Rally GB route released

The provisional route for this year's Network Q Rally of Great Britain has been released and, as expected, organisers have picked a more compact course for the event, as well as limiting the rally to just one service area

Rally GB route released

The final round of the 2001 WRC season starts on the evening of Thursday November 22 with a Super Special stage in Cardiff. The rally then goes on to cover a total of 242 competitive miles over another 16 stages. With just one service area in Swansea, the lengthy road sections to and from service means that the overall distance has gone up to 992 miles - an increase of 55 miles from last year.

As expected, the rally remains largely in the forests of Glamorgan, South Wales, with the classic Mid-Wales stages such as Sweet Lamb and Hafren out of the 2001 event. The move to a more compact route is an effort to reduce costs for the teams, and also to make it easier for TV companies who wish to transmit rallies live.

"Last year, teams were obliged to set up in five different service areas, adding to their costs and vehicle requirements," said the rally's sporting manager Andrew Kellit. "This year's arrangement makes planning more straightforward, as well as reducing costs and the number of service vehicles on the road.

"The move to one central service area is set to become a feature of future World Rally Championship events, so we are already ahead in implementing this concept."

The flipside of this more compact route is that the number of stages used twice has risen from four last year to six in 2001. Colin McRae, who rolled out of the event last year on a repeated stage, blamed his exit on treacherous conditions in those repeated stages. And 2000 Rally GB winner Richard Burns, admits that going through a stage twice puts extra pressures on the cars.

"They are always going to be tough stages," said the Subaru driver. "And if there are more repeated ones, it will be hard on the car."

St Gwyno Tyle Rhondda 1 Crychan Halfway Brechfa 1 Trawscoed Rhondda 2 Rheola Resolfen Rheola 2 Margam 1 Cardiff Super Special Brechfa 2 Trawscoed 2 Margam 2

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