The decision to move Rally GB to North Wales has been hailed a 'massive success' by the organisers of the British round of the World Rally Championship.

The shift to a new base in Deeside this year allowed the re-introduction of many of the classic competitive special stages that haven't featured on the itinerary since the halcyon days of the old RAC Rally.

These revisions resulted in a bumper entry - double that of 2012 - and there was also a massive upsurge in fan interest, with more than 20,000 enthusiasts visiting the service park alone.

"Relocating the event in north Wales has been a massive success," confirmed Andrew Coe, chief executive of rally organiser International Motor Sports. "It was fantastic to see such huge crowds whether deep in the forests or at the Service Park.

"Indeed, the large number of people trying to access some of the stages - notably on Saturday - took everyone by surprise. We have apologised to those who missed out and can assure all fans that we are learning lessons and already planning ahead to cater for even larger numbers in 2014."

Coe was also delighted with the gruelling nature of the competitive route, which not only produced a very worthy overall winner but also showcased some promising young local talent.

"It seemed utterly appropriate that rallying's new superstar, Sebastien Ogier, should finish his outstanding title-winning season with his first Wales Rally GB victory," Coe continued. "While we are obviously thrilled to have witnessed Ogier's masterful performance in what were typically challenging conditions, it was another of our aims to use the event to encourage and inspire a new generation of top British rally drivers. So it was great to see rising Welsh rally stars such as Elfyn Evans, Tom Cave and Osian Pryce taking full advantage of the opportunity to prove their potential on the World stage. Hopefully they will be in a position to challenge Ogier in the years to come."

The winner, and newly crowned 2013 WRC champion, was another full of praise for the new-look event: "It was a really good atmosphere, which is great for the event and championship," Ogier added.

"It's the first time I have seen so many people on all of the stages, and the stages themselves are quite beautiful to drive, too."



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