“Radical” Rally GB plans put on hold by COVID-19

Revamped route off the agenda for 2020

Pontus Tidemand M-Sport Ford WRC Rally GB 2019

The coronavirus pandemic has hit Wales Rally GB’s hopes of running a “more radical” route at the end of October.

The final European round of this year’s World Rally Championship has already revealed it will move the service park back to Deeside after being based in Llandudno last year and there had been more changes in the pipeline before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Clerk of the course Iain Campbell told DirtFish: “We had plans to do something different this year.

“Andrew [Kellitt, route co-ordinator] knows those roads like the back of his hand and we’d come up with something a bit more radical.

“Unfortunately, doing things a bit differently would mean going out to the woods and checking the roads on the ground and for very obvious reasons right now, that’s absolutely out of the question.

“So, the thinking is that we’ll go back to a tried and tested format with the route.”

That route has to be sent to the FIA for consultation early next month, with a presentation made to the teams by May 26.

That tried and tested format will likely mean the use of stages in the north of Wales in Clocaenog, Penmachno and Gwydir on two days, with a longer day including remote service in mid-Wales for Dyfi, Dyfnant, Hafren, Sweet Lamb and Myherin.

Campbell continued: “When you listen to those names, the likes of Dyfi and co, you wonder why you would consider apologising for going back to them in roughly the same configuration we’ve been in before.

“It’s that age-old thing with Rally GB, isn’t it? Because it once toured around the country, we feel we have to apologise for it staying in one place – but then you get into the car and drive through Myherin or Hafren and you realise that actually, these really are some of the best roads anywhere in the world.”

Wales Rally GB is schedule to run from October 29-November 1.

Words:David Evans