Wales Rally GB 10-13 Nov
Britain’s World Rally Championship counter has been a qualifying round of the series every year since the WRC was established in 1973.
Its origins date back to 1932 and, for many years, it was known as the RAC Rally in deference to the organiser, the Royal Automobile Club, before the advent of commercial sponsorship brought about a change of name.
While the event used to roam around England, Scotland and Wales, making it a test of endurance rather than a demonstration of all-out speed, since 2000 the action has been contained in south Wales prior to the inclusion of stages further north into mid-Wales in 2008.
Official Website: walesrallygb.com/
WRC Radio: wrc.com/fanzone/world-rally-radio/
After 12 thrilling rounds in four continents, the 2011 World Rally Championship concludes in Great Britain next week with the title battle finely poised between Mikko Hirvonen and defending champion Sebastien Loeb.
Loeb, the seven-time title-winner, is eight points clear of Hirvonen after he ended a barren spell with victory on the last round, the 67th of his phenomenal career. But with Wales Rally GB’s stages frequently subjected to mud, rain and strong wind, the destination of this year’s crown is far from settled.
In a further twist, significant changes have been made to the itinerary of this year’s title showdown with a route spanning from Llandudno in the north of Wales to Cardiff, the principality’s capital, in the south.
Although the stages on Saturday and Sunday will be familiar to Rally GB regulars, albeit with a few modifications, the stages on Thursday and Friday represent unchartered territory for most. And to spice up the action, an all-asphalt test on the Great Orme toll road, which juts out into the Irish Sea, will open the action, the first time since 1981 that it has been used on the rally.
Furthermore, the Clocaenog Forest stage late on Thursday afternoon last appeared on the event route in 1996, one year before Sebastien Loeb first took part in a full rally. Friday’s route is also untried by the bulk of the overseas competitors, with Dyfi Forest last used in 1996 and Dyfnant Forest not visited since 1997.
Read More: wrc.com/preview-wales-rally-gb/
Wales RallyGB preview Video: