Few events will showcase Wales’ 2016 ‘Year of Adventure’ better than the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, when Britain’s annual round of the high-octane, adrenalin-charged FIA World Rally Championship comes to North Wales from 27-30 October.
To highlight Wales’ position as a leading global destination for adventure tourism, the competitive route for this year’s event – as announced today (Wednesday) – is the longest and most challenging since the rally’s widely-acclaimed move to a new home in the north of the country in 2013.
Since relocating to Deeside, the world class sporting spectacle which runs through some of Wales’ most stunning scenery, has gone from strength-to-strength. Last year it attracted 87,000 visitors, an over-subscribed 160-car entry, international crews from 25 different countries, and delivered almost £10m of economic benefit to the Welsh economy as well as extensive global TV and media coverage.
Building on that success, the penultimate round of the 2016 WRC will again be based at the Deeside Rally Village alongside the Toyota UK’s engine manufacturing plant with the majority of the timed Special Stages set in the legendary forests of north and mid-Wales. While admittance to the Rally Village is totally free, tickets for the dramatic action are now on sale at 2015 prices, and with significant savings for those booking in advance compared to on-the-day.
This year’s extended three-day competitive schedule is certain to be a big hit with both competitors and fans, not least as the earlier date at the end of October promises better autumnal weather and also coincides with schools’ half-term break. To encourage more families to check out the top class entertainment over the holiday period, children aged under 16 will be admitted free.
The 22 Special Stages offer a total of 336 competitive kilometres (208 miles) and include many of the established classic tests plus some exciting new additions and revisions. Adding to the spirit of adventure, famous stages such as Myherin and Hafren are to be run in reverse for the first time in more than 20 years while the Pantperthog stage hasn’t been included since 1997.
The route also presents a new home for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest which, after three years at Chirk Castle, moves to nearby Cholmondeley Castle – a venue which is already well known to motoring and motor sport enthusiasts thanks to its annual Power and Speed festival.
There are location changes, too, for the popular Ceremonial Start and Ceremonial Finish both of which are free events hosted in Conwy County. The event begins on Thursday evening at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay, as in 2014, while the winners will be crowned on Mostyn Street in the seaside town of Llandudno on Sunday afternoon. Sebastien Ogier, the reigning World Champion, completed a famous hat-trick of victories last year – and the Frenchman will be aiming to become only the second man in Rally GB history to win four successive events come October.
Tickets now on sale
Tickets for the 2016 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB went on sale today (Wednesday) offering both added value and significant savings for those buying in advance.
Any spectators purchasing tickets before the end of June will be entered into an exclusive prize draw for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the pre-event media day in September where they will enjoy a money-can’t-buy passenger ride with a top driver.
Continuing the new electronic ticketing system successfully introduced 12 months ago, customers can purchase their tickets online right up to the eve of the event. As well as the option to print their own ticket at home, fans will this year be able to gain entrance to the event by scanning the e-ticket from their mobile phone.
As in 2015, the price of adult Day Passes when purchased in advance remains at just £25 – these give access to all the stages on the selected day.
Admission to Saturday’s fun-fuelled RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle is either with a Saturday Day Pass (£25) or with a separate RallyFest ticket, the price of which has been reduced from £25 to £20. As with all other stages, children under 16 get in for free, making this a great half-term expedition for families.
The price of the premium four-day World Rally Pass, providing access to all the Special Stages* as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown, has been held at £99 for the seventh year. Befitting the value of this prestigious ticket, fans will receive their hard pass and lanyard by post as well as a special car pass that offers exclusive on-site parking at the Deeside Rally Village.
Fans can still turn up on the day of the event and pay on the gate – entry to each individual stage will be priced at £30 – but organisers recommend that the cheapest way to enjoy the action is to buy in advance. Whether purchased online or on the day, all tickets include free car parking plus an event programme worth £9.
Once again, access to the Deeside Rally Village, the Start and Finish and to the Regroup in Newtown on Friday will be free of charge, providing a fabulous chance to experience the unique atmosphere of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Full details of all Wales Rally GB tickets – including terms and conditions – can be found on the officialwww.walesrallygb.com website.
Ben Taylor, Wales Rally GB Managing Director:
“We are really excited about this year’s route and we think it will provide a fitting challenge for the drivers and teams in this ‘Year of Adventure’. It’s not just the longest and most adventurous route since we moved to north Wales, but it is also one that offers the fans a great opportunity to enjoy the action. The new October date puts the rally right in the middle of the half-term holidays, so with reduced prices for the fabulous new RallyFest stage at Cholmondeley Castle and children under 16 going free, we’ve made sure that it’s a great day out for all the family.
“UK rallying is in great shape right now and Kris Meeke’s victory in last month’s Rally Portugal confirms his standing among the very best in the world, while local hero Elfyn Evans continues to earn his spurs on the international stage. The revitalised British Rally Championship is also contributing to a fantastic year for the sport, which is sure to translate into another successful event in October.
“Of course, the whole event would not be possible without the continued support of our partners, principally the Welsh Government, with whom we are entering a new three-year agreement as principal funding partner, Conwy County Borough Council, Natural Resources Wales and all the other authorities and organisations who make it possible to bring a World Championship event to the region. We are also delighted to welcome a new title sponsor to the event and we look forward to making sure that the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB 2016 is going to be a very special event .”
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure:
“This Year’s Wales Rally GB promises to be another spectacular event and is yet another example of the amazing adventures which can be had here in Wales during our designated Year of Adventure. Wales has some of the finest rally stages anywhere in the world and the Wales Rally GB is a showcase for the spectacular scenery and landscapes of north Wales.
