WRC

Wales Rally GB news 2007-05-08

Wales Rally GB celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year and while closely following the outline of last years proven route, the successful Service Park concept developed over the past six years at Felindre will see the competitive hub of the...

Wales Rally GB celebrates its 75th Anniversary this year and while closely following the outline of last years proven route, the successful Service Park concept developed over the past six years at Felindre will see the competitive hub of the event move to a new site within SA1 Swansea Waterfront.

"2007 will be the seventh year that the Rally Service Park has been located in Swansea and the Council is delighted to play host and support it once again this year. The new venue at SA1 Swansea Waterfront will add a new and exciting dimension to what is already a very successful event", said Councillor Gerald Clement, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Recreation & Tourism.

The £400 million development -- a joint venture between the Welsh Assembly Government and the private sector - is an extension of Swansea City Centre and will provide a more easily accessible location for spectators, bring rally teams closer to their accommodation and provide permanent facilities for working media.

"SA1 is a benchmark for waterfront regeneration and everyone can benefit from the new social, leisure and business opportunities that it offers. Moving the Service Park -- the competitive hub of Wales Rally GB - to this impressive waterfront setting will introduce SA1 to a world wide audience and should encourage even more visitors to the rally", said Gareth Hall, Director, Welsh Assembly Government's Department of Enterprise, Innovations and Networks (DEIN).

Cardiff will continue as Host City, staging the Ceremonial Start on the evening of Thursday 29th November and the Finish in the afternoon of Sunday 2nd December. Both will be in a new location near City Hall.

The Special Stage inside Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday 1st December will include motorsport-themed entertainment prior to the first rally car starting the one kilometre timed test at 7 pm, which will then run without interruption.

The provisional three-day competitive route will feature three forest stages in the Vale of Neath on Friday, three stages on both Forestry Commission and Military roads north of Brecon on Saturday and two forest stages in Carmarthenshire on Sunday. With the exception of the Cardiff Special Stage inside the Millennium Stadium, all other timed stages will be run twice, on the same day.

One of the original characteristics of World Championship rallies was competitive driving at night. Subject to FIA approval, this challenge could return to Wales Rally GB on both Friday and Saturday when the final special stage on each Leg will be run in darkness.

"This would be fantastic" said Guy Wilks, runner up in the 2005 FIA Junior World Rally Championship and outright winner of the opening round of the 2007 Tesco 99 Octane British Rally Championship. "The organisers should be credited for reintroducing what was once a feature of World Championship Rallies. Competitive driving in darkness is a challenge for both the driver and co-driver and provides great atmosphere for spectators", he added.

The final route and timetable of this year's Wales Rally GB, the final round of the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship, will be formally launched in June after consultation with the FIA and the registered manufacturer teams.

-credit: www.walesrallygb.com

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