Full 2019 competitive route revealed for Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) WRC round
Ceremonial Start moves to Liverpool city centre
Oulton Park to host opening Thursday evening speed test
Friday concludes with welcome return of spectacular rallying in darkness
Early bird tickets on sale offering savings for those buying now
This autumn’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) will be more accessible, more challenging and more exciting than ever before with major innovations adding yet more to one of the UK’s premier sporting events, round 12 of the prestigious 14-round 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC).
Celebrating the milestone 20th running since the international event moved to Wales at the start of the millennium, a vibrant new base within the resort town of Llandudno has already been revealed along with a new family-friendly Saturday evening street stage set on the recently refurbished promenade of neighbouring Colwyn Bay.
Now a further raft of new developments has been announced with today’s (Wednesday) unveiling of the full four-day draft competitive route for the 2019 Wales Rally GB and the on-sale of money-saving early bird tickets.
For the first time in recent history, Wales Rally GB will kick off over the English border on Thursday afternoon with its showpiece Ceremonial Start relocating into Liverpool’s iconic Waterfront sharing the World Rally Championship with an even wider audience – a world apart from the Welsh mountains where most of the action is staged.
Another new addition follows swiftly with an early evening opening special stage set at Oulton Park, the well-known race circuit situated in rolling parkland close to Chester. It will be the first time Oulton Park has hosted the WRC for more than 25 years and, like Liverpool, its easily accessible location is certain to attract a huge crowd.
For many, the Thursday evening will be their first opportunity to experience the latest generation of superfast World Rally Cars and to witness the extreme skills of star drivers such as multiple World champion Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak and local heroes Kris Meeke and Elfyn Evans, winner of Wales Rally GB in 2017. Again both stars and cars are world apart from everyday motoring.
A full evening of entertainment is planned, with appearances from WRC legends and iconic vehicles, live music and DJs, historic rally displays and an autograph session which will be open to all spectators.
Friday’s schedule switches to more familiar rallying heartlands in the forests of north Wales and also – back by popular demand from both the public and competitors – sees the return of a spectacular stage run in darkness through the Aberhirnant forest close to the market town of Bala in south east Snowdonia. Underlining the unique challenge presented by Wales Rally GB, it will be the only true forest stage run after dark on this year’s WRC calendar. For the less intrepid, there is also a return to Slate Mountain.
A gruelling ‘Super Saturday’ schedule will move the battleground to mid Wales and the legendary forests of Dyfi, Myherin and Sweet Lamb Hafren. These well-established rally venues offer plenty of capacity for the large numbers of spectators now regularly drawn by the latest generation of WRC cars plus the prospect of escalating title battles between the top drivers and manufacturers and the presence of two proven British winners – Evans and Meeke.
Sunday morning sees two more forest tests this time set on the Denbigh Moors – including Brenig which will be the points-scoring Wolf Power Stage finale. The morning will also feature a dash around the iconic Great Orme peninsula which protrudes into the Irish Sea to the west of Llandudno. With the Great Orme, a mid-morning visit to the Service Park and the Ceremonial Finish all taking place in and around the resort, Llandudno will be abuzz on Sunday.
In its entirety, the refreshed 2019 route adds up to 22 stages totalling more than 320km (200 miles) of high-octane world championship competition like no other. More significantly, the introduction of Liverpool, Oulton Park and Colwyn Bay will supplement the event’s move to a more dynamic new base in Llandudno, further confirming Wales Rally GB’s position as a truly outstanding and welcoming world class event.
Tickets now on sale
To encourage everyone to experience the unparalleled wonders of the FIA World Rally Championship on its only visit to the UK, visitors are once again offered a number of free-to-view opportunities – at the Ceremonial Start in Liverpool and buzzing Service Park in Llandudno, the event’s lively pits and paddock complex. The colourful Regroup in central Newtown around mid-day on Saturday provides fans with another chance to see the WRC stars and cars close-up at no financial cost.
As a further incentive to inspire the next generation of potential rally fans, all those aged under 16 continue to be provided with free general admittance to all 22 timed special stages when accompanied by an adult.
Early bird tickets are now on sale offering significant savings for those purchasing now. An adult Day Pass provides access to all stages on the selected day and, for all those taking advantage of the current early bird offer, costs £32 for Friday and Sunday and £35 for ‘Super Saturday’. Providing extra value for money, every ticket includes a free glossy programme priced at £9* and booking fees are included.
Adult tickets for Saturday evening’s seafront showpiece in Colwyn Bay are available in advance for just £15 – again those aged under 16 and accompanied by an adult enjoy free admission.
Oulton Park tickets can be purchased for £25 per adult with a £25 Grandstand upgrade option also on offer. Access is strictly via advanced tickets only as no tickets will be available on the gate.
The early bird price of the premium four-day World Rally Pass, ensuring access to all 21 competitive special stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown, is priced at £109. Befitting the standout value of this prestigious ticket, purchasers will receive a programme, a hard pass and lanyard by post plus a special car pass that offers free overnight parking where available. World Rally pass holders are also offered access to Oulton Park for just a £5 supplement.
Full details of all tickets – including terms and conditions – can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.