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Rally GB (J) - 3-6 Oct 19

Posted: September 11, 2019 6:42 AM - 1861 Hits

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

Hyundai drive for McErlean on Wales Rally GB

Posted: September 11, 2019 6:42 AM

Recently crowned Junior British Rally Champion Josh McErlean will contest Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) in a Hyundai i20 R5. McErlean, from Kilrea in Northern Ireland, sealed the British title on his home round of the BRC – the Today’s Ulster Rally last month – and will now contest Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship in the latest specification R5 machine courtesy of Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing and the British Rally Championship.

The 20-year-old wrapped-up the JBRC title with a round to spare this season, after wins on the West Cork, Pirelli and Ulster rallies in his Peugeot 208 R2. Now the Northern Irishman will be able to showcase his talent on the world stage, at the helm of a four-wheel-drive R5 car – his prize from Germany-based Hyundai Motorsport for winning the Junior British Rally Championship title.

McErlean will contest his first WRC event in the BRC-backed Hyundai, and guiding him through four-days of Welsh forestry action will be regular co-driver Keaton Williams. The pair will also be supported on the event by Pirelli UK, Rally Cover, Carless Racing Fuels, Melvyn Evans Motorsport and Motorsport UK.

2019 Junior British Rally Champion Josh McErlean said:
“It’s only just starting to sink in,” grinned McErlean. “To win the title on home soil on my home event was just amazing – when you look at the caliber of drivers in the series, it was some achievement. It was a tough year – to be fair all years have been tough but, on the Cambrian Rally, when there are tenths of seconds between five, six drivers you know it’s going to be a real fight for it.”

McErlean joins an illustrious group of former Junior BRC champions including Kris Meeke and Gus Greensmith, who after their title winning exploits in Britain’s premier rallying series are now fighting at the very front of the FIA World Rally Championship.

“It’s very special, I really hold the BRC in high regard and to win a British title is something very special to me. To join the likes of Kris and Gus – drivers who are excelling at the top level in the WRC is quite something. I didn’t think it would be possible and now the chance to drive an R5 car on a WRC event is something I am going to grab with both hands.”

As well as learning a new team and car, the Northern Irishman will contest the legendary Wales Rally GB for the first time – one of the longest running events on the World Championship calendar – an exciting prospect for the Mechanical Engineering student.

“The Welsh forests are out of this world and after sampling them on the Cambrian Rally [Opening round of the BRC] I can’t wait to do more of them. They are just brilliant to drive.

“I haven’t driven the Hyundai i20 R5 car in anger so there will be a lot to learn, as we get thrown into the deep end. It won’t just be the car, I have never done a WRC rally so I am equally excited for my first event and where better to get started than Wales Rally GB. Keaton [Williams] has done the event before so that will be a massive help, but after a few seasons in the BRC, I am ready to take on the challenge. With a good recce, plenty of preparation beforehand, we will be in good shape to give the event our best shot!

“I have to thank the BRC and Hyundai Motorsport for the support – an amazing opportunity for a young driver like myself. I do have to pinch myself and I can’t wait for October.”

Andrew Johns – Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing Senior Sales Associate said:
“We are extremely happy to be working with Josh and Keaton for their entry at Wales Rally GB. Their pace together in the Junior championship has consistently been excellent and it’s going to be very interesting what they can do in a four-wheel-drive car for the first time. Running a car with one of our customer teams, they will be able to call on their expertise, as well as that of support engineers from Hyundai Motorsport so they can get the best out of the Hyundai i20 R5 and their time at the rally.”

Iain Campbell – British Rally Championship Manager said:
“I am extremely pleased to see Josh and Keaton stepping into a Hyundai i20 R5 car on Wales Rally GB. The pair have excelled this season in the Junior BRC and have worked tirelessly to put a strong campaign together all year. The BRC has always been about progressing young talent and providing career changing opportunities so we are pleased to be able to offer this amazing prize and chance to sample a World Championship event. We are delighted that this amazing prize has come to fruition and I would like to thank Hyundai Motorsport, Pirelli UK, Rally Cover, Carless Racing Fuels, Melvyn Evans Motorsport and Motorsport UK for working with us to give future stars a chance to shine on the world stage.”

