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Rally GB (J) - 3-6 Oct 19

Posted: October 4, 2019 3:38 PM - 4393 Hits

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

WRC: Live Results (GB 2019 WRC) Also available at: rally-base results or ewrc-results.com
National: Live Results (GB 2019 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 - 19:08
SS2 Fri - 07:18
SS11 Sat - 08:06
SS18 Sun - 07:28

Hyundai Motorsport Preview – Round 12: Wales Rally GB

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:30 PM

Hyundai Motorsport is aiming to reinforce its championship aspirations at Wales Rally GB, round twelve of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), as it seeks a strong all-round performance on the tricky gravel roads.

A gruelling Rally Turkey saw the team add a tenth podium result to its season total, increasing its lead in the manufacturers’ standings to 19 points. There are still 129 points up for grabs in the final three rounds of the championship, making the Welsh rally another important weekend in the extremely competitive title chase.

The Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC coped well with the rigours of the rough Turkish roads as all crews secured stage wins across a turbulent weekend. The 75th running of Wales Rally GB will offer another stern test; the rally is famed for its unpredictable conditions, inconsistent grip levels and tree-lined forest routes.

This year’s rally sees the return of the Oulton Park stage after 26 years as the event’s opening spectacle, based in Liverpool. Once back in Wales, operating from the new Service Park location of Llandudno, crews will compete on more familiar terrain, but it won’t be without its difficulties. Friday’s second Aberhirnant stage will be run in night-time conditions, while Saturday’s schedule covers over 150km with no luxury of lunchtime service.

Hyundai Motorsport will field a three-crew line-up of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jæger-Amland and the return of Irishmen Craig Breen/Paul Nagle after their strong outing at Rally Finland in early August. All three crews have had the opportunity to test the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on gravel ahead of Wales Rally GB, so will be raring to fight at the front.

Team Director Andrea Adamo said:
“The WRC title battle is steadily reaching its peak. We have to capitalise on the improved performance of our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC with a competitive all-round performance in Wales if we want to strengthen our lead. We welcome back Craig and Paul into our team alongside Thierry/Nicolas and Andreas/Anders, a line-up that we feel will give us the best fighting chance. Wales Rally GB is an exciting event, a crew favourite, but often unpredictable. As a team, we have to concentrate on managing the things in our control to the very best of our ability.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Belgian holds third place in the drivers’ standings, 30 points adrift of the lead
Finished second in Wales Rally GB in 2017

Neuville said: “Wales Rally GB can be one of the wettest rallies on the calendar, so we have to be prepared for an eventful weekend. It’s typically a very slippery event but one I enjoy. I’ve been on the podium a couple of times and I’m hoping to replicate that this year. The stages are quite flowing, very fast and we have some dark-light conditions too, which adds to the atmosphere. The itinerary is demanding with long days but it’s what Wales is known for and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Crew Notes: Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jæger-Amland (#89 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Moved up to fourth in the drivers’ classification with third place in Turkey
Wales Rally GB represents an important event for the Norwegian crew

Mikkelsen said: “Wales Rally GB is where I started my WRC career, so always holds a special place on the calendar for me. At this time of the year, as we tend to have more inclement late autumn weather, the conditions are usually very slippery - lots of rain and fog. It’s one of the trickiest gravel rallies we do all season as the stages are fast paced but also very muddy. Hopefully, we can continue our momentum from our podium finish in Turkey.”

Crew Notes: Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (#42 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Irish crew returns to Hyundai Motorsport after an encouraging Rally Finland performance.
Target of supporting the team’s manufacturers’ push

Breen said: “It’s great to be back in the car again for Wales Rally GB. It’s a rally that I really love. It’s obviously the closest I’ll get to a home event for the moment. I have great memories from over the years. Finland exceeded my expectations and definitely gave me a lot more confidence going forward. I know it’s going to be difficult and we need to do everything we can to provide good manufacturers’ championship points for the team.”

