Tuesday | 01 Oct 2019

GB countdown: rally route

A showpiece start in Liverpool, a new base in the resort town of Llandudno and the return of night-time forest action head a refreshed Wales Rally GB (3 - 6 October) cross-border route.

Top Highlights

• Thursday's start in Liverpool’s historic waterfront, the first time the city has hosted the ‘grand depart’.
• The Oulton Park stage hosts a huge display of historic rally cars, dating from a 1932 Lanchester to a 2011 Mini John Copper Works World Rally Car. Stunt driving shows, autograph sessions with WRC stars and display drives are also lined up.
• Friday’s Slate Mountain test runs at a venue well-known to adenalin-seekers for its underground adventures and is home to Europe’s first four-person zip line.
• Superb viewing at Sweet Lamb’s famous arena on Saturday before cars head into the adjoining Hafren Forest for the rest of the stage. Drivers tackle the test twice.
• Saturday evening’s 2.40km test along Colwyn Bay promenade is the tip of a raft of entertainment in the town. Whetting the appetite are dazzling air displays, exotic supercars, historic rally cars and children’s fun attractions.
• Sunday’s Great Orme stage in Llandudno. A spectacular test which traces a twisting ribbon of asphalt that clings to the rugged rock face circling the headland. The town also hosts the service park and Sunday's finish.

For the first time in recent years, Britain’s WRC counter kicks off in England at Thursday afternoon’s start ceremony on Liverpool’s historic waterfront.

Competitors head directly to Oulton Park motor racing circuit which hosts a special stage for the first time since 1993. The 3.58km test features asphalt and gravel roads, alongside entertainment including a historic rally car display to celebrate the event’s 75th edition.

The focus switches to the north Wales coast where Llandudno hosts a vibrant town centre street-based service park, from where competitors journey into the rugged forests for three days of flat-out action.

Friday is based in north Wales’ Snowdonia mountains and features four morning stages. Elsi (11.65km) kicks off the action followed by Penmachno (16.19km). The longest test of the day in Dyfnant (19.36km) precedes Aberhirnant (10.26km).

After service in Llandudno, the four stages are repeated. The fan-friendly Slate Mountain (1.60km) is inserted after Penmachno, while the second pass of Aberhirnant brings an extra challenge as it is driven in darkness.

Super Saturday is the longest leg, comprising almost half the rally’s competitive distance. It journeys into mid-Wales for a double loop of the classic Dyfi (25.86km), Myherin (22.91km) and Sweet Lamb Hafren (25.65km) tests, which add up to 151.24km.

A lunchtime tyre change in Newtown splits the laps before the day closes with a new 2.40km spectator stage on Colwyn Bay promenade. Endurance and reliability are key, with no service after competitors depart Llandudno at 05.40 until they return shortly before 20.00.

Sunday’s finale is back in the north. A double loop through Alwen (10.41km) and Brenig (6.43km) sandwich a 4.74km asphalt test around the iconic Great Orme headland on the edge of Llandudno.

The second visit to Brenig forms the Wolf Power Stage, with bonus points for the fastest five crews. The 22 stages total 309.76km of action before the Llandudno finish.

Head to WRC+ to watch All Live from Wales Rally GB, including every stage broadcast live, breaking service park news and expert studio analysis.


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