After the announcement of the 2020 calendar on the 4 September, further news regarding next season will be announced in due course, but in the meantime, the 2019 championship continues this week with the Armstrong Galloway Hills Rally (14 September) as the crews tackle the one-day showdown on the legendary Scottish forestry stages.


Posted: September 11, 2019 6:40 AM

Next month’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) has attracted a star-studded line-up after organiser, Motorsport UK, confirmed it has received a world class entry from right around the globe for the UK’s eagerly awaited annual date on the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar.

Entries for round 12 of this year’s 14-round WRC closed late last week, with an outstanding field of 59 International crews representing no fewer 25 nations revving up to compete against-the-clock on an exciting new-look route starting in Liverpool and featuring 22 gruelling special stages the majority of which are set in the legendary Welsh forests.

The 2019 entry list is topped by four former winners: reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier (FRA), Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN), Elfyn Evans (GBR) and Petter Solberg (NOR).

Ogier (top below) took a record fifth Wales Rally GB win 12 months ago, Latvala won in 2011 and 2012, local hero Evans (photos row two below) made his own history when winning in 2017 while the ebullient Solberg, a four-time winner between 2002 and 2005, is making an emotional farewell on event he adores. To mark the special occasion, Petter is joined on the entry list by his older brother Henning and 18-year-old son Oliver, one of the sport’s hottest prospects (photo bottom below Petter and son Oliver).

Adding to the excitement all the major protagonists are split between the four major manufacturer teams guaranteeing fierce competition amongst the pace-setters. All four teams are fielding the latest generation of World Rally Cars, the fastest machines ever unleashed in the forests.

Ogier now finds himself in a Citroën C3 WRC together with team-mate Esapekka Lappi (FIN) (photo above); Latvala lines up alongside the hard-charging Kris Meeke (GBR) and current series leader Ott Tänak (EST) in a trio of Toyota Yaris WRCs while Evans returns in one of three M-Sport run Ford Fiesta WRCs after missing the previous three rounds due to a back injury.

Although Hyundai doesn’t boast a previous event winner, its three-car entry of i20 Coupes is equally competitive with Thierry Neuville (BEL), Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) and Irish ace Craig Breen (photos row four below) all armed with rally-winning i20 Coupes.

Fuelling the excitement, with both Meeke photos (row three below) and Evans among the WRC’s big guns, hopes of a home victory have rarely been stronger.

All three Solbergs are among those rallying slightly less extreme WRC2 class cars – Petter and Oliver are armed with Volkswagen Polo R5s and Henning with a Skoda Fabia R5. The competition for category honours, though, will be every bit as fiercely fought as the battle for outright WRC honours. Once again, both local and international crews will be to the fore.

British Rally Championship front-runners Matt Edwards and Tom Cave (both Hyundai i20 R5s) and WRC2 regular Gus Greensmith (Ford Fiesta R5) will be hoping for home advantage but they face stiff opposition from the likes of experienced Norwegian Mads Østberg (Citroën C3 R5), Czech ace Jan Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5), Finnish young gun Kalle Rovanperrä (Skoda Fabia R5) and New Zealander Hayden Paddon (Ford Fiesta R5).

Look out, too, for Josh McErlean who won his Hyundai i20 R5s prize drive as winner of this year’s Junior British Rally Championship.

Eleven more young stars of the future will be contesting the final round of the tightly packed FIA Junior WRC. This time Tom Williams represents Britain, but the title-decider is between a pair of Swedish and Spanish speeders: Tom Kristensson and Jan Solans. Past winners of the coveted JWRC crown include Ogier, Breen and Evans.

Whether contesting for outright WRC, WRC2 class honours or the JWRC title, all face four days of unmissable action providing spectators with a feast of thrills and spills.

After the Ceremonial Start on Liverpool’s historic waterfront, Thursday evening’s curtain-raiser has moved to a new home at the popular Oulton Park circuit near Chester.

The competition then switches to the forests of Snowdonia and north Wales on Friday and then into mid Wales on ‘Super Saturday’ before contesting a family-friendly sprint up and down Colwyn Bay’s seafront under the lights on Saturday Evening.

