WRC (World Rally Championship) is back this weekend! Where? North Wales.
The WRC which was formed in 1973 is the highest tier international rally championship. Hence the series travels all over the world to compete stages in countries such as France, Portugal, Finland and Turkey. Due to the prestige of the WRC, the cars are an apex of automotive engineering, where costs of a single vehicle can reach over $1,000,000 AUD. From Thursday to Sunday this weekend, the cars will be thrashed through the beautiful landscape in Northern Wales for the 11th round of the championship. Currently, Thierry Neuville leads the driver’s championship on 177 points, while Toyota Gazoo Racing tops the constructor’s standings with 284 points.
“Costs of a single vehicle can reach over $1,000,000 AUD”
WRC Wales Rally GB Stages
Wales is located in Great Britain on the Southern side of England. The Welsh rally this takes past mostly in the Northern region of the country. This area offers spectacular scenery and landscapes, most notably within the Snowdonia National Park. As a result, the WRC Wales Rally GB is considered one of the nicest locations on the championship calendar.
The official round guide describes the rally stages as fast gravel roads in remote forests with picture-postcard scenery while British autumn offers a fantastic myriad of colours. The rally is spread out over four days from Thursday to Sunday. Conwy Tir Prince hosts the first stages at night, which consists of a course around a horse racing track. Following Thursday, the teams then move to the new stage at Slate Mountain, an old slate quarry on the edge of the national park. Finally, the final two days involve traditional rally stages through Welsh forests and on unpaved roads. Of interest is the Great Orme stages on the afternoon of Sunday, which consists of the cars lapping around the hilly limestone headland outside of the township of Llandudno. This stage is outlined below.
“Fast gravel roads in remote forests with picture-postcard scenery while British autumn offers a fantastic myriad of colours“
Stages 21 & 23: Great Orme, Llandudno
The Great Orme is a popular landmark in Northern Wales. Overlooking the North Atlantic Sea and the nearby town Llandudno, this geography makes a picturesque location for a rally stage. Not to mention the history of this area which spans from Bronze Age mining to the utilization of the rocky coastline to mount defense turrets and radar for the Second World War. Today, however the Great Orme is a popular tourist destination which can be experienced either by a tram or a cable car to the summit. This is in addition to the Marine Drive around the parameter of the headland which is where the rally stage will be held.
The stage will take place both on the Great Orme and the Llandudno promenade. WRC challengers will start on the southern side of the headland where they will follow the stone wall lined road around the Great Orme. This part of the stage can be considered due to any minor error will take the driver into the surrounding walls, surely ending their race. Once the Grand Orme has been conquered, the route enters Llandudno. After passing the Llandudno Pier the cars will attempt a man-made jump on the promenade leading to the finish line. This is a stage you do not want to miss!
How to Watch WRC
Want to catch the rest of the WRC Wales Rally GB? In Australia, there are a number of ways to view the stages. Firstly, Fox Sports on Foxtel shows all stages (check your local guides for times). Secondly, WRC+ which is the paid streaming service of the WRC also show all stages live. Lastly, if you want to watch WRC (legally) without paying, WRC and some manufacturers provide highlights on their YouTube channels. So what are you waiting for? Tune in tomorrow to watch the Great Orme stage in Llandudno!
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