Wales Rally GB
|Wales Rally GB|
|Stages:||22 (312.75 kmn)|
- Fast gravel roads in remote forests. Picture-postcard scenery as early autumn offers a fantastic myriad of colours. Weather often throws a curve ball as heavy rain and fog is as likely as warm October sunshine.
- After Thursday afternoon’s showpiece start on Liverpool waterfront, Oulton Park motor racing circuit returns for the first time in 26 years to host the opening stage.
- Friday’s first full day traverses nine tests in north Wales, split into two loops by service in host town Llandudno. It includes a fan-friendly stage at slate caverns in the Snowdonia mountains, while the final Aberhirnant test is in darkness.
- Super Saturday packs almost half the rally’s competitive distance into classic mid-Wales forests and a closing asphalt stage along Colwyn Bay seafront. The Dyfi, Myherin and Sweet Lamb Hafren tests are all driven twice.
- Endurance is to the fore with 152.50km of action in seven stages and no opportunity for service between leaving Llandudno at 06.00 and returning at 20.00.
- Sunday’s finale is back in the north. Two repeated forest tests next to Llyn Brenig reservoir are separated by an asphalt stage around the iconic Great Orme headland.
- Plenty of candidates, but we’ve opted for Saturday’s Myherin. Although it’s not the full-length version, the 23.54km test is still a classic. Fast and smooth with flowing corners, it features a spectacular section lined with wind turbines across open moors and ends with a fast descent through a sequence of wide road hairpins.
- Tree-lined forest tracks are not technically difficult, but are treacherous in muddy conditions.
- Unpredictable weather can bring rain and fog.
- Inconsistent and ever-changing grip as isolated patches of mud can trap the unwary.
- Logs piled high close to the edge of roads must be avoided at all costs.
- Avoid car damage on Super Saturday as there is no service in which to make repairs until the end of the day.
- Gravel suspension.
- Medium and soft compound tyres are the preferred options in the British autumn. ed with wind turbines across open moors and ends with a fast descent through a sequence of wide road hairpins.
- Founded in 1932, 341 competitors started the inaugural Royal Automobile Club Rally.
- Introduction of forest roads in 1960 transformed the rally into what we know today.
- Route formerly included loops around England, Scotland and Wales but the rally has been based largely in Wales since 2000.
- Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium hosted the WRC’s first indoor stage in 2005.
- This year marks the 75th running of the rally.
What’s new for 2019
- The event has been relocated from Deeside to the coastal resort of Llandudno, which hosts the service park, the famous Great Orme stage and the finish ceremony.
- Thursday’s night’s opening test on asphalt and gravel roads at Oulton Park, which features a host of other attractions (see below).
- Saturday night’s asphalt Colwyn Bay stage, which is the second of two new tests.
- The traditional rally-closing Power Stage, which offers bonus points to the fastest five drivers, reverts to the roads alongside Brenig reservoir.
- Thursday afternoon’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 a host of 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 afternoon’s finish.