Sunday concludes with a blast around the Great Orme plus four more speed tests high up on the moors around the Lynn Brenig Resevoir. When the gravel settles, the winners will be crowned back in Llandudno where Wales Rally GB is now based. The Service Park is located in the town centre and rally headquarters in the resort’s Venue Cymru.

Entries for the accompanying WRGB National Rally, which shadows the main event, close today (Wednesday 11 September). A few additional places have been made available for those wishing to join the 50+ amateur crews already registered to compete alongside the best drivers in the world.

Even before the world class entry was confirmed, tickets sales have been running at record levels with a number of hospitality and grandstand options already totally sold-out.

While entry to the Ceremonial Start in Liverpool and Service Park in Llandudno is totally free of charge, a wide selection of tickets for the 22 competitive special stages are still on sale with prices starting at just £15 for the Saturday evening speed test in Colwyn Bay. Full details can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

Entry List

Posted: September 11, 2019 6:34 AM


Posted: September 6, 2019 1:23 PM

More great McRae news for Wales Rally GB: just days after announcing that Olympic track cycling superstar Sir Chris Hoy, MBE will be revving up in one of the late Colin McRae’s title-winning Subaru Imprezas at Oulton Park’s opener to this year’s World Rally Championship event, comes news that Jimmy McRae will be contesting the two-day WRGB National Rally (October 4-5) in an historic Porsche 911.

As well as being Colin’s dad, Jimmy is a five time British Rally Champion and one of rallying’s true legends. Now aged 75, the Scot has lost none of his passion for the sport and is as keen as ever to compete in Britain’s blue-ribband event.

“I still love it and as long as I get the thrill and remain reasonably competitive I’ll carry on,” he vowed. “Rally GB is the ultimate rally in Britain and one of the top events in the world – it always stirs up so many fond memories. Sadly, I never won it but did finish on the podium twice back in the eighties.

“Although I’m only competing on the two-day WRGB National Rally which runs alongside the main world championship rally it is still very much part of the main event. Being based alongside the WRC teams in the Service Park and using exactly the same stages, it shares the same atmosphere and big crowds.”

For those wanting to compete against Jimmy on the WRGB National Rally, just a few remaining starting positions remain available before the fast-approaching closing date for entries on Tuesday 10 September. Entries for the International Rally have now closed.

Competitors, though, will have to be at their best as Jimmy has enjoyed considerable success in Porsche 911s in the past. Now, with those achievements behind him, he is delighted to have been offered the opportunity to compete in the Post Historic class alongside regular co-driver Pauline Gullick in Brian Bell’s 3-litre RS model from the 1970s (photo below bottom).

“I’ve never actually rallied this car before though I’ve competed against it,” said McRae. “Lots of people say the 911 is difficult to drive but they have lots of power and if you get the suspension set-up right you can really have a whole lot of fun.”

To achieve the perfect chassis balance, McRae has engaged the services of renowned Porsche preparation expert Richard Lepley at Prepfab Motorsport. Lepley and McRae have teamed up successfully before when campaigning an Eddie Stobart entered 911. “Richard just knows how to get an historic Porsche right,” enthused Jimmy.

Adding to the McRae fervour on next month’s Wales Rally GB, he will be joining Sir Chris Hoy at Oulton Park for the Olympian’s own personal tribute to Jimmy’s son Colin – Hoy’s boyhood sporting hero.

“I was so thrilled to hear that Chris would be driving one of Colin’s cars and texted him saying how excited I am immediately I heard the news,” he said. “It will be very special to be there to share in Chris’ own celebration of what Colin achieved.”

Jimmy’s iconic Group B Rothmans-liveried MG Metro 6R4 from 1986 will also be on show at Oulton Park as part of an eye-catching collection of past rally cars assembled to mark the 75thrunning of Rally GB. Backed by Autocar magazine, the showcase will include a number of stand-out machines dating back the inaugural RAC Rally of 1932.

All tickets for Oulton Park must be purchased in advance by 30 September. Adult admission is priced at just £25 with hospitality also available for those seeking the ultimate experience.

A wide selection of tickets for the remaining 21 special stages that follow in Wales on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also on sale with prices starting at £15 for the family-friendly Saturday evening speed test on the Colwyn Bay seafront. Full details of both the International event as contested by the current WRC stars and the National event in which McRae is competing can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.


