WRC’s Rally GB Gets A New Evening Street Stage—The Latest Of Its Fan-Friendly Changes
Another revision to this year’s Rally GB, to make Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship even more fan-friendly, has just been unveiled. Its early evening prime time slot on Saturday October 5 will be a spectator stage where Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tänak and the like will compete up and down the Colwyn Bay north Wales seafront Promenade in their 380-plus hp turbocharged machines, on a two-mile timed asphalt test.
The stage—containing a chicane section, a hairpin and a donut—will be held after sunset in front of what are hoped to be vast crowds. It follows a day’s rallying in the mid-Wales forests and will take place on the run to the final service in nearby Llandudno. Organisers promise also a variety of car-themed entertainment and activities laid on simultaneously in Colwyn Bay for visitors to enjoy. The long Promenade sits next to a sweeping beach and has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment.
The addition of the Colwyn Bay event is the latest of several changes confirmed for this year’s Rally GB, which takes place on October 3-6. The service park situated in Llandudno comes in after six years of it being next to the Toyota Engine Plant in Deeside. Also the ceremonial start is taking place in Liverpool and there is potential for another spectator stage on the Thursday evening—replacing the Tir Prince trotting track test. The full competitive route of this year’s rally is to follow later this month.
Colwyn Bay has previously hosted the rally’s ceremonial start but this will be the first time it has held a stage. Llandudno’s streets made history in last year’s Rally GB when, for the very first time on the British mainland, world championship motorsport action took place on closed public roads—made possible by recent UK legislation changes—with a stage starting at the Great Orme and running into Llandudno town centre.
“The Saturday evening seafront spectacular will be different from anything Colwyn Bay has seen before; and a real contrast to the forests of rural Wales where most of the rally action takes place,” said Motorsport UK chief executive Hugh Chambers. “Part of what we are doing with this year’s rally is to bring the raw excitement of the sport to places where many more fans can enjoy this excitement. Hopefully a good number of those gripped by what they experience in Colwyn Bay will then venture out to the forests to view world championship rallying in the wilds of Wales.”
“The speed test will be an exciting addition to what’s already a very popular rally, and the promenade itself is the perfect setting,” added Colwyn BID Manager Cheryl Williams. “There will also be a programme of entertainment and activities, so there’s something for everyone. We encourage people to book their place as soon as possible so they don’t miss out on this incredible occasion.” Tickets for the Colwyn Bay stage, priced £15 for adults and free for under-16s, will go on sale at Colwyn Bay’s Prom Xtra event this weekend, while the rally’s tickets go on general sale late this month.
Images courtesy of Wales Rally GB