WRC stars launch gala

The WRC’s stars today (Thursday) fired up next month’s dazzling Gala Night in Sydney when award nominations were revealed on the opposite side of the globe.

Drivers including title-chasing trio Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville halted their preparations for the season’s penultimate round at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB to attend the gala launch at the event’s Deeside base.

All the big names from Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team, Hyundai Motorsport, M-Sport World Rally Team and Toyota Gazoo Racing eyed up the coveted trophies for the 13 categories, which include Driver of the Year and Team of the Year.

Tänak is aiming to carry off the top driver accolade for a second season at the 20 November awards ceremony in Sydney’s picturesque waterfront area, 24 hours after the championship finale at Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

Among those drivers shortlisted are Kris Meeke for his heart-in-the mouth victory in Mexico, Neuville for his last-gasp win in Argentina and Esapekka Lappi for a stomach-churning leap over the famous Fafe jump in Portugal.

The gala closes a thrilling season, in which more powerful winged new-era World Rally Cars and a hungry-for-success clutch of drivers generated the most exciting and unpredictable title fight in a decade.

More than 250 guests, including drivers, co-drivers, team bosses, senior officials, Sydney personalities and government officials will attend the gala, hosted by award-winning actor and former Top Gear presenter Shane Jacobsen.

WRC fans will play a crucial part in deciding the winners. Nine categories will be voted for on wrc.com, including the Michelin Magic Moment, Certina Timing Feat Award, OneBet Jump of the Year and the DJI Aerial Award.

Website voting starts on 1 November with a new category opening on wrc.com each day through until 9 November. Voting closes for all categories on 13 November.

More News