Posted: September 6, 2019 1:21 PM

Olympic track cycling superstar Sir Chris Hoy, MBE will be paying special tribute to his boyhood hero – the late Colin McRae – at Wales Rally GB (3-6 October), the UK’s round of the thrilling 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.

Great Britain’s joint most-successful Olympic athlete of all time will be honouring his fellow Scot when he slips behind the wheel of a magical Subaru Impreza – a title-winning icon rallied successfully by the great McRae himself.

This extraordinary tribute to the man who lost his life in a helicopter accident almost 11 years ago, will come to Oulton Park on Thursday 3 October. The popular Cheshire venue is hosting the opening competitive speed test of this year’s Wales Rally GB and Hoy’s evocative homage will be the perfect curtain-raiser to the arrival of the WRC cars and stars later in the afternoon.

The 43-year-old from Edinburgh has no fewer than 11 world championship plus six Olympic gold medals to his name. Since stepping off the saddle in 2013, Hoy has been fuelling his massive passion for motorsport – most prominently when finishing the famous Le Mans 24 Hours in 2016. He attributes this unquenchable fervour for four-wheeled competition almost entirely to watching McRae’s swashbuckling heroics on television as a teenager.

“All young boys dream of racing cars, but it was really Colin McRae and rallying that got me into motorsport as a teen,” admits Hoy. “He was just an awesome driver to watch and he became one of my all-time sporting heroes – so much so, that I made a Racing Legends television programme on his remarkable achievements for BBC Two a few years ago.”

“He was the best driver of his time and the first-ever British driver to win the World Rally Championship title… but it was the way he did it that made him so special. You couldn’t fail to be excited by his approach: full commitment; maximum attack; absolutely flat-out – just spectacular.”

At the Dayinsure Oulton Park Stage which kicks off this year’s Wales Rally GB under the floodlights, Hoy will be driving the iconic blue Impreza in which his idol won Rally Spain in 1996, thus helping Subaru to clinch a second manufacturers’ world crown. The title winning car is still in the care of Prodrive, the revered organisation which originally prepared and ran the celebrated machines.

“This is a childhood dream come true and I’m now massively looking forward to it,” enthuses Hoy. “Colin was an inspiration to me, as well as I’m sure to countless others, so I’m truly honoured to be playing a small role in keeping the McRae legacy alive today.”

Hoy’s presence on track is just one of many attractions on offer to the many thousands of fans flocking to Oulton Park. Gates open at 3pm and visitors of all ages will be treated to some great afternoon entertainment, whetting appetites for the eagerly-awaited WRC’s arrival. The current generation of the world’s top drivers arrive straight from the Ceremonial Start in Liverpool, first to recce the competitive stage in their rally cars and then to compete against-the-clock.

Meanwhile, stunt drivers will be wowing the crowds and stage sponsor Dayinsure is hosting a special Family Zone providing a wide selection of interactive attractions for visitors of all ages.

Other attractions at Oulton Park include autograph sessions with past and present rally legends, big screens, pyrotechnics, commentary and an eye-catching display of historic rally cars to mark the event’s 75th running.

The Autocar 75th Rally GB showcase will feature cars as rallied in period by all the greats including multiple home winners Roger Clark and Richard Burns plus, of course, Colin McRae who scored three home victories in 1994, 1995 and 1997.

All tickets for Oulton Park must be purchased in advance by 30 September with adult admission priced at just £25 with hospitality also available for those seeking the ultimate experience.

A wide selection of tickets for the remaining 21 special stages that follow in Wales on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are also on sale with prices starting at £15 for the family-friendly Saturday evening speed test on the Colwyn Bay seafront. Full details can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

PADDON RETURNS - R5 for GB, WRC for Australia

Posted: September 6, 2019 1:17 PM

Hayden Paddon and John Kennard are set to contest two FIA World Rally Championship events before the end of the year – piloting the all-new Ford Fiesta R5 MkII at Wales Rally GB and returning to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC at Rally Australia.

As one of the sport’s most popular competitors, the rallying community were devastated when a stray rock put paid to Paddon’s Rally Finland ambitions earlier this year. But the New Zealander did not give up the fight and worked tirelessly with his backers to facilitate another outing at the sport’s highest level – his efforts rewarded with a further two events.

