Wales Rally GB – Taking It To The Streets

Wales Rally GB – Taking It To The Streets

Wales Rally GB – Taking It To The Streets

  • Britain’s first-ever World Championship motor sport event on public highways
  • Spectacular finale set for Llandudno’s seafront
  • Full four-day route revealed
  • Tickets now on sale with significant discounts for those booking in advance
  • Rally Xtra hospitality venues announced

Closed public roads in Great Britain will be used to host World Championship motor sport for the very first time this October in north Wales.

The momentous milestone was confirmed today (Monday) with the announcement of an exciting, new-look competitive route for this year’s ground-breaking Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (4-7 October).

The recent introduction of landmark legislation allowing local authorities in England and Wales to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motor sport events has allowed Britain’s round of the global WRC adventure to broaden its horizons.

As a result, in addition to the traditional four days of rally action in the forests, round 11 of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship, will culminate in a stunning shootout around the Tarmac of the Great Orme which then concludes on the streets of Llandudno in front of tens of thousands of fans.

Last year’s record-breaking event attracted more than 100,000 visitors and delivered £9.4m of economic benefit to Wales.

The huge crowds had much to celebrate, too, as they roared local hero Elfyn Evans to a famous victory – the first win in WRC history for a Welsh driver and the first for a British driver on Rally GB since way back in 2000. Evans was crowned in Llandudno and, fittingly, he was back in the town with the coveted gold Peall Trophy earlier this month, talking about this year’s revolutionary route.

As proved so popular last October, the action blasts off with a dazzling curtain-raiser under the spotlights at Tir Prince Raceway on Thursday evening.

Friday’s schedule switches to north Wales, with sections of closed road helping to create new challenges in the classic Brenig, Alwen and Penmachno forests. Friday also sees the introduction of a new double-header stage at Slate Mountain at The Slate Caverns, home to Zip World.

A gruelling ‘Super Saturday’ schedule will move the battle-ground to mid Wales and the legendary forests such as Myherin, Sweet Lamb, Hafren, Dyfi and Gartheiniog. These forests offer plenty of capacity for the large numbers of spectators that will be drawn by the latest generation of WRC cars and the presence of two proven British winners – Evans and Kris Meeke.

Sunday morning sees two forest tests in scenic Snowdonia – including Gwydir which will be the points-scoring Power Stage – before the thrilling finale on the streets of Llandudno. In Visit Wales’ ‘Year of the Sea’, the crews will race around the iconic Great Orme and then onto the closed streets of Llandudno. The flying finish will be on the resort’s famous seafront – and the 2018 winner will be crowned on the Promenade.

In its entirety, the 2018 route adds up to 23 stages totalling more than 323km (200 miles) of electrifying competition.

Retaining an air of familiarity to the much-changed format, all the WRC teams will be based at the popular Deeside Rally Village, located in the grounds of the Toyota UK engine manufacturing plant, where public admittance is free of charge.

Further enhancing the event’s significance and appeal, this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB embraces the concluding two rounds of the Prestone MSA British Rally Championship, the UK’s premier rallying series.

Tickets now on sale
A full range of tickets for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB go on sale today (Monday 30 April), offering significant savings for those buying in advance.

Despite the event’s growing popularity, admission prices to all the forest stages remain as they were in 2017 and, once again, children aged under 16 enjoy free general admittance when accompanied by an adult.

Thanks to the support of Conwy County Borough Council, the Great Orme Llandudno stage will be free of charge, but a grandstand seat for the best views of the action is available for just £20 per adult / £10 per child.

What’s more, as in the past, the buzzing Deeside Rally Village – the event’s lively pits and paddock complex – continues to be another free-of-charge destination open to everyone.

For those heading to the main event in the forests, an adult Day Pass costs just £28 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday, £23 Sunday) when purchased online in advance, with booking fees included to remove any ‘hidden costs’. Day Passes provide access to all stages on the selected day. For simplicity, all electronic tickets can either be printed at home or scanned from a mobile device on arrival at appropriate car parks.

Tickets for Thursday evening’s dazzling curtain-raiser staged under the floodlights at Tir Prince Raceway are available in advance for £15 – a small increase on the 2017 price to reflect improved viewing options and other upgraded facilities – with accompanied children enjoying free admission. New Paddock Passes will be available including grandstand seating costing £25 adult / £15 child.

The price of the premium four-day World Rally Pass, ensuring access to every single stage, as well as Thursday’s Shakedown and opening stage at Tir Prince, has been held at £99 for the ninth year. Befitting the standout value of this prestigious ticket, purchasers will receive their hard pass and lanyard by post as well as a special car pass that offers exclusive on-site parking at the Deeside Rally Village and overnight parking where available.

