No service during Friday's stages
The Wales Rally GB begins on Thursday night with a short opening special stage at the at the Tir Prince trotting track in Conwy before the action really gets going on Friday. This day consists of two runs each of three of the Wales Rally GB’s most famous stages: Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren. With no service between the stages, teams will only have a chance to change tyres, what tests the endurance of both driver and car. At the end of the day, drivers will cross the border to visit the English city of Chester, where they will enjoy a meet-and-greet with fans.
17 hours of rallying
Saturday’s second leg is an epic, running for a total of seventeen hours. There is a total of nine stages, including two runs of the well-known Dyfi and Gartheiniog tests as well as the Dyfnant stage which opened the rally last year. The second running of that stage and Aberhirnant will take place at night, which will bring fresh challenges on the dark and unforgiving forest tracks.
Saturday also includes a short stage in the grounds of Cholmondeley Castle, which is expected to attract big crowds.
The third and final leg on Sunday is a slightly more relaxed affair as team’s head north for some shorter, picturesque stages, including Gwydyr in the stunning Snowdonia National Park, which is back on the schedule for the first time since 2013.
Wales Rally GB Characteristics
The route itself shouldn’t present any serious problems to the experienced drivers taking part in this rally. Only the log-piles which line parts of the route are likely to affect them. But it is always the unpredictable weather here that catches drivers out. Wales has extremely changeable weather and drivers can face dry and hot conditions, wet, fog and even on occasion snow. And once the rain does fall, things can get very slippery. Coping with these changes and their impact on the roads is crucial to succeeding here.
Cars will be set up with gravel suspensions and all teams will be running soft compound tyres. But if the snow does fall, as has been known in the recent past, they will not be able to turn to studded tyres. These are banned at this event.
Ole Christian Veiby
For ŠKODA Motorsport, Pontus Tidemand, who has already clinched the WRC2 title, will be competing and keen to improve on his second place finish in the WRC2 category here last year. Alongside him, the young Norwegian Ole Christian Veiby will be making his debut for the works team, and Finn Juuso Nordgren will be looking to build on his impressive fourth place finish at the recent Rally Catalunya.