Chasing success in the WRC 2 Pro category, Paddon’s Wales Rally GB outing will act as the perfect means to get back into the swing of the FIA World Rally Championship, whilst also showcasing the power and performance of M-Sport’s latest challenger.

Having contested the British event on nine previous occasions, Paddon knows the Welsh forests well – twice finishing on the support-category podium and securing his best result of fourth overall at the end of a strong and consistent 2016 season.

As a talented competitor on all surfaces, Paddon has eight top-three finishes to his name – securing his first podium in 2015 and claiming a maiden victory with an unforgettable performance at the 2016 edition of Rally Argentina.

And there’s no doubt he’ll be looking to add to those accolades when he returns to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC at the season finale in Australia.

Contesting the Australian fixture on eight previous occasions, it’s a rally he and Kennard know equally well and they have the results to prove it – with four top-five finishes in the past four years which include two podiums as well as the runner-up spot last year.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:

“After what happened in the lead-up to Finland, it was clear that a lot of the fans were desperate to see Hayden back behind the wheel. We gave him some thoughts and advice on what was needed to compete with us again, and within three weeks he was pretty much there!

“The backing and budget he was able to secure has allowed us to offer him two events – one with the Ford Fiesta R5 at Wales Rally GB, and another with the Ford Fiesta WRC at Rally Australia.

“The WRC 2 Pro series is extremely competitive at the moment so it’s great to add another top-line driver into the mix. With Hayden’s experience of all different kinds of cars we’re sure he’ll be able to show the capabilities of the new Fiesta R5.

“As for Rally Australia I think it’s clear what he aims to do there, and it will be great to see him back battling the WRC regulars. He and John certainly have the potential to deliver two really strong performances, and I’m one of many who are excited to see what they can do.”

Hayden Paddon said:

“We are really excited to get back behind the wheel. After the disappointment of Finland there was no way we could let that be the end of it and, together with M-Sport, we have worked hard to find some solutions. I really can’t thank everyone enough for their continued help and support; and a special thanks to HNZ who have again allowed this opportunity to happen.

“I’m really looking forward to driving M-Sport’s new R5 on an event we are familiar with and will aim to showcase its capabilities. It’s also good to get more seat time which, combined with testing both the R5 and the WRC, is something we have been lacking this year. But getting back in the world rally car at Rally Australia will be the real highlight, and I can’t wait.

“We’re not treating these rallies as a ‘last chance.’ We want to relax and enjoy the whole experience which will allow the results to come naturally. These are both rallies we know well and I feel I’m at a good level. There’s no reason we can’t deliver some strong results, but it’s important we don’t go chasing them – just let them come naturally.”


Posted: September 6, 2019 1:07 PM

Pontus Tidemand will make it two FIA World Rally Championship events in a row next month as he contests Wales Rally GB with the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.

The Swede is currently preparing for a return to the championship at next week’s Rally Turkey, and will take to the wheel of a third M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta in Wales – teaming up alongside Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen.

Contesting the British fixture on three previous occasions, Tidemand has a near-perfect record in the Welsh forests – competing as part of the WRC 2 category and finishing in the top-two on all three occasions, which included victory in 2017.

Stepping up to the top league this year, he’ll be looking to showcase his potential and development with good progress through some of the championship’s most challenging and most iconic gravel stages.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:

“It’s great that Pontus will have another event with the Ford Fiesta WRC and another opportunity to show what he can do at the sport’s highest level. He’s one of the next generation and I think all of the manufacturers will be keen to see how he progresses over these next two events. We know how competitive he was in WRC 2 – especially in Wales – and I’m looking forward to monitoring his progress over these next few weeks.”

Pontus Tidemand said:

“It's such a positive boost to know that I have another rally waiting, especially this close after Turkey. It’s important to have a bigger plan and I really want to show my progress and that I belong here in the FIA World Rally Championship.

“I'm really grateful towards M-Sport and my local partners for making this happen. Wales Rally GB is an event that I like a lot – and the roads remind me of those we have back home in Sweden.

“I also have great memories from previous years in Wales – where I finished on the podium all three times that I competed in the WRC 2 category. This time it will be an even bigger challenge, but I'm excited to see what I can do.”

Breen/Nagle confirmed for Hyundai

Posted: September 2, 2019 9:26 AM


Posted: August 30, 2019 8:43 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin are set to make their competitive return to the FIA World Rally Championship on home soil – returning to the wheel of the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC at Wales Rally GB.

The British pairing had to forgo events in Finland and Germany and will miss the forthcoming round in Turkey as Evans continues to recover from a back injury sustained at last month’s Rally Estonia.

Working closely with specialists to ensure he makes a full and complete recovery, the Welshman is gaining strength and will soon be fit for a return to competition – with the date set for his home event.

Teemu Suninen and Pontus Tidemand will take to the wheel of two top-specification Fiestas for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in Turkey, while Gus Greensmith returns to his WRC 2 Pro campaign and a maiden outing in the all?new EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“We now know when Elfyn will be able to return to competition, and that’s a big boost for the team heading into the final part of the season. He still has a little way to go with his recovery so we won’t see him in Turkey, but it’s great to know that he’ll be fit for Wales – his home event and the rally he won in 2017.

“He and Scott had a really strong start to the year and we’re all hoping they can continue that same performance on their return. We’ve not had the best of luck recently, but we’re focused on giving Elfyn and Teemu their best chance of fighting for fourth place in the championship – a battle which currently sees five drivers separated by just 10 points!”

Elfyn Evans said:
“I’ve been working really closely with the specialists and it’s great to know that I’ll be fit and ready to contest my home event in Wales. There’s something special about competing on home soil, and this is the rally I look forward to every year. It’s where I claimed my first victory, and the support we get there is incredible.

“It’s important to ensure I’m 100 percent fit before coming back, so I won’t be in Turkey. As frustrating as that is, I trust the experts and know how important it is to make sure the injury is fully healed. When I come back I want to be at full strength and able to pick up where we left off – challenging for the top results over the final part of the season.”


Posted: August 30, 2019 8:41 AM

Colwyn Bay is gearing up for its evening in the World Championship motorsport spotlight on Saturday 5 October.

As confirmed earlier in the summer, this year’s eagerly-anticipated Wales Rally GB is coming to the popular North Walian resort in Conwy County Borough with the world’s top drivers and the sport’s fastest ever cars racing against-the-clock on the town’s recently regenerated waterfront Promenade.

Now, further fuelling expectations and excitement, a full programme of high octane family entertainment has been added to the bill aimed at wowing those of all ages.

Whetting appetites for the spectacular wheel-spinning World Rally Championship (WRC) action to follow in the early evening, those in Colwyn will be revved up by an afternoon packed with dazzling air displays by the jaw-dropping Red Bull Matadors Aerobatic Team, exotic supercars, evocative historic rally cars plus a host of other attractions including face painters, roving characters and free funfair rides for children.

“We’re creating a real fun-fuelled festival atmosphere both in town and on the seafront,” enthused Alun Pritchard, Wales Rally GB’s Events Partnership Manager who resides locally in Old Colwyn. “This is going to be a fantastic red letter day for all of us living in the immediate area and we want everyone to really enjoy what’s going to be a fabulous family day out. It’s not often, after all, that a premier league world championship sport comes to town!”

With adult admission priced at just £15 in advance and accompanied children aged 15 and under admitted free, it is no surprise that tickets have already been selling fast.

“We are delighted the rally is bringing thousands of visitors to the area thus giving us a wonderful opportunity to showcase what we have to offer,” said Cheryl Williams, Colwyn BID Manager. “This special Saturday evening speed test will be an exciting addition to what’s already a very popular rally and, after its multi-million redevelopment, the Promenade set behind such a beautiful sweeping beach is the perfect setting.

“The accompanying programme of entertainment and activities guarantees there really is something for everyone. We encourage people to book their place as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on this incredible occasion.”

Ensuring all those in the community are given a taste of the main event taking place on the Promenade, the striking collection of supercars will be based on Station Road in the town centre before and after their seafront parades. Further down the coast, a number of local car clubs will be revving up those in Rhos-on-Sea with their own eye-catching showcases of rally-bred roadsters.

As the anticipation builds throughout Saturday, so the focus will switch more and more to the evening’s competitive World Championship speed test.

