The final day of this week’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October) will feature an unusual twist, as the Live TV Power Stage will be tackled earlier than usual.
Instead of being the final, decisive challenge for crews, the British round’s Power Stage – the 14.76km Gwydir – will be the second of five stages on Sunday morning.
Here’s our lowdown on why the change has been made, and what it means for competitors and spectators.
Q: Why is the Power Stage not the final stage?
A: This year’s rally schedule has placed the all-asphalt Great Orme Llandudno as the final stage – allowing podium celebrations to take place in the heart of the North Wales town. The classic gravel challenge of Gwydir (SS20) has been selected as the Power Stage because the roads are more representative of the rest of the event. It just so happens the test appears earlier on the final day schedule.
Q: What happens if a crew scores points at the Power Stage but retires before the Llandudno finish?
A: Crews must complete the entire rally in order to claim any bonus points from the Power Stage. If any of the five quickest drivers in the Power Stage retire on the three remaining tests that lead to the Llandudno finish, their points will pass to the next fastest driver in SS20.
Q: What about the road order?
A: There will be no re-seeding of crews before the GB Power Stage. Crews will tackle the test in the same order as the rest of Sunday’s route, but with extended start intervals being applied to fit the Live TV schedule.
Q: Will crews need to preserve their tyres in the Power Stage to enable them to get through the rest of the day?
A: Not really. After crews exit the Power Stage, they will have only the 8km all-asphalt Great Orme Llandudno to complete before they can take advantage of a remote tyre fitting zone at Dolgarrog. That means drivers can push hard in the Power Stage, safe in the knowledge they can bolt on fresh rubber for the final two stages.
Q: Will TV viewers miss the chance to see the winner complete the final stage?
A: Definitely not. In fact, TV viewers will get a double dose of live TV excitement on the final day as both the Power Stage and the rally-ending Great Orme Llandudno 2 test will be shown live on TV. Bonus!