Fast roads of south Wales set to provide exciting challenge for Fabia WRC Skoda Motorsport braces itself for for "McRae mania" as Britain's first world champion returns for Rally GB! The Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team returns to gravel for...
Fast roads of south Wales set to provide exciting challenge for Fabia WRC
Skoda Motorsport braces itself for for "McRae mania" as Britain's first world champion returns for Rally GB!
The Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team returns to gravel for the 12th round of the World Rally Championship, Rally GB (September 15-18) where the Fabia WRC 05 will be driven by the regular crew of Armin Schwarz/Klaus Wicha alongside Britain's Colin McRae/Nicky Grist.
The return of Colin to the WRC after an 18-month absence is being eagerly anticipated by rally fans who have rushed to buy tickets to see their hero since the announcement was made last month. Colin and Nicky are the second most successful partnership in the history of the World Rally Championship. The Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team for Rally GB is also the most experienced partnership in the entry list with 257 WRC starts and 26 wins between them.
Rally GB is 61 years old this year and therefore one of the oldest events in the current championship. It is characterised by fast gravel stages and, while last year's date switch to September made little change to the traditionally wet weather, the possibility of dry and even faster conditions remains a possibility.
Colin said: "I'm eager to get back into competing again and to do so on my home event is something very special for both Nicky and myself. I'm looking forward to working with Skoda Motorsport and helping to push the development of the Fabia WRC 05 along in a positive way. I'm not really thinking much about a specific result but I'd like to think that, even having been out of the WRC for a while, I can still drive a car quickly enough to get well into the Top 10."
Armin said: "Rally GB is special to me as it was where I made my WRC debut with Audi in 1988 and it has remained a favourite ever since."
Head of the Skoda Motorsport World Rally Team, Martin Muehlmeier, said: "I think that everyone is very excited about this event and the amount of interest being shown in Skoda Motorsport shows we made a good choice of driver. I hope that we can now get the result that everyone wants."
Colin McRae's preparations for this event are continuing this week with a major test programme in Scotland. He has been working to get fully acquainted with the Fabia WRC 05 ahead of Rally GB and will conclude his programme when he drives the Fabia as '0' car on Saturday's Park Systems Rally that takes place near Dumfries. Details from the testing will be issued at the weekend.
Rally GB in detail:
Rally GB was traditionally the final event in the World Rally Championship until it moved from its November date to September last year. Despite predictions that the rally would be run in dry and dusty conditions with speeds threatening to reach similar levels to Finland, the weather proved just as difficult and the muddy conditions continued.
After a ceremonial start by the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 1930 on the evening of Thursday September 15, the event heads into west Wales to its base at the Felindre Rally Centre near Swansea.
The opening leg features six stages (three run twice each) to the north and east of Felindre, totaling 139.24kms.
Saturday's action is to the north with six more stages (103.70kms) before the crews head to Cardiff for a one kilometre indoor superspecial at the Millennium Stadium.
Sunday's final leg includes two runs over two of the event's longest stages, Resolfen and Margam (113.62kms). After an overall total of 357.56kms the rally finishes in the Welsh capital on Sunday afternoon at 1410 (1510 CET