The third round of this year's ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge will take the competitors to the treacherous Welsh gravel with its highly variable grip levels. The key to a good result here is the ability to read the grip correctly.
Rally Wales is one of the traditional events of the World Rally Championship. The event is particularly challenging due to the characteristics of the course with several types of gravel and the changeable weather with fog and rain. In addition, the oily mud sticking to the underside of the car and the wheel arches often changes the balance of the car. Despite the difficulty of the local stages, the ŠKODA cars scored a number of successes here.
In 1972, Sveisvoll won here in a ŠKODA 120 S and in 1975, 1976 and 1977, John Haugland won here also in a ŠKODA 120 S and a ŠKODA 130 RS. The 1982 RAC Rally was won by Kalnay in a ŠKODA 120 LS Rallye and this success was repeated by Ladislav Křeček in 1983. Emil Triner and Pavel Sibera won in 1993 and 1994 their group in ŠKODA FAVORIT 136 L/A Rallye. But the biggest successes are the absolute third place won by Stig Blomqvist with the ŠKODA FELICIA Kit Car in 1996, the fourth place won by Bruno Thiry with the ŠKODA OCTAVIA WRC in 1999 and the fifth place of Armin Schwarz in 2001 with the same car. From 2015 to 2019, the factory ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 and Rally2 evo have always been the fastest in the WRC2 and WRC2 Pro categories.
We have prepared a varied line-up of stages for the virtual Rally Wales, including two passes of the legendary Sweet Lamb stage. It will be run in dry, wet and dark conditions. Just like a real rally. We wish all the competitors the best of luck.
ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge
- When does it take place? 19. - 24.08.2021
- Number of special stages: 8
- Total rally length: 63,4 km
- On what platform? We will be racing in the DiRT Rally 2.0 on PC, Playstation and Xbox.
- How can I take part? After starting the game and creating profile, find the “ŠKODA ECHALLENGE” event and select ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. You can do your run anytime during the event.
- Link to the event: https://dirtrally2.dirtgame.com/clubs/club/295041
We asked Kris Meek, who has competed here many times, for some tips on how to be fast on the Welsh stages.
What makes Rally Wales specific from a driver's point of view?
Every Rally is unique But none more so than Rally Wales in the cold wet month of November. Terrain is through the natural fast flowing forest roads of the Welsh forests, but the weather is normally wet which makes the gravel surface incredibly slippery.
What to look out for on the stages?
Reading the grip and surface changes at high speed in the foremost challenge. But it’s quite normal for some fog the hang in the forests, which is one the most difficult challenges a driver can face.
Are there any driving tricks to succeed in Wales?
Experience. You need be able to trust the grip levels, which comes with many years of experience.
Do you have any tips on setting up your car?
Generally it’s a low grip rally. So the car will be setup with a softer suspension and chassis setting (to allow for more body roll) than for a traditional gravel rally. This hopefully will give more grip but keep in mind for high speed section you still need a precise car.