The Wales Rally GB, part of the World Rally Championship, will return to the centre of our very own walled city of Chester next Friday 27 October. After their first full day of competition around the forests of mid-Wales, the rally teams will arrive in Chester and will be departing at 6.30pm for the culmination of Chester Rally Week. The drivers will pass under the famous Eastgate clock before stopping for photo opportunities and interviews on Eastgate. They will then proceed over the official Davinsure Wales Rally GB ramp and through the Time Control on Bridge Street before heading to the overnight stop at the Deeside Rally Village in Flintshire. Admission to this special event in Chester city centre is completely free so why not come and meet the heroes of the WRC?
Chester has always had strong links to Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. It first hosted the Ceremonial Start and Finish back in 1979 but undoubtedly Chester’s most famous link to the WRC was when the late Colin McRae was crowned Britain’s first ever World Rally Champion at Chester racecourse in 1995.
During the course of next week you will see the world’s best rally cars and drivers pushed to the limit over challenging courses. The action will be non-stop all week with a field of over 100 rally cars competing. The competitive route features 20 special stages totalling 180 miles in and around the Welsh forests. Adding to the challenge, the 2017 route reintroduces two night stages in the Dyfnant and Aberhirnant forests on Saturday evening. Saturday’s schedule also includes a return of the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. The Ceremonial Start and Ceremonial Finish will take place in Conwy County.
The action will be non-stop at the Wales Rally GB, the pace is relentless with cars coming through at two minute intervals. A separate National Rally will visit many of the stages too, making it a great, entertainment-packed day out. In addition to the racing itself, the public are welcome at the Rally Village in Deeside where all the competing crews are based. The Village is the equivalent of the pits and paddock complex of motor racing. Admission to the village is free and fans can watch as the teams prepare for the stages ahead.
THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
Established in 1973, the WRC is regarded by many as the most challenging motorsport championship in the world. The Championship takes place across 15 countries with rallies testing drivers’ skills over varied terrain from forest tracks to precarious mountain passes.
What is a rally?
For those of you who are new to rallying we thought a guide to the sport might be quite useful:
• Each rally consists of a number of timed sections which are known as stages. Typically each rally has between 15 and 25 stages which are run on closed roads.
• Drivers complete a stage one car at a time with the aim of completing it in the fastest time possible. Timing comes down to 10ths of a second. Each driver has a co-driver who reads out detailed notes to explain what is coming up on the track ahead.
• Most rallies follow the same basic itinerary. The event starts with two days of ‘reconnaissance’ where the driver and co-driver practise the route, at limited speed, to make pace notes. This is then followed by ‘shakedown’ – a full speed test of the rally car. The actual race then runs for three days from Friday to Sunday.
• Service Parks are where the team mechanics are allowed to work on the car. Service time is strictly limited, with each stop being either 10, 30 or 45 minutes. At the end of each day’s competition, cars are held in a secure parc ferme. When not in the service park only the driver and co-driver are allowed to work on the car, using tools and spare parts which are carried on board.
• A team will incur time penalties for a number of reasons including exceeding the allotted time at a service park, arriving late to a stage start or arriving late to other check-points during the course of the event.
• The crew that completes all the stages in the shortest time is the winner
Rickitt Partnership are delighted and proud to be sponsoring Chester Rally Week. If you are on Bridge Street to watch the cars passing through, look out for our fancy banner! We will all be enjoying the spectacle of the rally car cavalcade and, as I am sure many of you know, Tim is an avid motorsports fan so there will be no tearing him away from the cars. In fact I would not be surprised if he is last seen heading off to the rally village having charmed some unassuming co-driver out of their seat!
Enjoy Chester Rally Week and Wales Rally GB and we hope to see you next Friday
The RP team X
About the author
Danielle comes from a marketing and media background, with over 20 years experience in her field which includes tenures at a number of distinguished Cheshire-based magazines and marketing agencies. Danielle has responsibility for marketing at Rickit…
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