Weekend at a glance
22 stages run over a competitive distance of 309.76km
After the ceremonial start in Liverpool on Thursday, Oulton Park race circuit returns to the itinerary for the first time in 26 years to host the event’s opening 3.58km stage
Nine stages based in the mountains of Snowdonia on Friday cover 116,52km
Saturday is the rally’s longest day with seven stages totalling a distance of 151.24km
Five stages on Sunday bring Wales Rally GB to a close including the Brenig Power Stage.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing confident heading into the Welsh forests

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:29 PM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team moves on to Rally GB (October 3-6) confident of a strong result on the tricky Welsh stages. With three rounds remaining in the 2019 season, Ott Tänak takes the lead of drivers’ standings to a rally on which he has performed strongly in the past. Jari-Matti Latvala is making his 18th start on an event he’s won twice before, while the team’s British crew of Kris Meeke and Seb Marshall can look forward to the support of the home crowds.

A classic event of the WRC, Rally GB takes place predominantly on gravel roads in the forests of Wales, which are relatively fast when dry. Autumn can however mean a high likelihood of rain and even fog, and stages that are muddy and slippery with frequent changes of grip levels.

The rally has a new home this year in the north Welsh coastal town of Llandudno. There is also a new start location in the city of Liverpool on Thursday and subsequent first stage at the Oulton Park racing circuit, which last welcomed the rally in 1993. There are nine stages in total on Friday, the last of which will be run in darkness. Saturday’s action is mostly in mid-Wales with a trio of forest stages each run twice with just a tyre fitting zone in-between, before a new asphalt stage along Colwyn Bay seafront in the evening. There’s another asphalt test on the final day along the Great Orme coastal road, separating two passes of the Alwen and Brenig stages.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“The last rally in Turkey was a tough one for us but we are going into the final three events of the season confident that we can perform strongly on all of them. In our first year, Rally GB was not so good for us, but we learned a lot from that, we made some changes, and last year we were really strong there. The roads are fast and smooth and that suits us well. The slippery conditions can always make things difficult, but I think all of our drivers enjoy that challenge and have a good feeling before the event.”

Martin Järveoja and Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)
“Rally GB is always something special. It’s a rally I like, as the roads are fast and they have a nice flow, but the conditions make it difficult, especially because the grip levels are constantly changing at every corner. You need confidence in your car on every rally, but it’s in these kind of conditions where it can really help to make a big difference. The gap in the championship is closer now, but we have three rallies to go and we know that we were fast on each of them last year. Now we just have to finish the job, starting in Wales.”

Miikka Anttila and Jari-Matti Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 10)
“Rally GB is special for me and I’ve always enjoyed it. The main challenge, of course, is always the weather: Over the years I’ve been competing there I’ve seen snow, ice, horrendous wind, and rain from nearly every angle! If it’s raining while you’re in the stage, it can actually wash away the mud and give you better grip, but when it’s drying out it can be very greasy and slippery. I’m looking forward to it and to picking up where I left off in Finland and Germany when I had a good rhythm with the driving. Hopefully we can achieve another good result to help the team in the championship.”

Seb Marshall and Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke (Driver car 5)
“This is as close as it gets to a home rally for me: My first ever rally was in some of the same Welsh forests that I’m now fortunate enough to drive a World Rally Car through. For me, the mud and rain you get there is a big part of why I love rallying. In early October the weather can certainly still be wet, but it’s usually less extreme than when the rally used to be held in November. We know that the Yaris WRC can work quite well in these sort of conditions, even if it gets really slippery. So I’m optimistic that we will go there with a quick car and can be confident of a top result.”

CITROEN DETERMINED TO CONTINUE THE CHARGE IN WALES

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:28 PM

Buoyed by its recent one-two finish in Turkey, the Citroën Total World Rally Team heads for Wales Rally GB in confident mood. Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia and Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm, who finished first and third here last year, will be aiming to be among the leaders this time around and keep moving up in the championship standings.

After adding a record fifth win at Wales GB last year (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018), bettering the four victories of Hannu Mikkola and Petter Solberg, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia clearly have a special relationship with this rally. It was here, of course, that the pair made their debut in a WRC at the end of 2008 in a C4, having secured the Junior World Championship title in the C2 Super 1600. Even back then, they made their mark in winning the opening stage and leading the race until SS5. They will undoubtedly be aiming to show the same energy and verve in the C3 WRC at this year’s event. For once, running second on the road is unlikely to be a major disadvantage: grip levels tend to go down on the muddy Welsh forest tracks as more cars come through the stages. The six-time world champions are therefore determined to make the most of their position to close the gap to the current championship leaders.

