Details of the new route were announced today, following last month’s confirmation that the event, the final round of this year’s championship, would move from Cardiff to a new base in Deeside, North Wales.
The 2013 itinerary features 24 competitive stages, more than half of which are either totally new or haven’t been featured in the World Championship since the Nineties.
The event will kick off on Thursday 14th November with a start ceremony in the town of Conwy on the North Wales coast. That evening, in darkness, crews will tackle three stages in Snowdonia and Denbighshire: Gwydyr, which was last used in the 1960s and Penmachno and Clocaenog which last formed part of the rally in 1996.
Friday’s itinerary takes crews south to a trio of modern Wales Rally GB stages. The roads of Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren were included in the 2012 event, but their format will be modified slightly this year. The day will feature a remote service at Newtown.
Saturday’s stages are a mix of the old and new, with Penllyn (last used in 1991) Dyfi (restored to full length for the first time since 1998), Gartheiniog (similar to 2011 but with small changes) and Dyfnant (similar to 2012). A new family-oriented Spectator Stage in mid Wales is also planned.
Sunday’s action includes another Spectator Stage, this time in North Wales, and a repeat of Friday’s Gwydyr and Penmachno tests. The rally will reach its climax with a blast around the spectacular Great Orme [pictured] early on Sunday afternoon.
Andrew Coe of event organisers IMS said the new route had been designed with three objectives: “We wanted to breathe fresh life into what’s always been one of the World’s great rallies; to create a fitting finale to the FIA World Rally Championship and to offer fans what they wanted. I’m confident we have delivered on all three fronts.”
“The new base in Deeside and North Wales has allowed us to put together what’s almost an entirely new event maximising some of the classic Welsh forest stages and introducing more family-friendly spectator stages.”
"The re-introduction of night stages and the Great Orme will add to the challenge and spectacle while our totally revised ticketing policy offers increased flexibility as well as real value for money," he added.