Rallyfest heads to Cardiff

The countdown has started to the final round of this year’s World Rally Championship hitting the streets of Cardiff and forests of mid and north Wales, where one of the most closely-contested finales for years will be decided. 2011 sees Wales Rally GB take place from 10th – 13th November, bringing with it the Rallyfest celebration to Cardiff. Coupled with an autograph signing session, big screen, driver interviews and the final podium ceremony for the event on Sunday afternoon, Cardiff city centre is set for a cracker…

Access to the Rallyfest extravaganza will be free to all spectators, with the event taking place around the iconic Cardiff Castle – just a short distance away from High Street and St Mary Street. And, with the streets buzzing with the seasonal excitement of Christmas just around the corner, much of the rally action will coincide with late night shopping times.

Attractions inside the castle will include a big screen to watch rally action and live times, Parc Fermé on Friday and Saturday nights and the finish ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Shoppers and rally fans will also be able to get up close to the drivers, with an autograph session set to take place on Saturday night, from 8pm, in the castle’s Interpretation Centre. There will also be stalls and other attractions just outside the castle gates throughout the course of the event.

On Saturday evening, following grueling action in the forests of north and mid Wales, the battle-weary crews and cars will arrive on St Mary Street, before entering High Street. Cars will head up High Street and turn in front of the castle for some great photo opportunities. They will then make their way to Parc Fermé – the technical area (where no work on the cars is allowed) for the cars to be left overnight – in the castle grounds. Finally, the podium celebrations for the event, the culmination of an extremely close World Rally Championship, will take place in the castle grounds from three o’clock (15.07) on Sunday afternoon.

Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB’s organiser, International Motor Sports Limited, said: “We’re hugely excited by this year’s Wales Rally GB – and particularly the spectacle we’ll be laying on for rally fans and Cardiff shoppers throughout the event in the capital. While the rally is stretching its legs in 2011, by visiting Wales from top to bottom, it is in Cardiff where the spectacle of the world’s finest rally cars and drivers will be at its zenith.

“It’s a very special time of year in Cardiff when the rally visits – and, with the Christmas shopping season in full flow come mid-November, we want to lay on a festival-type atmosphere that attracts both new fans and old to a celebration of the best of world class motorsport. Rally fans from across the world always receive such a warm welcome from Cardiff and we look forward to a fabulous spectacle this year.”

Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Nigel Howells said: “It is a privilege to have Wales Rally GB again visiting Cardiff this year. It’s an important event for everyone in Cardiff, including traders, retailers and hoteliers. The final round of the World Rally Championship brings significant visitor numbers to the streets of Cardiff and we look forward to welcoming them to the Rallyfest celebrations at the Castle.”

Spectator entry to Cardiff Rallyfest will be free. Further details about Rallyfest will be announced in the run-up to the event. Tickets for Wales Rally GB stages are available now from just £20 (£1 for children) at www.walesrallygb.com.

For the latest updates, directions and stage information, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb, join the conversations on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/walesrallygb or visit the website http://www.walesrallygb.com.

Hospitality at Wales Rally GB can cater for groups from two to 200 people. Visit http://www.matchpoint.co.uk, email walesrallygb@matchpoint.co.uk or call 02920 022 838 for further information.

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