At a round where many of their fellow countrymen have enjoyed great success, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm wasted no time in demonstrating their liking for the fast Welsh forest roads, winning the WRC2 class on their first appearance here in 2016. The Finns went even better last season, finishing third overall and claiming two stage wins as they proved their ability at this round. It is therefore hardly surprising that they come into this year’s event with genuine hopes of a strong result, especially as they have now reached a high level of confidence in the C3 WRC on gravel, confirmed by their excellent performances in Finland and Turkey. Although their eighth position in the running order may not be ideal if it rains, Esapekka and Janne remain determined to keep up their current good form.

The Citroën Total World Rally Team recently enjoyed a three-day pre-event test in Wales, improving the C3 WRC’s ability to adapt to the local conditions and, as usual, Thursday’s traditional shakedown will provide an opportunity to fine-tune the last few details.

REACTIONS FROM…

Pierre Budar, Citroën Racing Team Principal
“With Sébastien starting from second on the road and Esapekka eighth, we won't have all our eggs in one basket, as it were, depending on the weather. But the target is clearly for them both to get the very best out of their positions, so we keep moving up in the championship standings. Sébastien has competed in Wales many times before, where experience counts and can make the difference, whilst Esapekka has shown his ability to adapt in scoring a podium on his third appearance here last year. So I think we are well equipped to get a strong result here, especially as we have worked well again during testing on the C3 WRC.”

Sébastien Ogier, Citroën Total WRT driver
“The target at Wales GB will be to keep up the momentum from Turkey and continue to put as much pressure on Ott as possible. I’ve always done well as this rally. I’m determined to really go for it and have a say in the outcome, especially as the running order isn't an issue for those starting at the front. It’s all about reading the changes in grip and dealing with the conditions, which are often tricky, especially the low-grip sections. Although it took me a while to work out how to manage this unusual event, it’s now a rally that I really enjoy.”

Number of appearances at the event: 11
Number of wins: 5 (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018)

Esapekka Lappi, Citroën Total WRT driver
“This rally is an iconic test. You’ve got it all, stages in the dark, fog, rain and wind – it’s always a serious challenge. You need to guts too, because the stages are pretty fast and flowing. One of the key things will undoubtedly be having a car that isn't too sensitive to the changes in grip, because they are non-stop. We worked well in testing, even though the roads were dry. Given our position in the running order, rain would clearly be something of a disadvantage. Having said that, in Turkey I had a good feeling with my C3 WRC when it started raining on Friday’s long stage. ”

Number of appearances at the event: 3
Best result: 3rd (2018)

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team - HOME SOIL AND HOME HEROES

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:24 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will field three EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs on their home round of the FIA Word Rally Championship at next week’s Wales Rally GB – Teemu Suninen and Pontus Tidemand joined by returning home hero Elfyn Evans.

Having to forego the last three events with a back injury, the Welshman is now fully recovered and ready to contest his home event. Having completed a full day of testing in the Welsh forests, Evans and co-driver Scott Martin are more than ready for their return and keen to resume their fight for rally wins as well as a coveted fourth place in the championship standings.

Suninen and Tidemand both completed a day of testing closer to M-Sport’s Cumbrian home in Greystoke forest. The young Finn is keen to continue his recent progress alongside experienced co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen, and is also locked in the intense battle for fourth place in the championship. While the Swede will be looking to show further progress as he and co-driver Ola Fløene take to the wheel of the top-specification Fiesta for only the second time on gravel.

The team will also be celebrating 10 years of partnership with Permashine – another family-run business who ensure M-Sport’s fleet of EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiestas are always looking their best, come rain or shine… gales, fog or even snow!

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“I have been looking forward to this one all year. There’s always something special about competing at home, and this was the first WRC event I ever watched – so to come here looking after the team is a really special experience for me.

“It’s also fantastic to have Elfyn back with us. Teemu came into his own in Germany and Turkey, but there’s nothing quite like Elfyn’s experience – especially in Wales – and it’s a big boost for us all to have him here.

“All three drivers have a pretty good track record in the Welsh forests. Teemu won the event as part of the WRC 2 Championship in 2015, and Pontus has never finished lower than second in class – securing his own WRC 2 victory in 2017. And as for Elfyn, well we all know what he is capable of at home!

