Sick trees prompt GB route change

Organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB have announced further changes to the route of October's WRC counter following the discovery of a tree disease in mid-Wales.

The original itinerary included two runs through the 31.82km Myherin on Friday, but this has now been shortened to 18.20km to allow Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who manage the forests, to remove larch trees infected by the fungus-like Phytophthora ramorum.

To make up most of the lost stage distance, organisers have added a second running of one of the event's fastest tests, the 13.87km Aberhirnant, to Saturday morning's schedule.

"We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and work closely with NRW," explained Ben Taylor, the rally's Managing Director.

"Come October, NRW will be clearing the infected trees out of Myherin, so we have to make other plans. Luckily, we have a route guru in Andrew Kellitt who has crunched the maps and the figures to replace the lost mileage by adding another run through Aberhirnant on Saturday morning."

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

With the addition of Aberhirnant, the new schedule totals 300.13km over 21 special stages, compared to the earlier 20-stage total of 306.98km.    
 
Last month, organisers revealed that Sunday's opening pass through the Gwydir stage had been dropped. The decision was taken after teams complained that the schedule didn't allow enough of a break after a late finish on Saturday night. Sunday's action will instead start at 0834hrs, almost two hours later than planned, with the Alwen stage.

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