Rally GB ends 17-year absence from England with 2016 WRC route

The 2016 Rally GB itinerary will include a stage in England for the first time since 1999

Rally GB ends 17-year absence from England with 2016 WRC route

All the competitive mileage of Britain's round of the World Rally Championship has been within title sponsor Wales in recent years, with only some liaison sections crossing the border.

But for the October 27-30 event a stage at Cheshire stately home Cholmondeley Castle has been added to replace Chirk Castle.

It will be the first Rally GB stage outside Wales since a Cheltenham racecourse stage on the opening day in 1999.

Crossing the border is something the Rally GB organisers had been working on for some time, but it only became possible with the negotiation of a new three-year deal that begins in 2016.

Cholmondeley is no stranger to motorsport events, having run its own Pageant of Power and the CarFest along the same one-mile, asphalt test Rally GB will use.

Other changes to the route include running the opening day's Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren loop in the opposite direction to last year and Pantperthog returning for the first time since 1998.

Sunday's mileage is boosted by a run through Clocaenog and the Brenig powerstage has been revamped so it finishes on the dam in front of spectators.

Most of these changes have been made to meet an FIA requirement for more than 25 per cent of a rally's total route to be competitive mileage.

Route co-ordinator Andrew Kellitt said: "The rule was quite a big ask, but the way to do it was to go out to an area and stay there, extracting the maximum possible mileage before coming back to service."

The Deeside service park will only be used for overnight halts, with no midday services at all.

Regroups in Newtown and Corris split the loops of stages on Friday and Saturday.

"There's nothing new with Friday, we haven't had a midday service for a while now," said Kellitt.

"Saturday's different, but I really don't think we're going to be putting any stress on the tyres to run this distance.

"It's the same with Pantperthog on Saturday and Clocaenog on Sunday - we're driving past these fantastic roads, so why not use them?"

The start and finish venues have been changed from last year, with the Thursday night opening ceremony moving back to its 2014 location, Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay.

The finish returns to Llandudno after running it in the service park last year was deemed too cramped, but that change dissuaded organisers from using the Great Orme stage.

"It's quite a long way to bring the cars up from the forests to the Great Orme and it's not representative of the rally itself, so we don't want to run it as the powerstage," Kellitt explained.

"It's also not ideal having the cars come off a stage and straight to the [finish] podium."

The October 27-30 event will be known as the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, courtesy of a single-season agreement with the insurance firm.

ITINERARY

Friday October 28
SS1 Myherin 1 0816
SS2 Sweet Lamb 1 0907
SS3 Hafren 1 0920
SS4 Dyfnant 1 1109
Regroup Newtown 1232
SS5 Myherin 2 1354
SS6 Sweet Lamb 2 1445
SS7 Hafren 2 1458
SS8 Dyfnant 2 1647
Service Deeside 1909

Saturday October 29
SS9 Pantperthog 1 0820
SS10 Dyfi 1 0848
SS11 Gartheiniog 1 0924
Regroup Corris 1021
SS12 Pantperthog 2 1102
SS13 Dyfi 2 1130
SS14 Gartheiniog 2 1206
SS15 Aberhirnant 1313
SS16 Cholmondeley Castle 1517
Service Deeside 1630

Sunday October 30
SS17 Clocaenog 1 0832
SS18 Brenig 1 0908
SS19 Alwen 1 0928
SS20 Clocaenog 2 1032
SS21 Alwen 2 1114
SS22 Brenig 2 1208
Finish Llandudno 1329

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