More action in the dark is a feature of the Wales Rally GB route which was revealed today (11 June).
The final round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, on 14 - 16 November, returns to three competitive days after scrapping the short night leg which kicked it off last year.
However, the second pass through the Aberhirnant and Dyfnant tests late on Saturday afternoon increases the distance in the dark from 24km last year to 36km. Night stages formed a key part of the winter rally in the 1970s and 1980s when much of it was held in the dark.
The rally will again be based around the Deeside service park in North Wales, although Thursday evening’s start has been moved from Conwy to Colwyn Bay, a few kilometres along the coast.
Friday is a mix of last year’s opening two legs, using gravel roads in the classic forests of Dyfi, Gartheiniog and Hafren. It is the longest of the weekend, containing almost half the competitive distance, and only a 15-minute remote service offers respite.
The second leg includes tests in Clocaenog and Dyfnant and is closer to the service park. Most of the roads were used last year but will be run in the opposite direction.
Sunday’s final leg is the shortest and is focused on Clocaenog Forest. Brenig, which hosts the Power Stage and ends amid stunning scenery, has never been used in the rally and Alwen features tracks that have not appeared on the event since 1994.
The itinerary also includes the short but popular fan-friendly stages at Chirk Castle on Saturday and Kinmel Park on Sunday. Chirk Castle is the only all-asphalt test.
Missing is the long Myherin test in mid-Wales, best known for the spectacular wind turbines high in the hills, and the asphalt blast around the Great Orme headland.
The 23 stages cover 307.82km.