View from the service park

A fortnight before Wales Rally GB started, the temperatures were hovering around the mid-20s and the stages were bathed in sunshine.

Fortunately, normal service resumed when the rain came in rally week.

Some might see that as a bad thing. How can it be? Wales without mud is like Sweden without snow. Tricky, changeable conditions and mud are the DNA of Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The stages were, typically, superb. But this column’s about the view from the service park. Hyundai’s Andrea Adamo was happy.

He said: “I like places like this one. Finally, we have the cars and the service park where the people are. We have to be current in life. It’s not acceptable to have the service park in the middle of a place where the people are not. I love it. I genuinely love it. I think we are appreciated, we are bringing some life here.”

He was absolutely right. Taking the service park to the people can never be a bad thing. Yes, it needs a tweak here and there, but the philosophy is absolutely bang-on.

The same can be said for the ceremonial start in Liverpool, which only needs a city centre super special stage to seal the deal.

But the best bit about the service park? The finish. Talk about emotion and atmosphere… you could hear a pin drop as Petter Solberg signed off from a stellar career.

And then there was that jump from Ott Tanak. Right arm thrust high in the air, he’d done it. He’d exorcised the horror of last season and taken another mighty step towards a maiden world title.

Wales was a good place to be last week.


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