Leading crews ready to rock on Wales Rally GB following successful recceElfyn Evans eager to conclude rookie season in style on home soil Sébastien Ogier targeting final victory of the campaign as ‘early Christmas present’
The Service Park is set up and the recce has been run – Wales Rally GB is ready to rev into life to conclude the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) in style.As the finishing touches were put to the Deeside Service Park today (Wednesday), Wales Rally GB’s 64 international crews focused their efforts on recceing the event’s 23 high-speed stages, taking advantage of the opportunity to perfect their pace notes ahead of the flat-out action through the forests over the next few days.In rallying, pre-event preparation is absolutely key, as just one late call or a corner taken in the wrong gear can spell disaster.Leading British contenders Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke and their respective co-drivers Daniel Barritt and Paul Nagle have taken painstaking care to ensure their notes are as accurate as possible as they prepare to take on what is widely renowned as one of the most demanding events on the calendar.“Friday’s stages look very good, whereas Saturday’s appear to be pretty muddy – but that’s all part and parcel of the challenge of Wales Rally GB,” M-Sport rookie Evans reported.“It’s fantastic to be finishing the season on home turf, although I haven’t done this rally before in a WRC-spec car so it’s going to be another learning experience and it will be important to find a comfortable balance. I can’t wait to get out there!”Whilst the destiny of the 2014 Drivers’ crown has already been decided – with Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier wrapping up the laurels for the second year in succession in Spain last month – there is still plenty of pride at stake on Wales Rally GB. With every driver ‘off the leash’ and with little to lose, nobody will be holding back – least of all the new world champion.“I’m a lot more relaxed now than I was before Spain, that’s for sure, but it won’t change my approach to the rally and the objective is the same as it always is – to fight for victory,” the Frenchman asserted.“There are a lot of variables on Wales Rally GB, and the changes in grip in particular are not always easy to judge. I want to finish on the podium at the very least – and I must admit, to win the final rally of the season would be a pretty cool early Christmas present!”Following a shakedown at Clocaenog on Thursday morning, Wales Rally GB will officially begin with a spectacular Ceremonial Start at Eirias Stadium in Colwyn Bay the same evening, with the action itself revving into life in mid-Wales at the crack of dawn on Friday morning.The 64 international crews – together with 96 national entrants – will then return to north Wales for more high-octane thrills at the weekend, with the winners being celebrated in Llandudno on Sunday afternoon.All tickets are still available via the official www.walesrallygb.com website or ticket hotline on 0844 847 2251. RallyFest tickets are priced at just £25 for adults and must be purchased in advance. Tickets for Chirk Castle must be booked by 10pm on Friday night (14 November) for collection at the venue on Saturday morning. Full ticket information as well as detailed Rally Planner are available on the www.walesrallygb.com website.
WALES RALLY GB 2014 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND 13 Event Timetable*Thursday 13 November08:00 Official Shakedown – Clocaenog17:30-21:00 Opening Ceremony at Eirias Stadium, Colwyn BayFriday 14 November05:30 Start – Deeside07:44 Gartheiniog 1 (Stage 1)08:14 Dyfi 1 (Stage 2)09:24 Hafren Sweet Lamb 1 (Stage 3)09:58 Maesnant (Stage 4)11:22 Remote Service – Newtown (15 mins)13:03 Gartheiniog 2 (Stage 5)13:33 Dyfi 2 (Stage 6)14:43 Hafren Sweet Lamb 2 (Stage 7)15:17 Maesnant 2 (Stage 8)18:30 Service – Deeside (45 mins)Saturday 15 November06:40 Service – Deeside (15 mins)07:52 Clocaenog East 1 (Stage 9)08:08 Clocaenog Main 1 (Stage 10)09:18 Aberhirnant 1 (Stage 11)10:10 Dyfnant 1 (Stage 12)12:00 Chirk Castle (Stage 13)13:33 Service – Deeside (30 mins)15:00 Clocaenog East 1 (Stage 14)15:16 Clocaenog Main 1 (Stage 15)16:26 Aberhirnant 1 (Stage 16)17:18 Dyfnant 1 (Stage 17)19:59 Service – Deeside (45 mins)Sunday 16 November07:05 Service – Deeside (15 mins)08:33 iRobot Brenig 1 (Stage 18)09:00 Alwen 1 (Stage 19)09:55 Kinmel Park 1 (Stage 20)10:04 Kinmel Park 2 (Stage 21)10:51 Alwen 2 (Stage 22)12:00 iRobot Brenig 2 ‘Power Stage’ (Stage 23)13:19 Ceremonial Finish – Mostyn Street, Llandudno* All times are for the first car and subject to change