Fans can still turn up on the day of the event (subject to availability) and pay cash on the gate – entry to each individual stage will be priced at £30 (£20 at Tir Prince) – but organisers recommend that the cheapest way to enjoy the action is to buy ahead of time.

Three Rally Xtra hospitality options are available for visitors seeking an enhanced experience: Brenig on Friday, Sweet Lamb on Saturday and Llandudno on Sunday.

Priced at £125 adult / £90 per child, these special tickets offer fans an attractive upgrade opportunity by providing food, dedicated viewing areas, premium toilet facilities, free tea and coffee, cash bar, commentary and results. Numbers are strictly limited and tickets completely sold out in 2017.

Full details of all tickets – including terms and conditions – can be found on the official website.

Ben Taylor, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Managing Director:
“We are so excited by this dramatic new look to the route and would to thank everyone involved for making it possible. Last year was amazing with Elfyn’s victory, but the new legislation has allowed us to really freshen up the event. We have a whole day in North Wales complete with a midday return to service, Super Saturday will be an epic battle and the whole things builds to a fabulous climax on Sunday with our first ever street stage. It’s going to be one to remember!”

Lord Elis Thomas, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport:
“Wales is home to some of the world’s most legendary rally stages. This new route is also a showcase of our fantastic Welsh landscapes and scenery with a spectacular finish along the coast during the Year of the Sea. We look forward to another successful event as some of the sport’s legendary drivers take on the challenges of the of the Wales Rally GB.”

Louise Emery, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Conwy County Borough Council:
“We’re thrilled to once again be Host County for this prestigious World Championship event. Even more so as the changes in the law by the Welsh Government is to the advantage of both visitors and competitors, so we’re very excited about this year’s itinerary. Developments highlight commitments within our Events Strategy 2018-2022, and the increased number of stages across our county further underlines that Conwy County is the right environment for great events.”

Dennis Ryan, Dayinsure Founder and Chairman:
“We are delighted to be continuing our title partnership of the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB for a third year, and are really looking forward to the return of the outstanding FIA World Rally Championship in October. With the debut of the latest generation of more powerful cars plus a home winner for the first time in nearly two decades, last year’s event will be hard to top. This rally, however, has a remarkable recent history of building on its many successes and these exciting new plans for 2018 are sure to continue that upward trajectory.

“Indeed, temporary vehicle insurance is on a parallel path, with escalating awareness and growing numbers of consumers taking advantage of its simplicity and multifold benefits. Our on-going association with Wales Rally GB continues to provide us with the perfect platform to convey those messages to an ever-growing audience – that’s why Dayinsure is so pleased to be title partner to this world-class event.”

Elfyn Evans, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team and winner of the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB:
“Last year’s Wales Rally GB was really special for me – an event I’ll remember for a long time to come. This year everyone is working hard to make it even more spectacular with lots of classic stages and even more opportunities for people to see these amazing cars in action.

“It looks like a great route with the inclusion of the Orme combined with all the fantastic forest stages. The finale through the streets of Llandudno will be very, very spectacular. There was an incredible atmosphere in town for the Ceremonial Finish last year and, now with the last stage finishing on the Promenade, it will just add to the incredible excitement. I always look forward to competing on home soil in Wales, and this year is no different.

Tim Jones, Natural Resources Wales’ Executive Director of Operations for North and Mid Wales:
“Our forests in Wales are spectacular. Not only have they achieved almost legendary status in the world of rallying, but, while all this is going on, they continue to provide timber for the Welsh economy and beautiful places for people get outside to enjoy the outdoors. It’s great to host Wales Rally GB once again and we hope competitors and spectators enjoy the special places we look after.”

Thursday, 4 October 2018
Following a final pre-event Shakedown held in Clocaenog Forest on Thursday morning, the competitive WRC action blasts off at sunset under the spotlights at Tir Prince Raceway, Towyn on the north Wales coast. With high-flying jumps and flames lighting up the night sky, the short Thursday evening curtain-raiser proved an instant success when introduced last year and returns by popular demand in 2018 to provide an equally spectacular prologue to the forest stages that follow.

Friday, 5 October 2018
Taking advantage of the new closed roads legislation, Friday’s schedule is based in the fearsome forests of north Wales, with eight speed tests split either side of a midday return to the busy Rally Village in Deeside for service.

The day opens close to Ruthin in the classic Clocaenog Forest and then features two new stages both using stretches of closed public highway to link forest sections together and create greater challenges. The first is an exciting new combination of last year’s Brenig and Alwen stages, the second is further west in the famous Penmachno Forest. All three of these stages are repeated in the afternoon.