“The Welsh Government’s support for the Rally also shows our continued commitment to the event, which has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales. Wales is home to around 150 component and systems manufacturing companies and has 18,500 people employed in automotive manufacturing with an annual turnover of circa £3.4 billion. We look forward to the adventure in October.”
Councilor Graham Rees, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Tourism, Marketing & Leisure:
“We’re thrilled to welcome back Wales Rally GB this year. Fans show great support for both the stages and the Ceremonial Start and Finish as we’ve gained a reputation of putting on a good show.
“Our successful partnership with Wales Rally GB has been nationally recognised and we’re excited to continue this valuable relationship which provides an excellent opportunity to showcase Conwy County. We deliberately focus on events as a way of supporting the local economy – with an estimated return on investment of £32 for every £1 spent, in addition to the world motor sport media focused on Wales”.
Elfyn Evans, M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC driver:
“It looks as though the organisers are well on their way to producing another great event. All of the classics are in there as well as some exciting new additions. Running three stages in the opposite direction will certainly provide a new challenge and the inclusion of Pantperthog only adds to that.
“It was great to see so many spectators out on the stages last year and additions such as the Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest stage should attract even more. Every driver receives an incredible amount of support in Wales, and I’m sure that everyone will be looking forward to all that this year’s edition has to offer.”
Thursday, 27 October 2016
Fans get their first chance to see the stars and cars from the FIA World Rally Championship in action during the official pre-event Shakedown in Clocaenog Forest, just a short drive from the Deeside Rally Village, as the teams make their last minute preparations for the competitive tests ahead. Thursday evening’s Ceremonial Start and Autograph Session return to the Parc Eirias stadium in Colwyn Bay – a free to attend venue that proved hugely popular in 2014.
Friday, 28 October 2016
The dramatic high-speed competition blasts off in spectacular style with four Special Stages in the legendary forests of mid-Wales to the east of Aberystwyth, each tackled twice – once either side of a lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of Newtown. While Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren are familiar, the twist for 2016 will see all three run in the opposite direction. The short spectator-friendly Sweet Lamb and neighbouring Hafren forest stages haven’t been run in this format since 1995, while the the epic Myherin stage, rated by many of the drivers as one of their favourites on the entire WRC calendar, has never before been tackled in reverse. Located further north towards Oswestry, the day’s fourth stage – Dyfnant – is another well-known Wales Rally GB highlight, run in the same direction as last year.
Saturday, 29 October 2016
Saturday offers another long, action-packed day, starting with an all-new challenge. Located just north of Machynlleth, the Pantperthog stage has not featured on the Rally GB itinerary since 1997, so it will be unfamiliar to all the top crews. Due to the lack of suitable access points spectators will not be admitted to Pantperthog, but Saturday morning’s two other stages on the classic forest tracks of Gartheiniog and Dyfi, provide plenty of capacity and outstanding viewing opportunities.
After double passes through all three stages, the crews face a single blast through the fast and tricky Aberhirnant stage en route to the all-new family-friendly RallyFest. After thrilling the packed crowds at Cholmondeley Castle and stopping for autographs and selfies, the WRC frontrunners will return to the busy Deeside Rally Village from around 5pm, providing visitors with another outstanding opportunity to see the cars and stars up close as the Saturday night party gets underway.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
Sunday is a shorter – but no less spectacular – day set entirely in north Wales. The Clocaenog, Brenig and Alwen stages introduced in recent years feature again, with the second run through Brenig being Dayinsure Wales Rally GB’s concluding ‘Power Stage’ screened live to TV audiences around the globe. Providing a final sting in the tail, the first half of the Brenig stage set alongside the picturesque reservoir will be run in reverse direction, while the flying finish will be situated in front of the spectator viewing areas by the dam, giving fans the opportunity to be part of the post ‘Power Stage’ podium television presentations.
The celebrations then switch to Mostyn Street in Llandudno for the Ceremonial Finish and prize-giving, providing the public with one final free-of-charge opportunity to savour the magic of the World Rally Championship’s annual adventure in Wales.
2016 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB DRAFT ROUTE
Thursday 27 October:
18:30 Ceremonial Start: Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay
Overnight Deeside Rally Village
Friday 28 October:
08:16 SS1: Myherin 1
09:07 SS2: Sweet Lamb 1
09:20 SS3: Hafren 1
11:09 SS4: Dyfnant 1
12:32 Regroup: Newtown
13:54 SS5: Myherin 2
14:45 SS6: Sweet Lamb 2
14:58 SS7: Hafren 2
16:47 SS8: Dyfnant 2
19:09 Service: Deeside Rally Village
Overnight Deeside Rally Village
Saturday 29 October:
08:20 SS9: Pantperthog 1*
08:48 SS10: Dyfi 1
09:24 SS11: Gartheiniog 1
10:21 Regroup: Corris
11:02 SS12: Pantperthog 2*
11:30 SS13: Dyfi 2
12:06 SS14: Gartheiniog 2
13:13 SS15: Aberhirnant
15:17 SS16: Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest
16:30 Service: Deeside Rally Village
Overnight Deeside Rally Village
Sunday 30 October:
08:32 SS17: Clocaenog 1
09:08 SS18: Brenig 1
09:28 SS19: Alwen 1
10:32 SS20: Clocaenog 2
11:14 SS21: Alwen 2
12:08 SS22: Brenig 2 (Power Stage)
13:29 Ceremonial Finish: Mostyn Street, Llandudno
*Please note there will be no spectator access to the Pantperthog stage