“It’s a tough event for everyone with incredibly long days that test the team as well as the crews, but if we can maintain focus I see no reason why we can’t be challenging for the top results. There’s a lot of ambition to do well next week, and we’ll be working hard to deliver another strong result on home soil.”

WALES RALLY GB RALLY ON HOME SOIL
Wales Rally GB plays host to some of the most challenging conditions the FIA World Rally Championship has to offer. With its unpredictable weather and long days, the crews are made to fight hard for the top results and it’s an event that every driver wants to win.

The fast gravel stages might not be particularly technical, but they are treacherously slippery when wet and there is a real art to reading the road’s constantly changing grip levels. Then there’s the fog and the night stages, where those with the most trust in their pacenotes can truly excel. And on Saturday, the crews will have to battle all of this without the luxury of a midday service.

With the service park moving to the popular seaside resort of Llandudno and a Ceremonial Start in Liverpool followed by a spectator-friendly Super Special at Oulton Park, this year’s event has much to offer – all alongside some of rallying’s most iconic and legendary stages!

ELFYN EVANS SCOTT MARTIN
Making a welcome return on home soil, Elfyn Evans knows what it takes to win in Wales. Securing victory at the event in 2017, he made history by becoming the first Welshman to win a round of the FIA World Rally Championship, and he’ll want to be in with a chance of adding to that next week. Preparing with a day’s testing in the Welsh forests, he and co-driver Scott Martin will be keen to give the home crowds something to cheer about this year.

Previous starts: 7
Best result: 1st (2017)

Elfyn Evans said:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel – especially as it’s on home soil in Wales. This event is the highlight of my year, every year, and when you get it right in front of all those Welsh flags it’s an incredible feeling.

“We have some of the best stages in the world in Wales, and it’s a proper challenge for the crews – especially if the Welsh weather has anything to say about it which I think it probably will next week. In those tricky conditions the grip levels are constantly changing and you have to be able to read the road if you want to push for the top results.

“We might have been away for a few months, but my motivation is as high as it ever was. We’ve had a good test, and I feel like we’re well prepared for the challenges ahead. And the goal, as always, is to push for the top results.”

TEEMU SUNINEN JARMO LEHTINEN
Consistently improving his performance, Teemu Suninen is getting better and better and the young Finn will be on the hunt for another strong result next week. Already a winner in Wales when he lifted the WRC 2 trophy in 2015, Suninen was also in the mix for the podium positions last year, and will be keen to fight for another strong result under the guidance of experienced co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen.

Previous starts: 4
Best result: 11th / 1st WRC 2 (2015)

Teemu Suninen said:
“I really like this rally and have done well there in the past. I didn’t have a lot of experience of the stages last year, but I was really pleased with my performance – setting some good times and running in podium position before having to retire. So the goal this year will be to continue that performance, and see if we can challenge for the top positions.

“We completed a full day of testing in Greystoke and, even though the base there is a bit harder than what we’ll see in Wales, I think we manged to find a good set-up and will be able to deliver a good performance on these challenging stages.

“Maybe the biggest challenge though is the lack of sleep. Probably we will only get about four or five hours a night – and the road sections to the first stage can be pretty long. It will be physically and mentally challenging to stay alert in those first stages, but that is all part of the challenge in Wales.”

PONTUS TIDEMAND OLA FLØENE
Having never finished outside of the top-two on his three WRC 2 appearances, Pontus Tidemand has a pretty impressive record through the Welsh forests. Upgrading to the Ford Fiesta WRC this year, the Swede will be tackling his second gravel event behind the wheel of a world rally car, and he and co-driver Ola Fløene will be keen to showcase their progress at the sport’s highest level.

Previous starts: 3
Best result: 10th (2018) / 1st WRC 2 (2017)

Pontus Tidemand said:
“I like Wales a lot and it’s a rally that suits me and my driving style quite well. I’ve done well there in the past which gives me more confidence, but I will still be competing against the best drivers in the world and am still continuing my own development.

“At the end of Rally Turkey I felt as though I’d found the right set-up for me and that I could drive how I wanted. We had a great test with the team earlier this week, and I’m feeling more and more at home with the car. And since Wales Rally GB will be my second gravel rally with the Ford Fiesta WRC, I hope we can show some improvements.

