubishi Evos and Ford Escorts – can now enter the main four-day international rally.

British crews looking to contest the full international event will be able to take advantage of the discounted British privateer entry fee of £1995 (£1662.50 + VAT) – all they will need is an international competition licence and a car with an MSA Log Book. A limited number of places have been set aside and interested parties are now invited to register their interest via the walesrallygb.com website.

With crews now able to enter the main event, the WRGB National Rally has been reduced to a two-day format that will be less demanding of both finances and time.

“There should be something for everyone here,” enthused Ben Taylor, managing director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “Firstly, Britain’s WRC round is now genuinely open to those who want to take on the full challenge – that’s the stuff of personal legends.

“Secondly, the shorter National event should appeal to those who want to have the amazing experience of competing on a huge event, but who will also appreciate the smaller time and money commitment required.”

The National runners will still be an important part of the massive WRC event, based in the busy WRC Rally Village in Deeside and will compete on the same special stages as their WRC counterparts.

This year’s more compact itinerary features eight classic timed stages, offering more than 60 miles of top class action on some of the world’s most challenging forest tracks.

After its own dedicated start in Chester city centre on Friday afternoon (27 October), the National runners will open the action at the Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest on Saturday morning, ahead of four speed tests in the legendary Dyfi, Gartheiniog, Dyfnant and Aberhirnant forests of mid-Wales. The crews return to the Rally Village in the early evening where the Saturday night party will be getting underway.

Sunday’s schedule is set in north Wales featuring three more stages – Gwydyr, Alwen and Brenig – before the traditional champagne finish on Mostyn Street in Llandudno.

The WRGB National Rally has been a sell-out in recent years and this year’s event is likely to be no different. The shorter rally will be priced at £625 + VAT, and entries will open on 30 August. Entries to the National B event can only be made online through the official walesrallygb.com website and must be accompanied by online payment in order to be registered.

“Whether competitors opt for the full WRC package or the new-look National, we just want them to have a great time and enjoy themselves,” said Taylor.

“There aren’t many sports where you can legitimately claim to be competing on the same field as the world stars. Can you imagine playing against Chelsea at Wembley or at Wimbledon with Andy Murray or racing against Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone?

“Hopefully the fans are going to get to see a wider variety of amazing rally cars in the stages and it will also underline the fact that Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is about showcasing the very best of British rallying to the fans and to the world.”

Tickets for the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are now on sale with significant savings for those booking in advance. The latest schedule includes Thursday evening’s newly announced curtain-raiser at the Tir Prince Raceway and only a single visit to Gwydyr on Sunday morning.


Posted: June 26, 2017 10:02 AM

October’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will blast off in sensational style when the world’s best rally drivers take on a new challenge to open the event.

A spectacular competitive stage will be created at the Tir Prince Raceway in Towyn, County Conwy, complete with jump and donut, to begin three days of unmissable World Rally Championship action.

This thrilling new addition to the three-day itinerary will feature a 1.1-mile (1.7km) floodlit course incorporating parts of Tir Prince’s trotting track and other areas within the park.

Thanks to the proactive and enthusiastic support from Conwy County Borough Council – the rally’s official ‘Host County’ – the Visit Conwy Special Stage at Tir Prince will be an amazing opportunity for the north Wales public to see these amazing new WRC cars in action.

In addition, fans will be treated to a full evening of exhilarating car-themed entertainment with autograph sessions, interviews, commentary, big screens, dedicated trackside viewing areas, catering, a funfair, merchandise shopping and much, much more.

The Tir Prince stage offers outstanding value, with adult tickets priced at just £10 when purchased in advance (£15 on the gate), while accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free. Admission is included with the four-day World Rally Pass, available for £99, and the Thursday Day Pass, which costs £28.

The venue is easily accessible, situated close to Kinmel Bay in the busy north Wales resort region and close to the A55 north Wales Expressway, providing straightforward travel for those in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester.

