Wales Rally GB launched its plans for 2010 today and announcements included an all new special stage, which will run in Cardiff Bay and a welcome return to the classic stage in Radnor Forest.
The event will be the 13th and final round in the 2010 World Rally Championship, and it will run from November 11-14.
“This year's Wales Rally GB route provides fans, families and those who are new to the world of rallying with the perfect mix of old and new,” read a statement to the media. “For the first time, Cardiff Bay will play host to a special stage which will run twice, on the evenings of Thursday 11th and Saturday 13th November.
“The timed test of speed and driver skill will run on the Cardiff Bay barrage and into the dock area. It will be ideal for those who want to enjoy the event in Wales' vibrant capital, particularly young families, as public transport and parking are easily accessible.
“For fans who revel in soaking up the nostalgia of this event, the rally will return to Radnor Forest for the first time in 11 years. The ultra fast 15.1 km stage will run twice on Saturday the 13th and promises rally followers plenty of high speed entertainment.”
Other highlights include a return to the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells for undercover remote service on the Friday and Saturday.
Meanwhile for the second successive year, the main service park – the hub of the event – will be based in Cardiff Bay and access will be free of charge for everyone.
Organisers have also worked hard to keep ticket prices low and for the third year running, the popular 'Kids for a quid' offer will apply and has been extended further to include all day passes, remote service and the Cardiff Bay special stage.
“This year's Wales Rally GB is bigger and better than ever and the whole organising team, myself included, is delighted to be launching the event,” said Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organiser, International Motor Sports Limited.
“To bring a special stage to the Welsh capital, in the beautiful setting of Cardiff Bay, is really exciting and will be great for fans, families and those who are completely new to the world of rallying. Add to this our return to Radnor Forest and competitive ticket prices – there's not many sports at World Championship level that children can enjoy for just £1 – and the ingredients are there for a fantastic world-class sporting event that will do Wales and the UK proud.”
Speaking about Wales Rally GB's impact on the region, minister for heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, added: "I hope the new elements in the event format will attract even more fans to the event this year. Wales Rally GB brings significant benefits to the local economy and it is fantastic news that the people within Wales will get to enjoy another world-class sporting event on their doorstep this year."
“Cardiff prides itself on being a top sporting venue and Wales Rally GB is one of the sporting highlights we host in the city,” continued Cardiff Council's executive member, for sport, culture and leisure, Cllr Nigel Howells. “Each year the event goes from strength to strength and it's fantastic to hear about the new special stage, which will be based in the vibrant location of Cardiff Bay.”
Plans to run additional national events on Wales Rally GB are in place and organisers hope to announce these shortly.