Adding to the spectator experience, Friday’s programme also includes an all-new stage at Slate Mountain at The Slate Caverns, where cars will run twice in quick succession, providing visitors with a double dose of WRC thrills. The world-famous venue, set near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia, is well-known to adrenalin-seekers for its extraordinary underground adventures as well as being home to Zip World Titan, Europe’s first four-person zip line.

Saturday, 6 October 2018
Billed as ‘Super Saturday’, the rally’s longest and most demanding day features five epic special stages, all set in the mountains to the east of Aberystwyth with excellent spectating for the large numbers of weekend visitors.

Myherin, Hafren, Dyfi and Gartheiniog are world-renowned as true classics that always push crews to their limits and provide fans with some outstanding viewing opportunities. Hafren has been extended this year to incorporate the Sweet Lamb rally complex – always a fans’ favourite with its jumps and water splash.

All four stages are tackled twice – either side of the day’s new live TV stage set in Dyfnant Forest in the periphery of the Cambrian Mountains. A lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of central Newtown punctuates the action.

Sunday, 7 October 2018
After Saturday’s arduous exploits in mid Wales, Sunday sees the WRC action return to north Wales with two tough forest stages in Snowdonia.

An all-new Elsi stage has never been used before in the WRC, while the more familiar Gwydir has been doubled in length by using another section of closed public road and will be the event’s Power Stage for which extra points are awarded to the fastest five drivers.

The action then moves to Llandudno for a spectacular finale around the iconic Great Orme. The history-making stage blasts off on Marine Drive, takes in the spectacular ribbon of asphalt that clings to the rugged rock face circling the Great Orme and concludes on the closed streets of Llandudno. Here the rally route switches to closed public roads by following North Parade around the shoreline, before turning inland towards the town centre for a sprint up-and-down either side of the Gloddaeth Street dual carriageway. A spectacular jump is the prelude to a beachside finish on Llandudno’s curving Promenade, home to many of the resort’s top hotels.

With the Ceremonial Finish and prize-giving podium also located on the Promenade, it promises to be a very fitting finale to the FIA World Rally Championship’s annual Welsh adventure, perfectly epitomising Wales’ official ‘Year of the Sea’, which is celebrating the nation’s outstanding coastline in 2018.

Thursday 4 October
SS1: Tir Prince

Friday 5 October:
SS2: Clocaenog 1
SS3: Brenig 1
SS4: Penmachno 1
SS5: Slate Mountain 1
SS6: Slate Mountain 2
Service: Deeside Rally Village
SS7: Clocaenog 2
SS8: Brenig 2
SS9: Penmachno 2
Service and overnight: Deeside Rally Village

Saturday 6 October:
SS10: Myherin 1
SS11: Sweet Lamb Hafren 1
SS12: Dyfi 1
SS13: Gartheiniog 1
SS14: Dyfnant (Live TV)
Regroup: Newtown
SS15: Myherin 2
SS16: Sweet Lamb Hafren 2
SS17: Dyfi 2
SS18: Gartheiniog 2
Service and overnight: Deeside Rally Village

Sunday 7 October:
S19: Elsi
SS20: Gwydir 1 (Power Stage)
SS21: Great Orme Llandudno 1
SS22: Gwydir 2
SS23: Great Orme Llandudno 2
Ceremonial Finish: The Promenade, Llandudno

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

Volkswagen’s latest motorsport project has been named: I.D. R Pikes Peak is the title of the all-electric prototype racing car, with which Volkswagen will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on 24th June 2018 in Colorado, USA.

The four-wheel drive sports car combines its ambassadorial role for the future, electric I.D. family with the sportiest range of Volkswagen products, the R GmbH models. At the same time, it is also the first step towards an intensification of the cooperation between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport. The Volkswagen brand plans to offer more than 20 fully-electric cars by 2025. Manufacturing of the first production model in the I.D. family is scheduled to start at the end of 2019 in Zwickau, in the Saxony region of Germany.

“We want to be at the forefront of electromobility with Volkswagen and the I.D. family,” explained Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Development, Dr. Frank Welsch. “Competing in the most famous hill climb in the world with the I.D. R Pikes Peak not only has symbolic meaning, but is also a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.”

Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Sales, Marketing and After Sales, added: “Pikes Peak is without question the most iconic hill climb in the world. For Volkswagen, it represents a fantastic opportunity to charge the topic of E mobility, both emotionally and from a sporting perspective, thanks to the I.D. R project.”

Race to the clouds at 4,300 metres, score to settle after missing out on victory in 1987

The international Pikes Peak hill climb – also known by aficionados as the “Race to the Clouds” – has been held since 1916 near Colorado Springs in the Rocky Mountains. The 19.99-kilometre route runs from the start at 2,800 metres to the summit at 4,300 metres above sea level. Volkswagen last entered the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1987 with a spectacular dual-engine Golf, which generated an impressive 652 hp. However, the Wolfsburg-based manufacturer narrowly missed out on success.

