The Welsh Forests are on the final countdown to the Wales Rally GB, the 13th and final round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship.
“The excitement is really building towards next week’s event and not just among the rally fans,” says Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “There is a real sense that this is a world class sporting event coming to the region and everyone is looking forward to it. It’s a great day out for all the family, with opportunities to get involved throughout mid and North Wales. We can’t wait to get started.”
This year’s spectacular rally features a more compact three-day route than previous years, compromising of 23 competitive special stages – totaling 191 miles – all done against the clock on a mix a traditional gravel forest tracks and fan-friendly parkland roads. The event kicks off tomorrow evening in the Opening Ceremony in Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay before the interpid crews take on a marathon leg through mid-Wales on Friday. The weekend moves closer to Deeside Service park with RallyFests at Chirk Castle on Saturday and Kinmel Park on Sunday.
The new Hyundai Motorsport team will be making their Wales Rally GB debut, and with their top driver, Thierry Neuville (#7) having already made his makr winning in Germany their chances. He will be joined by teammates Hayden Paddon (#20) and Finn Juho Hänninen (#8). All of who will be in Hyundai i20 WRCs.
Team Principal Michel Nandan said: “Wales Rally GB is a difficult event with a lot of parameters that can be hard to predict. It can be very muddy and very foggy and when the conditions are tricky it can suit better our Hyundai i20 WRC. We have seen that when it’s down to pure performance and speed we have, perhaps understandably, lacked a little bit in our first season but when the conditions are more demanding we can close the gap and play a little bit more at the front – we will then aim for a top five finish. With Thierry, Juho and Hayden entered for Rally GB we have three drivers with a good level on gravel. We have seen in the past that Juho goes well when the conditions are not so easy. Thierry had a very strong result in GB last year and Hayden is showing more and more speed as he continues his progress. Wales Rally GB is an event he knows well so we would like to think he’s capable of doing something special.”