Gates on the seafront will open at 2:00pm and those arriving early will be treated to demos by both supercars and historic rally cars, fund-raising Dream Rides with Sporting Bears and merchandise stalls, while a big screen will keep visitors abreast of the latest news from the fast approaching rally.

Catering will also be provided with the mouth-watering option of Rally Xtra hospitality in the impressive new Porth Eirias building, located on pole position for those seeking the best culinary and spectating experience… though only limited spaces remain.

Then, when the WRC stars and cars arrive at just after 7:00pm, they will be burning rubber around a special two mile (three kilometre) floodlit course including dramatic chicanes, donuts and a hairpin.

With pyrotechnics lighting up the evening skies, the sights and sounds of the latest generation of amazing turbocharged, four-wheel-drive World Rally Cars will provide a memorable spectacle – a far cry from everyday life on the Promenade!

Public access points for the Colwyn Bay stage will be either from adjacent to the railway station in the town centre or from the Rhos-on-Sea end of the Promenade. Adult tickets are priced at only £15 in advance. For those seeking the ultimate seaside evening out, the few remaining Rally Xtra tickets cost £134 for adults and £99 for children aged 6-15 – these offer hospitality, a free programme plus a great vantage point from the roof of Porth Eirias.

A wide selection of tickets for the remaining 21 special stages that make up the full 2019 Wales Rally GB itinerary are also on sale. Full details can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.

WALES RALLY GB IN COLWYN BAY Saturday 5 October – Provisional Timetable

    From 11:00hrs Entertainment in Colwyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea town centres including static car displays, Racing Bugs radio controlled cars, children’s funfair rides, roving characters and face painters.
    14:00hrs Promenade venue gates open to the general public
    15:00hrs Supercar parade
    16:00hrs Red Bull Matadors Aerobatic Display Team
    16:30hrs Historic rally cars demonstration runs on the Special Stage
    19:13hrs Wales Rally GB – World Rally Championship action
    21.30hrs Gates close


Posted: August 8, 2019 7:26 AM

The beginning of August marks another major milestone in the countdown to the UK’s celebrated round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship.

With little more than nine weeks remaining until the thrilling WRC title fight arrives on these shores, official entries to this autumn’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) have just opened.

Entries for the shorter two-day WRGB National Rally – based right in the heart the WRC Service Park on the Llandudno seafront – which shadows the main four-day event into the legendary Welsh forests on Friday and Saturday open Wednesday (7 August). These will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. This concurrent event offers enthusiastic amateurs an extraordinary opportunity to compete alongside their World Championship heroes.

From all perspectives, Wales Rally GB has always been one of the classic rounds on the WRC calendar attracting top class entries from right around the world. This year’s International event breaks new ground, too, living up to Visit Wales’ very pertinent ‘Year of Discovery’.

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

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

With the title race hotting-up, a full field of the latest generation of awe-inspiring WRC cars is expected with Citroën, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota all well represented at the front of the premier league pack. What is more, this year’s Wales Rally GB hosts the thrilling finale to the 2019 FIA Junior WRC with just a single point separating the top two drivers Tom Kristensson and Jan Solans and double points on offer. It is going to be a nail-biter!

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

The first 30 eligible entries from private entrants received before the 3 September closing date will be automatically accepted. A full breakdown of entry fees is available in the Supplementary Regulations found on the walesrallygb.com website with local crews able to take advantage of the discounted British privateer entry fee of £2200.

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

The first 55 completed registrations received after National entries open at noon on Wednesday 7 August will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, with the remaining 15 places to be allocated at the organisers’ discretion – several of these being reserved for outstanding performers in the UK’s major domestic championships via the Road to Wales initiative.

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

“This is an incredible opportunity for both British and overseas competitors to be part of an event that is going to be one of the very best in the world,” said Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK, organiser of Wales Rally GB. “The latest generation of WRC cars just have to be experienced to be believed and we have a gripping three-way title battle adding even more interest. It’s certainly a world championship event neither participants nor spectators will want to miss.”

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


Posted: July 24, 2019 4:32 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted: July 22, 2019 6:11 AM

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

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

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

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

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


Posted: July 22, 2019 6:09 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets now on sale

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Llandudno is the new home for Wales Rally GB

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:58 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Event Website

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:56 AM

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