Monday, 19 November 2018

Road closures in a rally good cause

Road closures in a rally good cause

CLOSED public roads in Britain will be used to host world championship motor sport for the very first time this October in north Wales.

The milestone was reached with the announcement of a new-look competitive route for this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, which takes place from Thursday, October 4, to Sunday, October 7.

The recent introduction of landmark legislation allowing local authorities in England and Wales to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motor sport events has allowed Britain’s round of the global WRC (World Rally Championship) adventure to broaden its horizons. As a result, in addition to the traditional four days of rally action in the forests, round 11 of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship will culminate in a shootout around the Tarmac of the Great Orme which will then conclude on the streets of Llandudno in front of thousands of fans.

Last year’s record-breaking event attracted more than 100,000 visitors and delivered £9.4 million of economic benefit to Wales. The huge crowds had much to celebrate, too, as they roared local hero Elfyn Evans to a famous victory — the first win in WRC history for a Welsh driver and the first for a British driver on Rally GB since way back in 2000.

Evans was crowned in Llandudno and, fittingly, he was back in the town with the coveted gold Peall Trophy earlier this month, talking about this year’s revolutionary route.

As proved so popular last October, the action blasts off with a dazzling curtain-raiser under the spotlights at Tir Prince Raceway on the Thursday evening.

Friday’s schedule switches to north Wales, with sections of closed road helping to create new challenges in the classic Brenig, Alwen and Penmachno forests. Friday also sees the introduction of a new double-header stage at Slate Mountain at The Slate Caverns, home to Zip World.

A gruelling “Super Saturday” schedule will move the battle-ground to mid Wales and the legendary forests such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren, Dyfi and Gartheiniog. These offer plenty of capacity for the large numbers of spectators that will be drawn by the latest generation of WRC cars and the presence of two proven British winners — Evans and Kris Meeke.

Sunday morning sees two forest tests in scenic Snowdonia — including Gwydir, which will be the points-scoring power stage — before the thrilling finale on the streets of Llandudno.

As part of Visit Wales’s Year of the Sea, the crews will race around the iconic Great Orme and then on to the closed streets of Llandudno. The flying finish will be on the resort’s famous seafront — and the 2018 winner will be crowned on the Promenade.

In its entirety, the 2018 route adds up to 23 stages totalling more than 323km (200 miles) of electrifying competition. Retaining an air of familiarity to the much-changed format, all the WRC teams will be based at the popular Deeside Rally Village, located in the grounds of the Toyota UK engine manufacturing plant, where entry is free of charge.

Further enhancing the event’s significance and appeal, this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB embraces the concluding two rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the UK’s premier rallying series.

A full range of tickets for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is now on sale, offering significant savings for those buying in advance.

Full details of all tickets — including terms and conditions — can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com/tickets website.

Motoring