“The biggest challenge in Wales is always the unpredictable weather. We need to be prepared for everything – rain, fog, mud and constant grip changes. The roads might not be technically tricky, but the conditions are really unpredictable and that’s what makes it so challenging. The stages also change their character depending on what area we are in, and we need to be able to adjust to all of these different surface changes.”

GREENSMITH AND PADDON IN WALES

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:23 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team will field two EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta R5 MkIIs in the FIA World Rally Championship’s premier support series at next week’s Wales Rally GB – Gus Greensmith and Hayden Paddon battling for the top results in WRC 2 Pro.

Fresh from a dramatic victory last time out in Turkey, Greensmith and co-driver Elliott Edmondson are hungry for more and confident of delivering another strong result behind the wheel of M-Sport and Ford’s latest global rally car. Competing on home soil, the young Brits will also hope to have home advantage on side as they tackle some of the world’s most challenging stages.

Making a welcome return to the service park, Hayden Paddon and John Kennard will also be hoping for a strong result as they take to the wheel of the Fiesta R5 MkII for the very first time. Using the outing in preparation for his return to the Ford Fiesta WRC at Rally Australia, Paddon is a proven rally winner and capable of challenging for the top results next week.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“It’s great to see two top drivers behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta R5 MkII for our home event in Wales. Gus showed the stage-winning pace of the car last time out in Turkey, and it was great to see him secure the WRC 2 Pro victory – even if he did give us a bit of a scare after the penultimate stage!

“Hayden is a proven rally winner and I’m looking forward to seeing him start his comeback programme with the team. Although he doesn’t have any experience with the new Fiesta R5 MkII, he’s a top driver who’s very capable of delivering a strong result. I’m really looking forward to this one, and I think we have all the ingredients to deliver another top performance.”

Gus Greensmith said:
“It’s always a nice feeling to be back on home soil, and there are some truly legendary stages at this event. It’s a rally with some really tough days for the crews, and the weather can be really challenging too – it’s not a matter of if the fog comes, but when, and it’s that challenge that I’ve always enjoyed.

“It was great to secure the first victory for the Ford Fiesta R5 MkII in Turkey – albeit in somewhat surreal and dramatic circumstances! I had a big feeling of pride after that win because everyone had worked really hard. We proved our potential and the potential of the car, and have already made some further steps since then.

“Our goal is always to fight for the top positions, but the competition is going to be really strong next weekend. It will be tough, but I feel we have a good package and that we have what it takes to deliver another strong result for M-Sport and Ford.”

Hayden Paddon said:
“I can’t wait to get back in the driving seat, and I really enjoy Wales Rally GB. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of home and we’ll be hoping for a good run as we take to the wheel of M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta R5 MkII for the first time.

“It will be important to show the potential of the car which I’m sure we’ll quickly adapt to, but it’s also important that we get the miles under our belt. We’ve lacked too many rallies this year, so this will be the perfect warm up for Rally Australia when we’ll be back behind the wheel of a world rally car with the top-specification Fiesta.

“Although Wales is an event I’ve always enjoyed, the top results seem to have eluded us in the past. I’m confident of putting that right this year, and with the team behind us I’m sure we can deliver a strong result on their home soil.”

WALES RALLY GB: FIA JUNIOR WRC DECIDER

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:17 PM

Wales Rally GB plays host to the final round of the wide-open 2019 FIA Junior WRC Championship after a hotly contested season with three different winners across four rounds so far.

    72 points are available thanks to double classification points and 22 stage win points.
    One of the closest points races in FIA Junior WRC Championship history
    Top-nine have a mathematical chance of winning the championship.
    Four best classified results and all stage win points count towards the championship.
    Discounting worst classification points, just 21 points separate the top three.
In pursuit of glory
The future stars of the FIA World Rally Championship will negotiate 22 gruelling stages in their EcoBoost-powered M-Sport Fiesta R2Ts on Wales Rally GB in search of championship glory to win the biggest prize package in rallying.

Previous winners of this coveted championship include WRC stars Sebastien Loeb, Dani Sordo, Sebastien Ogier, Craig Breen, Elfyn Evans and Pontus Tidemand.

The Prize
The 2019 FIA Junior WRC Champion will receive the keys to a brand new 2019 M-Sport Ford Fiesta R5 Mk II, 200 Pirelli tyres for use in the 2020 WRC2, free registration and five free entries for the 2020 WRC2.

