“Can you sense the anticipation? Feel the tension in the air? Are you so giddy with excitement that even the sound of a distant rally car sends you into a frenzy reminiscent of Christmas morning? Then you my friend have rally fever. For which, thankfully, there is no cure.
Last year the drivers’ championship was decided in France, two rounds before the end of the season. This time around we get a fight on the very last round. It’s Seb Loeb (who else?) versus Mikko Hirvonen. 2009 ring any bells?
I bet they are ringing loud and clear for Mikko who has been given a second chance this year to fight for the title due in part to Loeb’s mistake in Australia and disappointment in France. Hirvonen’s change in fortune also comes courtesy of team-mate Jari-Matti who has helped out on more than one occasion. Loeb has also been assisted by Ogier but to a much lesser degree. What part will the team-mates play this weekend?
One thing is crystal clear from all of us watching. We want to see a fight. Both Loeb and Hirvonen rallying their respective cars to the limit. We want to see them sweat, hear the passion in their voices at stage ends and watch them fly through the Welsh forests as they both try to secure the 2011 title. For our part we will be there every step of the way, bringing everyone out in the big wide world the most up to date and exciting coverage. I cannot wait!
It’s our home event but this does not mean it is easier to pack for - as I demonstrated today. After spending a weekend playing host to Petter Solberg’s PR guru, Tone, in my Welsh home town I decided that instead of packing a case I would just fill my car with all my stuff. That constitutes packing, right? Wrong. My car looks like I have taken all my worldy possessions (I like to cover all bases when I pack) and just thrown them inside. Which, I guess, is true. I may never find my toothbrush amongst it all.
Our rally coverage begins on Thursday and we are delighted that the event is heading north and taking in the classic ‘Great Orme’. Our chief stage end reporter Colin Clark will be joined by Lisa O’Sullivan as they prepare to tackle every stage end.
I will be based at the service park which is at the Royal Welsh showground in Builth Wells. Most of the service areas are undercover in sheds used for livestock - probably best as the forecast is rain.
One thing that will hopefully be brightening the weather is the sea of orange t-shirts that I’m hoping will fill the stages as part of the ‘Paint it Orange’ campaign to commemorate the forthcoming tenth anniversary of Richard Burns’ 2001 World Rally Championship title. I have mine and intend to paint the end of day press conferences orange. Do you have yours? Details can be found here: www.richardburnsfoundation.com
Hopefully you will be joining us this weekend whether you are at home, at work or out on the stages. It promises to be a thriller of a finish to the season and we want you to feel as much a part of it as we are, get in touch with us through email at email@example.com or through facebook.com/worldrallyradio or talk directly to me in the studio through Twitter @becsywecsy . Get in touch!
Our on air times are as follows - all in Welsh local time (GMT):
Thursday 10 November: 1415hrs
Friday 11 November: 0700hrs
Saturday 12 November: 0900hrs
Sunday 13 November: 0715hrs