“It’s going to be a great night out,” enthused Ben Taylor, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director. “Rallying is an amazing sport, but it can be difficult for people to get to see it, so we are always looking for innovative ways to bring it to new audiences.

“The stage at Tir Prince will be a great first, bringing the action to the heart of this busy region and getting the event off to the best possible start. With many people on half-term holidays, the area will be buzzing; I have no doubt that we’ll get an amazing crowd for this memorable event.”

The award-winning events team at Conwy County Borough Council has been instrumental in facilitating this opening stage at Tir Prince. It is understandably delighted to be pushing the boundaries and bringing the outstanding FIA World Rally Championship to new parts of the county.

Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Venue Cymru, Marketing and Events, Councillor Louise Emery said: “Bringing this Special Stage to Tir Prince is fantastic news for the area. With over 35,000 holiday bed spaces in the immediate locality there is potential to draw a large audience from across the North West of England. An event of this calibre will draw in thousands of people who will come and enjoy the area providing a welcome economic boost to our towns.”

Adam Williams, Managing Director of the Tir Prince Leisure Group, is elated to be welcoming the WRC stars and cars. “We are delighted to be hosting the opening stage of this year's Dayinsure Wales Rally GB at Tir Prince Raceway Towyn,” he confirmed. "We feel that our 50-acre site is an ideal location for spectators to enjoy the thrills of top class rally driving, whilst our onsite amusement park will ensure that there is plenty to do for all of the family.

“The atmosphere created by our floodlight arena will enhance the exhilaration of seeing the contestants racing against-the-clock. It is a privilege to be asked to host the world championship rally and we are delighted to bring such a prestigious event to the east of Conwy County.”

Tickets for the new Visit Conwy Special Stage at Tir Prince are already on sale. Full ticket information is available on the official www.walesrallygb.com website, link below:


Posted: May 26, 2017 3:08 AM

As Wales declares 2017 as its ‘Year of Legends’, few events will epitomise that status better than Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October), Britain’s revered round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Indeed, this autumn’s eagerly-anticipated event – the competitive route for which is announced today (Wednesday) – is all set to be one of the most exciting, appealing and unmissable in the rally’s long-running history.

Fuelling the excitement is a new generation of dramatic WRC rally cars which are delivering one of the most unpredictable and fiercely-fought championships in living memory. This season’s first six rounds have produced no fewer than four different winners and the nail-biting title race is likely to have entered a critical phase come the penultimate round here in Britain at the end of October.

There’s strong British interest, too. Back in March, Kris Meeke won in Mexico and the Ulsterman has twice previously been on the podium in Wales. More recently, local Welsh hero Elfyn Evans came within a split-second of winning his first WRC round in Argentina in April.

Last year’s move to an earlier date in October not only delivered better autumnal weather conditions for crews and spectators but also coincided with schools’ half-term break giving many families the chance to enjoy some top class, world championship entertainment over the holiday period. With a similar date in 2017, accompanied children aged 15 and under are again offered free admission to all the ticketed Special Stages.

The majority of these thrilling speed tests will be run against-the-clock on demanding gravel roads set in the legendary Welsh forests. However, adding to challenge and spectacle, the modified 2017 route reintroduces the thrill of two night stages in the daunting Dyfnant and Aberhirnant forests run after dark on Saturday evening.

Saturday’s schedule also includes a return of the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. Its introduction was one of the many highlights of last year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB with 10,000 visitors enjoying a full day of memorable entertainment, culminating in the mid-afternoon arrival of the WRC stars and cars – a hugely successful format that will be further enhanced in 2017.

In total the 20 Special Stages offer in excess of 300 competitive kilometres (180 miles) with a fast-moving schedule featuring many of the established Welsh classics: mythical names such as Hafren, Myherin, Dyfi and Gartheiniog are all included.