The Rookie Award will be decided too, awarding the winner €15,000 towards their 2020 FIA Junior WRC campaign.

Who’s in contention?
Jan Solans could make FIA Junior WRC history by joining his brother Nil Solans as a Junior WRC champion. Solans sits second overall, one point behind double rally winner Tom Kristensson. Discounting worst classified results, the Spaniard leads Kristensson by two points thanks in part to his huge haul of 24 stage win points compared to Kristensson’s 12. Three-year Junior WRC veteran Dennis Rådström sits third in points with a healthy chance of winning the championship as he is 21 points down from Solans discounting worst classified results.

Kristensson does lead the Rookie Award with a strong 39-point lead to Estonian Roland Poom. Should Kristensson win the Junior WRC Championship, Poom’s closest competition for the Rookie Award scholarship comes by way of Fabrizio Zaldivar who is currently eleventh in the championship.

The Rally
Wales Rally GB is a classic rally that features fast and flowing stages, many drivers look forward to the event thanks to the relatively consistent surface that doesn’t rip up to the same level as most gravel rallies. It is due to the well-made roads that make up the majority of Wales Rally GB’s speed tests, however the Welsh forests are by no means a walk in the park. Unpredictable weather makes pace, grip and stage conditions as equally unforeseen which almost always throws up a surprise and keeps both drivers and co-driver on their toes. Changeable weather means that tyre choice will be of paramount importance as Pirelli will supply the Junior WRC crews with 22 K6 (soft) and 6 K4 (hard) Scorpion tyres, with a maximum of 22 tyres available to use including shakedown.

Crews will need to pay extra attention to the detail of their pace notes, especially for the morning loops, the surrounding forests can hold onto the morning fog – massively reducing visibility. It’s a similar scenario for the last stages of Friday and Saturday: the final round sees exceptionally early starts and late finishes leading to dark running. These back to back early and late finishes mean late night pace note studies will come at the price of sleep deprivation as many crews will be lucky to get four hours of sleep in on Friday night.

FIA Junior WRC Championship Manager, Maciej Woda, said:
“The pressure is on, especially for the top-three in the championship, for Wales Rally GB. The championship fight is one of the closest in FIA Junior WRC history, I have never seen anything like this level of competition in the R2 category. It is a testament to the level of skill that Junior WRC drivers operate at. It’s still very exciting for those drivers who don’t have a great chance at winning the championship as it is the last round of the season. For those who feel they still haven’t produced their best result this season, whether it be getting stage wins, finishing on the podium or in the top-five, it’s now or never. We always see and expect some highly motivated and surprise performances at the last rally of the season. The question we all want to know is, will these surprise performances spoil anybody’s championship plans?”

71 Tom Kristensson / Henrik Appelskog:
“For sure Wales Rally GB will be the best rally of the season! It’s also the rally I have been looking forward to the most and I can’t see any better way to end the season. The character and surface is something special that I really enjoy. I’m sure this will be another amazing experience with FIA Junior WRC that we will smile about a lot in the future, we will do our best, without discussion.”

72 Jan Solans / Mauro Barreiro:
“We have reached the final round of the FIA Junior WRC Championship as candidates for the title. Honestly, when the season started, I had a lot of things to learn because everything was new for me, so I didn't expect to be fighting for the title as I did and I would like to finish the season in the best possible way. I know that Wales Rally GB is going to be a very demanding and rough rally so we will do our best in these muddy stages and try to get the title.”

73 Dennis Rådström / Johan Johansson:
“We are really looking forward to the final round of the season. We are in a really good mood, having already had a successful test in Wales just two weeks ago. This week we won a rally in Slovenia using the M-Sport Fiesta R2T and we are progressing in the right direction. We have a big task ahead, but as history tells us from 2011 with Craig Breen, everything is possible and has already been done. We have one mission and we will give it our all. I’m looking forward to a fantastic experience and rally.”

74 Roland Poom / Ken Jarveoja:
“We had a clear plan before the start of the season: finish all of the events and get as much experience as possible. We are still going with the same plan in Wales, but of course I also want to show the speed in places where I feel comfortable. I think the stages will suit me well and if everything works fine, I’m sure we can fight for the podium.”

