Cardiff City Centre will host a spectacular 'free view sports extravaganza' on Thursday 4 December, when celebrity guests join the stars from the World Rally Championship at the official start of the 2008 Wales Rally GB.

Located on King Edward VIII Avenue, adjacent to Winter Wonderland and Cardiff City Hall, the all-free rally entertainment begins at 4.30pm when the world's top rally drivers - including five-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb, four-times Wales Rally GB winner Petter Solberg and defending Wales Rally GB champion Mikko Hirvonen - will meet fans and sign autographs until 5pm.

Fans will also be able to meet Olympic gold medal winner Geraint Thomas. The Cardiff-born cyclist broke the world record in the Team Pursuit Final at the Beijing Olympics, and he'll be signing autographs with the WRC drivers and will cycle over the start ramp before the first WRC car.

Between 5-5.30pm, Britain's top rally drivers and the leading competitors in the FIA Production World Rally Championship will be available for autographs, before the spotlight moves to the start ramp itself. The first of 86 competing cars will be flagged away at 6pm, with celebrity guests and the world's press beaming pictures all over the world.

Rally cars and drivers will then return to King Edward VIII Avenue on Sunday 7 December, when the official champagne-spraying finish ceremony takes place. The winners of the 2008 Wales Rally GB will drive onto the finish ramp at 2.50pm, with celebrity guests there to congratulate them at the end of a hard-fought event. Once again, viewing is completely free of charge.

"With the world's top rally drivers, cars, special celebrity guests and Winter Wonderland outside Cardiff City Hall, there is always a great atmosphere at the Ceremonial Start," said Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB.

"I'd recommend families arrive early and make the most of the opportunity to meet the drivers, get their autographs and then enjoy the special events we have planned on the start ramp. Then, on Sunday 7 December, we'll invite fans to cheer the winners back at the traditional champagne-spraying Finish Ceremony."



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