Recce Run and Ceremonial Start signal the beginning of this years Wales Rally GB
Wales Rally GB will fire into life today with the Deeside Service Park opening up to the public and the teams taking part in a recce run ahead of the hotly-anticipated finale to the 2015 FIA World Rally Championship.
Wales Rally GB is one of the most traditional and invariably one of the most challenging events on the WRC calendar, with its 19 competitive special stages – totalling 193 miles – run against the clock through the spectacular and famously unforgiving north Wales scenery.
The speed tests will be tackled this year by more than 70 international crews, with a further 90 competitors doing battle on the supporting Network Q WRGB National Rally.
The key to success will inevitably be preparation, and yesterday and today, the drivers and co-drivers have been recceing the stages in road cars to establish a feel for the conditions and perfect their all-important pace notes ahead of the flat-out blast through the region’s legendary forests.
“On this rally, you just never know what might happen – anything is possible,” acknowledged Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team ace Kris Meeke. “The stages look fantastic and in excellent condition, and they were very muddy during the recce, so it’s certainly going to be a challenge!
“I’m particularly looking forward to the night stages, because I love driving in the dark – especially here in Wales. It’s an awesome feeling.
“Wales Rally GB was the first WRC event I competed on, and in fact my first ever rally was in these very forests 15 years ago. I get a big contingent of fans coming over from Ireland to cheer me on which means it really feels like home, and it’s always a pleasure to return.”
Jari-Matti Latvala is another driver who enjoys plenty of support in Wales, and the Volkswagen Motorsport star – who won here in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012 – is keen to make it a hat-trick of triumphs this weekend.
“Wales Rally GB is one of my favourite events,” enthused the ‘Flying Finn’. “I started my career in Britain; I came here for the first time as a spectator in 2001 and have competed here every year since 2002. It’s like a home rally for me – I’m coming back to the roads where I learnt to drive.
“I’ve been concentrating really carefully on the recce, because some of the sections are extremely slippery – I think the conditions will be very tricky out there.”
Next up will be the Shakedown at Clocaenog tomorrow (Thursday) morning, followed the same evening by a show-stopping Ceremonial Start on Mostyn Street, Llandudno. The high-octane action then officially gets underway in mid-Wales early on Friday.
A marathon leg on Saturday takes place closer to Wales Rally GB’s Deeside base and includes the hugely popular, family-friendly RallyFest stage at Chirk Castle before the final day of the 2015 WRC season on Sunday, featuring a return to the iconic Great Orme. The winners will then be crowned in front of the teams and fans back in the Service Park that afternoon.
All tickets are still available via the official www.walesrallygb.com or ticket hotline on 0844 847 2251.
The four-day World Rally Pass is the all-inclusive ticket for fans. It provides access to all the individual Special Stages as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown. It is priced at £99 for adults (or just £1 for accompanied children aged 9-15) and comes with a desirable hard card and lanyard plus an event programme valued at £9.
Forest Passes offer a similar level of flexibility as the World Rally Pass but for individual days of the event. Again they include an official programme and can be purchased in advance for just £25 – a considerable saving on Single Stage tickets costing £30 on the day. Tickets for the family-friendly RallyFest at Chirk Castle are available now for £25 with an even greater discount being offered to families. Full ticket information can be found on the WalesRallyGB.com website.
For further updates, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb or join the conversations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrallygb
WALES RALLY GB
2015 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 13
Thursday 12 November
08:00 Official Shakedown – Clocaenog
17:00-17:30 Autograph session, Venue Cymru, Llandudno
18:00 Opening Ceremony
18:30 Ceremonial Start, Llandudno
Friday 13 November
06:30 Depart – Deeside
09:27 Hafren 1 (Stage 1)
10:10 Sweet Lamb 1 (Stage 2)
10:27 Myherin 1 (Stage 3)
11:56 Remote Service – Newtown (20 mins)
13:29 Hafren 2 (Stage 4)
14:12 Sweet Lamb 2 (Stage 5)
14:29 Myherin 2 (Stage 6)
17:48 Service – Deeside (45 mins)
Saturday 14 November
05:00 Service – Deeside (15 mins)
07:29 Gartheiniog 1(Stage 7)
07:56 Dyfi 1 (Stage 8)
09:38 Gartheiniog 2 (Stage 9)
10:05 Dyfi 2 (Stage 10)
11:53 Dyfnant 1 (Stage 11)
12:51 Aberhirnant 1 (Stage 12)
14:31 Chirk Castle (Stage 13)
15:32 Service – Deeside (30 mins)
18:25 Dyfnant 2 (Stage 14)
19:23 Aberhirnant 2 (Stage 15)
21:07 Service – Deeside (45 mins)
Sunday 15 November
07:00 Service – Deeside (15 mins)
08:26 Brenig 1 (Stage 16)
08:52 Alwen (Stage 17)
10:20 Great Orme (Stage 18)
10:31 Regroup: Llandudno (25 mins)
12:08 Brenig 2 (Power Stage 19)
13:51 Ceremonial Finish – Deeside Service Park
* All times are for the first car and subject to change
For further updates, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb or join the conversations on Facebook at www.facebook.com/walesrallygb Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com