75 Tom Williams / Phil Hall:
“There is no other feeling when competing on your home round. It will be a very tricky event for all crews, when the pace is so high going into a round like Wales Rally GB, that will of course have unpredictable road conditions. I will use my experience of this event as an advantage, but we will need to really focus and have good preparation. We want to finish this championship on a high.”

76 Enrico Oldrati / Elia de Guio:
“We are finally at the last round of the season and already said it’s ending so quickly. We have had a lot of fun during all of this year’s events with all the team and other drivers. We think it is going to be really hard for us on Rally GB as a lot can happen in these stages. We have had a great end of summer with some testing in Tuscany and we started one tarmac rally in Slovenia as will have completed a gravel rally a few days before GB. The feeling is getting better rally after rally, we will see where we are in the championship at the end of the rally on Sunday.”

77 Sean Johnston / Alex Kihurani:
“Alex and I are looking forward to his 'adopted home' rally, since it's been almost a year now since he established his permanent residency in the UK! We're also coming into this event having finished the last rally in Finland with our best stage performance yet with the 2nd fastest time on the power stage. Our goal in Wales is to work on putting these kinds competitive stage times on the board consistently throughout the duration of the rally. Big work for sure, but we're excited for the challenge. It’s also great to have a few more Americans making the trip over for the 2019 Junior WRC Finale.”

78 Fabrizio Zaldivar / Fernando Mussano

80 Ryan Booth / Rhianon Gelsomino:
“It is a privilege to be competing on Wales Rally GB in Junior WRC. I am extremely excited to be representing the US as one of the three American drivers. This is only the seventh rally in my career and first outside of the States, so the only expectation is to finish and gain some experience. Rhianon, my co-driver, has been teaching me a lot this year and I am excited to be able to use her knowledge and experience in such a challenge as Wales Rally GB.”

81 Keanna Erickson-Chang / Martin Brady:
“How exciting to be competing in a WRC round at last, a quite challenging test in the Welsh forests for my first too. This year has come with many new rally experiences and even more changes to my note system, I am eager to see how it all feels at the season closer. Wales Rally GB will be all about keeping up the progression I've made since stepping into the R2 five months ago.”

Cave aims to maintain momentum as he targets the world's best on Wales Rally GB

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:15 PM

Fresh from his successful British Rally Championship campaign, where he won three of the season’s six rounds and claimed dominant victory on the final event in Scotland a few weeks ago, Aberdovey driver Tom Cave now sets his sights on the Wales Rally GB. Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship starts on Thursday afternoon (3rd October) from Liverpool and finishes on Sunday (6th October) in the rally’s host town of Llandudno.

Accompanied for the first time by Dale Furniss from Llanfyllin, Tom will drive the same Philip Case Rally Sport prepared Hyundai i20 R5 that he used to such great effect in this year’s BRC. Consequently, he will be looking to continue the momentum from his season in the UK to the world status event and emulate the pace he showed last year when he set four fastest-stage times in the RC2 class, beating many leading world championship regulars in this fiercely contested category.

“I start this year’s Wales Rally GB in a much better place than I did last year, as I come straight from a season in the British Rally Championship driving the same car. Even without the experience of a full season in 2018, I was very pleased to be able to set four fastest times against the regular WRC2 drivers and challenge for a podium position until we retired the final day. I’m therefore looking forward to another good run this year, although the quality of the entry is really high so it’s going to be no easy task.”

This year will see Tom’s tenth Rally GB start. His first was in 2008 when, just a few days after his 17th birthday, he became the youngest ever driver to contest the event. His best result was in 2017, when he finished third in the WRC2 category, 13th overall and top privateer driver.

“It’s going to be an interesting few days. The stages are in an area I’m familiar with, which helps, but it’s never that straightforward. It’s Dale Furniss and I’s first event together and we’re on Pirelli tyres for this event, so there’s going to be some acclimatisation. Having said that, testing has gone really well; the car felt great and everything worked perfectly, so we’re as ready as we can be. I can’t wait!”

The Wales Rally GB follows a new format this year, with the ceremonial start taking place on Thursday from Liverpool’s historic Waterfront at 16.00. Following a spectator stage at Oulton Park Circuit that evening, teams head to the service area in Llandudno for the overnight halt.

