Organisers of the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship confirmed the outline route today for the 2013 event.
Following news last month that it will move to a new base in North Wales [see separate story
], it has now been announced that the 2013 Wales Rally GB will include 24 stages in total, more than half of which are said to be either 'totally new or haven't been featured in the WRC since the 1990s'.
As part of that there will be three night stages in Snowdonia on the Thursday, and in addition, two family-oriented spectator stages, one to run on Saturday and the other on the Sunday, will be introduced. The event will conclude with a blast around the Great Orme early on Sunday afternoon [Click here for the full provisional itinerary
The details were announced at a special event at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, hosted by Andrew Coe, chief executive of International Motor Sports (IMS), with Welsh Economy minister Edwina Hart.
Coe also revealed a revised ticketing structure. Prices of adult admittance to individual forest stages has been reduced to £15 (from £20 in 2012) while Day Passes have been re-introduced providing multiple stage access for just £33. IMS is also extending its 'Kids for a Quid' scheme providing those aged between 9-15 years old with a four-day ticket giving access to all 24 stages for just £1. Those aged 8 and under are admitted free. These remaining tickets will go on sale on Friday 7 June.
“Following our key new agreement with the Welsh Government, we had three major objectives,” explained Coe. “We wanted to breathe fresh life into what's always been one of the World's great rallies; to create a fitting finale to the FIA World Rally Championship and to offer fans what they wanted. I'm confident we have delivered on all three fronts.”
“The new base in Deeside and North Wales has allowed us to put together what's almost an entirely new event maximising some of the classic Welsh forest stages and introducing more family-friendly spectator stages. The re-introduction of night stages and the Great Orme will add to the challenge and spectacle while our totally revised ticketing policy offers increased flexibility as well as real value for money. Britain has always staged one of the truly great rounds on the World Championship calendar and the new-look Wales Rally GB will enhance the event's global reputation.”
Meanwhile, it was also announced that two shorter National Rallies will run alongside Wales Rally GB offering amateur competitors the chance to compete on the same stages and use the same Service Park as the WRC contenders.
IMS will also offer a special deal for UK crews keen to enter the main international event. Crews with British passports plus MSA competition licences will benefit from a discounted £1500 entry fee, reduced from the standard £2600.
Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart said the event could expect an enthusiastic welcome in North Wales.
“As one of our flagship events, the Welsh Government is committed to working with IMS to develop Wales Rally GB, which has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales,” she noted. “Wales is home to around 150 component and systems manufacturing companies and has 15,000 people employed in automotive manufacturing with an annual turnover of £3 billion.
“I'm delighted to announce that in order to maximise the benefits of hosting the event in Wales, we will also organise events alongside the Rally. An industry awareness event for students will be held alongside the new Wales Rally GB Service Park in Deeside and we will also work with Welsh Automotive Forum to plan an automotive conference at Venue Cymru.
“The spectacular scenery and landscapes of North Wales and exciting challenges offered by the Welsh forests will provide the perfect backdrop for Wales Rally GB, we look forward to an exciting event this November.”