Sunderland to replace Cardiff as Rally GB host?

Sunderland could emerge as the most likely replacement for Cardiff should Rally GB decide to look for pastures new in 2013.
Much has been made about Cardiff's shaky future as Rally GB host, and it looks increasingly likely that this September's event could be the last to run out of the Welsh capital.

Despite the success of last year's route, which took crews from north to south over four days, and included the return of classic stages such as Great Orme, Clocaenog and Dyfi, changes forced on the event for 2012 has meant further changes, with those stages being lost once again, despite the route still travelling the length of the principality.

The Builth Wells Royal Welsh Showground is no longer available for central service, due to a clash of dates with an agricultural event, meaning that there will be a remote service in Newtown before the rally heads on to Cardiff for the weekend. Among the new features is a spectator stage at the Celtic Manor resort, outside Newport, which will be held on Saturday evening but, with the 2012 event the result of a single-year contract extension between the Welsh Assembly Government and Cardiff City Council, it could be a one-off before the rally heads north for 2013.

Various hosts have been mooted as replacement for Cardiff, including York, Newcastle, Gateshead and Carlisle, but RallyMax believes that Sunderland holds the aces with the money ready and waiting to snatch the event even if the Welsh put in a renewed bid.

Tagged as: Rally GB , Cardiff , sunderland , host

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i like green - Unregistered

April 23, 2012 9:07 PM

Iam old enough to remember chasing the rally (RAC) all over britain for three days and nights before they adopted office hours, a real adventure for drivers and spectators alike. I would welcome its return to Kielder or grizedale forests to bring back those memories..

Stratos Fever - Unregistered

April 23, 2012 6:25 PM

Spot on Dafydd! The Rally needs to get rid of the current organisers, IMS, they are only interested in money making. The sport & event are now niche. They may claim recent runnings have been succesful, but have received virtually zero mainstream coverage - which means it's not a success. For the good of the event it needs a central base - instead of encouraging a bidding 'war', put all resources together and create an iconic event, just as Jean Todt wants future events to be. If not, the FiA will have no hesitation on dropping it. While the Welsh Assembly have backed the event, which we must thank them - we need to look at the 'bigger picture'. The event has lost it's mojo being based entirely in Wales - by all means still use Welsh stages, but a more central base is needed, which mean I'm slightly worried about Sunderland.

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