Friday features nine stages in northwest Wales forests, with a further seven in mid-Wales on Saturday followed by four forest stages and a run around the Great Orme asphalt road on Sunday. The finish ceremony takes place in Llandudno at 13.30.

Tom’s 2019 Wales Rally GB campaign is supported by: Trailhead Fine Foods and its Get Jerky snack brand, Cambrian Training, Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing, Pirelli, Shukers Hyundai of Aberystwyth, Go Fetch, Intervino personalized gifts, Atech Racing and the Trefeddian Hotel.

Sebastien Ogier eyes a sixth British win in thrilling WRC title chase

Posted: October 2, 2019 3:14 PM

Frenchman fighting for seventh straight FIA World Rally Championship title.

Sébastien Ogier scents a seventh straight FIA World Rally Championship title – and nobody is better placed than the Frenchman to boost his chances at this week’s Wales Rally GB (3 - 6 October).

No driver has enjoyed more success in Britain than the Citroën Racing star and the five-time winner, who reignited his championship hopes with victory in Turkey last month, reaches the business end of the campaign ominously poised in the standings.

Ogier’s Turkish delight promoted him into second and within striking distance of leader Ott Tänak. He trails the Estonian by 17 points and is 13 clear of third-placed Thierry Neuville, with a maximum 90 available from the final three rounds.

Five wins in the last six years mean Ogier is a master of the fiendishly tricky conditions on the log-lined gravel forest tracks of north and mid-Wales. Constantly changing grip, mud, rain and fog hold no fears for the Citroën C3 pilot.

“I’m determined to really go for it and have a say in the outcome, especially as the running order isn’t an issue for those starting at the front. It’s all about reading the changes in grip and dealing with the conditions,” he explained.

“This rally can offer a very big difference in conditions, which are challenging, and it’s so important that you need to stay calm.

“When you’re in the fog and struggling to see the road, you really have the feeling that you are going too slow. But in this moment your head is very important to keep cool. You must do the best with what you have and remember the others are going to struggle as well.”

Despite leading in Britain on his first attempt 11 years ago, and in his very first start in a World Rally Car, Ogier admits this week has been one of the toughest to get to grips with.

“Early in the career you struggle to find the right rhythm and believe you need to drive at 120 percent to be fast. It’s maybe only later on, with more maturity, that you understand it’s not the way to win rallies,” he added.

Tänak aims to bounce back after retiring his Toyota Yaris with an electrical problem in Turkey, ending a run of four wins from five rallies.

“The gap in the championship is closer now, but we have three rallies to go and we know we were fast on each of them last year. Now we just have to finish the job, starting in Wales,” he said.

Welshman Elfyn Evans, a winner on home ground in 2017, returns to his M-Sport Ford Fiesta after missing three rounds with an injured back.

The rally starts in Liverpool on Thursday night and drivers face 22 special stages totaling 309.76km before Sunday afternoon’s finish in Llandudno.

SEEDED ENTRY LIST (National)

Posted: September 18, 2019 1:14 PM

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.

PAST WINNERS TOP WORLD CLASS ENTRY FOR WALES RALLY GB

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 (WRC Section)

Posted: September 11, 2019 6:34 AM

JIMMY McRAE TO CONTEST WRGB NATIONAL RALLY IN PORSCHE 911

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.

SIR CHRIS HOY PAYS TRIBUTE TO HIS BOYHOOD HERO COLIN McRAE

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.”

TIDEMAND MAKES IT TWO IN A ROW

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

EVANS SET TO RETURN IN WALES

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.”

COLWYN BAY REVS UP FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EXTRAVAGANZA

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

ENTRIES NOW OPEN FOR NEW LOOK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWCASE

Posted: August 8, 2019 7:26 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLBERGS SAY HELLO AND WAVE GOODBYE ON WALES RALLY GB

Posted: July 24, 2019 4:32 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WALES RALLY GB: ROUTE REVEAL

Posted: July 22, 2019 6:11 AM

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

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

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

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

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

INNOVATIONS POWER WALES RALLY GB TO NEW HEIGHTS

Posted: July 22, 2019 6:09 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets now on sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hospitality

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

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

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

Llandudno is the new home for Wales Rally GB

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:58 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Event Website

Posted: March 27, 2019 10:56 AM


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