The premier league WRC teams again will be based at the Deeside Rally Village, in the grounds of the Toyota UK engine manufacturing plant. While admittance to the Rally Village is totally free, tickets for the gripping action are now on sale, with savings for those booking in advance compared to on-the-day.

Since relocating to Deeside in 2013, this world-class sporting spectacle has gone from strength-to-strength. Last year it attracted more than 90,000 visitors, an impressive 150 car entry, international crews from 24 different countries and delivered almost £9m of economic benefit to the Welsh economy as well as extensive global TV and media coverage.

The 2016 event also welcomed a new title partner – Dayinsure, one of the UK’s leading providers of temporary vehicle insurance – as well as on-going support from Conwy County Borough Council. Such was the success of these two affiliations that Dayinsure has recently announced a title partnership extension for the next two years while Conwy has renewed its role as official Host County for 2017.

As a result, several of the exhilarating competitive stages are set in Conwy County’s famous forests while the event’s high-profile Ceremonial Start and Ceremonial Finish will take place in the county.

For the past four years, top honours have gone to the reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier and now the Frenchman stands on the threshold of making history as no driver has ever clocked up five Rally GB victories. An unprecedented fifth win would indeed create a new ‘legend’.

Tickets now on sale

Tickets for the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are on sale and offer savings for those buying in advance. Even more so for those with school children on half-term holidays as all aged 15 and under enjoy free admittance when accompanied by an adult.

While ticket prices in line with those of 2016, in response to customer feedback, booking fees are now included to remove any ‘hidden costs’. When purchased online in advance, an adult Day Pass now costs just £28 and gives access to all stages on the selected day. For simplicity, these electronic tickets can either be printed out at home or scanned via a mobile device on arrival at appropriate car parks.

Admission to Saturday’s fun-fuelled RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle is either included in a Saturday Day Pass (£28) or with a separate RallyFest ticket available online in advance for £23. Once again, as with all other special stages, accompanied children aged 15 and under get in for free, making this a great half-term destination 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 eighth 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.


Two distinct hospitality options are also available; the first at Sweet Lamb on Friday, the second at Cholmondeley Castle on Saturday.

Priced at £120, special tickets for Rally Xtra @ Sweet Lamb offer fans an attractive upgrade opportunity by providing a morning bacon roll, hearty hot lunch, dedicated parking, premium toilet facilities, free tea and coffee, pay bar, commentary, wi-fi and a private viewing area within the Sweet Lamb bowl.

The superior hospitality pavilion at the following day’s RallyFest is located on pole position, adjacent to the Dayinsure Donut focal point around which all the cars must complete a rubber-burning 360-degree spin turn. Tickets cost £240 and include VIP dining, guest appearances by rally legends plus a host of other additional attractions.

Encouraging everyone in the region to experience and enjoy the presence of a premier league world championship motor sport event in north Wales, access to the Deeside Rally Village, the Start and Finish Ceremonies, the regroup in Newtown and the visit to Chester on Friday evening are, once again, totally free of charge.

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

Ben Taylor, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director:

“After the big success of last year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, we are really excited to announce our plans for this October – an event that certainly will live up to its legendary status.

“The arrival of a new generation of more exciting cars has really caught the public’s imagination and we are expecting them to draw even bigger crowds when they make their UK debut in the autumn.

“Rallying here in the UK is in great shape at the moment. We have Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans right in the mix for WRC victories plus a revitalised British Rally Championship developing the stars of tomorrow.

“Having had such a great event in 2016, we have fabulous foundations for 2017. So we have stuck by the majority of the route but now with the added bonus of challenging night stages – always a big hit with both drivers and fans.

“Two of last year’s biggest successes were the new RallyFest stage at Cholmondeley Castle and our visit to Chester on Friday night, both of which will be back in 2017 to attract thousands of fans again.

“Of course, the whole event would not be possible without the continued support of our partners, principally the Welsh Government, our principal funding partner, our title partner Dayinsure, our host county Conwy County Borough Council and all the other authorities and organisations who make it possible to bring a World Championship event to the region. With their enthusiastic support, there’s no doubt that the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB will be another resounding success.”

Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure:

“This year’s Wales Rally GB promises to be another spectacular event and a fitting way to draw Wales’ Year of Legends to a close. Wales is home to some of the world’s most legendary rally stages – the event is our opportunity to showcase the epic Welsh landscapes and scenery as some of the legends of the sport test their skills against what the Welsh landscape throws at them.”

Jane Richardson, Strategic Director Economy & Place, Conwy County Borough Council:

“We are thrilled once again to be the Host County for such a prestigious World event. Events are a key part of the Council’s strategy to raise the profile of what a fantastic place Conwy County is to visit. Last year’s rally attracted 16,000 people between Llandudno and Colwyn Bay for the opening and closing ceremonies and we simply couldn’t afford to buy the worldwide media coverage that comes with it. So we’re excited to continue this valuable relationship with Wales Rally GB which provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Conwy County”.

Dennis Ryan, Dayinsure Founder and Chairman:

“Partnering a world championship motor sport event was a totally new opportunity for Dayinsure, but the decision exceeded all of our expectations on many fronts – hence our enthusiasm to extend our involvement.

“The availability of temporary vehicle insurance remains something of a new concept for many in the UK, and this partnership with Wales Rally GB provides us with the perfect platform to promote not only the availability of such short-term cover but also its simplicity. The cars look amazing and this year’s route certainly has all the right ingredients to be another classic – that’s why we are so looking forward to the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.”

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Fans get their first chance to experience the dramatic new-era WRC cars in thrilling high-speed action during the official pre-event Shakedown held in Clocaenog Forest on Thursday morning. Teams will be based in Ruthin – just a short drive from the Deeside Rally Village – and will be making their final preparations for the three days of supreme competition laying ahead.

Friday, 27 October 2017

The competition blasts off in spectacular style with classic speed tests in the legendary forests of mid-Wales. The opening day’s schedule features three Special Stages, all set to the east of Aberystwyth. Myherin and Hafren are world-renowned as true classics while, with its jumps and water splashes, the shorter Sweet Lamb test is always a fans’ favourite.

All three stages are tackled twice – once either side of a lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of Newtown before the cars head back to service, stopping off en route in Chester to meet the fans.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Saturday’s schedule is even longer and, concluding under the cloak of darkness, no less challenging. The morning’s itinerary takes the competitors to the famous forests of southern Snowdonia, just to the north of Machynlleth.

Gartheiniog and Dyfi are two more demanding stages that will push crews to their limits and provide fans with some outstanding viewing opportunities. Once again the WRC teams will tackle both tests twice before heading east to the day’s fifth Special Stage in Dyfnant Forest in the periphery of the Cambrian Mountains en route to the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle.

After a service to fit lights, Saturday’s hectic timetable concludes with two stages held in darkness. The first is a return to the Dyfnant section run earlier in the day, the second a one-off sprint through the superfast Aberhirnant Forest, close to Bala.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sunday’s concluding day is set entirely in north Wales. The well-known Brenig and Alwen stages introduced in recent years feature again as well as the Gwydyr Forest in Snowdonia which returns to the route for the first time since 2013. All three stages will be run twice with the second run through Brenig being the event’s concluding ‘Power Stage’, screened live to TV audiences around the globe.

As in 2016, the first half of the Brenig stage is set alongside the picturesque reservoir, however the final few miles have been revised to provide even better viewing areas below the dam and close to the Brenig Visitor Centre for those wishing to witness the grueling event’s grand finale and TV podium presentations.

The official celebrations then switch to Mostyn Street in Llandudno for the Ceremonial Finish and prize-giving, providing the public with a final free-of-charge opportunity to savour the magic of the FIA World Rally Championship’s annual adventure in Wales.

Event Website / Details

Posted: May 26, 2017 3:04 AM

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