Tree concerns lead to revised route for Wales Rally GB contest

Reporter:

Shaun Davies

ORGANISERS of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB have announced a revised four-day route following the discovery of tree disease in Mid Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), who manage the forest estate in Wales.

The original itinerary announced in May included two runs through the full Myherin special stage on Friday, October 27.

This has now been shortened to allow contractors to remove infected larch trees.

The spread of fungus-like Phytophthora ramorum can only be detected with the advent of early summer growth, hence the belated need to amend the previously confirmed route.

However, the UK’s penultimate round of the thrilling 2017 FIA World Championship still features more than 300km (187.5 miles) of competitive action, as crews will face a second run through the Aberhirnant stage. This has been added to Saturday morning’s schedule and will offer the fans and crews an early sighter in advance of the evening’s final stage.

Located close to Bala, Aberhirnant is one of the event’s fastest and most spectacular tests, so its double inclusion is sure to be popular with both competitors and fans eager to experience the new generation of more powerful WRC cars on maximum attack.

“We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and work closely with NRW,” explained Ben Taylor, managing director of Wales Rally GB.

“Come October, NRW will be clearing the infected trees out of Myherin, so we have to make other plans.

“Luckily, we have a route guru in Andrew Kellitt who has crunched the maps and the figures to replace the lost mileage by adding another run through Aberhirnant on Saturday morning.

“That sounds an incredibly simple solution, but believe me it has taken about 10 route iterations to get there and has had a massive knock-on effect throughout the whole event – stages have been reversed, fuel locations altered and the entire schedule reworked.

“But we’re there now and (we are) looking forward to making this fantastic event come to life in October.”

Spectators are advised that the changes in Myherin have necessitated the creation of new car parks and viewing areas.

As a result, fans will not be able to access the stage through the normal routes and should check the rally planner in September for parking directions.

Organisers have also confirmed that the first running of the Gwydir stage on Sunday morning has been cancelled from the original schedule, with the final day now starting at Alwen.

Full details of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website, together with updated ticket information.

When purchased in advance, adult prices start at just £10 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £23 for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £28 for a day pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass.

Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.

2017 DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB ROUTE

Thursday, October 26:

SS1: Visit Conwy Tir Prince

Friday, October 27:

SS2: Myherin 1

SS3: Sweet Lamb 1

SS4: Hafren 1

Regroup: Newtown

SS5: Myherin 2

SS6: Sweet Lamb 2

SS7: Hafren 2

Chester

Service: Deeside Rally Village

Saturday, October 28:

SS8: Aberhirnant 1

SS9: Dyfnant 1

SS10: Gartheiniog 1

SS11: Dyfi 1

Regroup: Corris

SS12: Gartheiniog 2 (live TV)

SS13: Dyfi 2

SS14: Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest

Service: Deeside Rally Village

SS15: Aberhirnant 2

SS16: Dyfnant 2

Service: Deeside Rally Village

Sunday, October 29:

SS17: Alwen 1

SS18: Brenig 1

SS19: Gwydir

SS20: Alwen 2

Regroup: Brenig

SS21: Brenig 2 (power stage – live TV)

Ceremonial finish: Mostyn Street, Llandudno

Email:

shaun.davies@nwn.co.uk

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