13 May 08
The organisers of the Wales Rally GB have proposed a revised route for this year’s event which includes stages in the forests of mid Wales for the first time in eight years.
The details have been submitted to the FIA and WRC Manufacturer teams for their comments and subject to all parties agreeing, the final route and timetable will be confirmed on 4 June.
Other elements of the rally remain consistent. Thursday’s ceremonial start and Sunday’s finish will both be in Cardiff, and for the fourth consecutive year Rally Headquarters and the "Cardiff Special Stage" will be in the city’s Millennium Stadium.
The City and County of Swansea will host the Service Park in the SA1 Waterfront Development on the site first used last year, while the Shakedown stage will again be in the nearby Penllergaer Forest.
The major changes concern Friday’s opening day when the rally will return to Forestry Commission roads in mid Wales for the first time since 2000.
“Three stages will run during Day 1 on Friday 5th December and feature a dedicated spectator area. In addition there will be a number of new roads to increase the challenge for drivers and viewing opportunities for spectators,” read a statement issued by the organisers. “Friday's competitive route will conclude with two short spectator stages in Walters Arena, normally part of the longer Rheola Forest stage. These will be run twice in quick succession.”
On Saturday the traditional Halfway Forest and a shortened Crychan Forest stage near Llandovery will be run in the reverse direction to last year. The 1.1 kilometre special stage held inside the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will again be the final stage of Saturday.
On Sunday the Rheola stage will be identical to last year and will incorporate the Walters Arena section that was used on the first day, but the roads will have been re-graded. The Port Talbot stage will be run in the reverse direction to last year.