“It is about time we settled the score,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets. “The I.D. R Pikes Peak represents an extremely exciting challenge for us, to show what is possible with an electric engine in motorsport. The entire team behind our driver Romain Dumas is highly motivated to set a new record for electric cars.” The record in the electric prototype class currently stands at 8:57.118 minutes and was set in 2016 by New Zealand’s Rhys Millen (e0 PP100).

400+ historic racing cars rev up for Donington Historic Festival

400+ historic racing cars rev up for Donington Historic Festival

400+ historic racing cars rev up for Donington Historic Festival

Donington Park will reverberate to the glorious sound of historic race car engines as more than 400 world-class competition cars dating from the 1920s to the early 2000s battle it out at the Donington Historic Festival.

The all-access paddock will be scented with the unmistakable fragrance of Castrol R and other evocative odours that instantly transport enthusiasts back to the golden era of motorsport. It’s a classic motor racing fan’s dream come true, as Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Austin-Healey, Bentley, BMW, Bugatti, Frazer Nash, Ferrari, Jaguar, Lister, Lotus, Porsche – to name but a few of the legendary marques represented in the entry list –  take to the track in a living motorsport museum.

Touring Car buffs have not one, not two, but five different grids of ‘tin tops’ spanning six decades with seven races between them. There’s glamour galore in the 1950s and 60s GTs and sports cars, and single-seater action from historic Formula Juniors, Formula 5000 and Formula 2 cars, while proving that age is no barrier to agility on the track, a fine selection of pre-War sports cars will show what motor racing looked like in the 1920s and 30s.


Spectators can also enjoy a celebration of Donington Park’s famous 1993 European Grand Prix with F1 car track demonstrations on the Saturday and Sunday of the event, plus static displays on all three days. In addition, there are pitlane walks, Group B rally car and historic kart demonstrations, thousands of classic cars gathering in the infield, lunchtime classic car club parades and DHF’s family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere.

Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar to electrify Berlin

Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar to electrify Berlin

Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar to electrify Berlin

  • Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY will make its global debut at Berlin E-Prix on 19 May
  • I-PACE racecar has successfully completed its first shakedown and Michelin tyre test
  • The world’s first international production-based electric race series will hit the streets of the world’s most iconic cities in 2018/19
  • Jaguar Racing to work with M-Sport as technical operations partner

Whitley, UK, Monday 23 April 2018: The Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar will make its global public debut on the streets of Berlin ahead of the ABB FIA Formula E-Prix, as Jaguar leads the charge in the future of battery electric vehicles.

Following the launch of the Jaguar I-PACE in March, Jaguar Racing will mark this historic moment for the new international production based electric vehicle race series with a demonstration lap of the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar on Saturday 19 May at the Tempelhof circuit. The display will take place during the Berlin E-Prix showcasing this exciting racecar to a global audience, and to promote the championship ahead of the season five launch later this year. The driver of the car in Berlin will be announced shortly.

James Barclay, Team Director Jaguar Racing, said: “We are excited to reveal the new Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY racecar in Berlin and demonstrate its dynamic capabilities for the first time. The team at Jaguar Racing and Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) are building the key foundations for the incredibly exciting championship and we are pleased with the progress of our test and development programme, which has included a successful tyre test with our partner Michelin.

“We are really happy with the way the championship is progressing, and we are attracting more interest from teams around the world who want to be involved in this pioneering championship. We would also like to welcome M-Sport, who bring a wealth of experience, expertise and professionalism to the team as technical operations partner for the eTROPHY.”

Jaguar Racing have carried out successful development tests alongside Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) in Warwickshire, UK, to engineer and refine the performance of the production-based racecars, which has included chassis set-up, powertrain performance, energy management and aerodynamics tuning. The eTROPHY development car has also completed its first shakedown at Jaguar Land Rover’s test track in Gaydon, England and initial tyre tests with Championship Partner, Michelin in Ladoux, France.

Jaguar Racing have enlisted MS-RT, the race technology division of M-Sport, as technical operations partner for eTROPHY. They will provide on-track engineering and technical resource and deliver the ‘Arrive and Drive’ package for competitors. M-Sport are an experienced and respected automotive company and will become a valued partner to Jaguar Racing. In addition, current partner, Williams Advanced Engineering will support the eTROPHY series in various technical areas including vehicle control systems.

The eTROPHY racecars are based on the Jaguar I-PACE, and up to 20 eTROPHY racecars will line up on the grid in some of the world’s great cities including Hong Kong, Rome, Paris and New York from the start of the 2018/19 series of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship. The full race calendar will be revealed later this year. Further news on eTROPHY teams will be announced shortly.