Here comes the (rally) wizard…

Motorsport legend Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will be part of a quartet of motorsport icons who will be interviewed as star guests at Cardiff’s Rallyfest this Saturday, 12th November. The interviews are part of the celebrations of this year’s keenly-anticipated final round of the FIA World Rally Championship – Wales Rally GB – which starts in Llandudno, North Wales on Thursday 10th November and finishes at Cardiff Castle on Sunday 13th November. Rallyfest will take place in and around Cardiff Castle from Thursday 10th to Sunday 13th November.

Joining ‘Whizzo’ Williams on the stage on Saturday evening will be Welsh rallying trio Nicky Grist, Gwyndaf Evans and Phil Mills. Grist and Mills are two of the most famous co-drivers in the history of the sport, with both having brought world championship event victories back to Wales. Mills sat alongside Petter Solberg during their championship winning year of 2003, while Grist navigated for Colin McRae from 1997. Former British Rally Champion Evans will be taking time out from his busy schedule supporting son Elfyn on the event.

Part of the Saturday evening entertainment will include an auction in aid of the Richard Burns Foundation. It is ten years since Richard Burns won the world championship in Wales. Tragically, Richard died of a brain tumour in November 2005. And for Williams, the event will be a poignant one:

“I actually taught Richard to drive, when he was 12 years old, so it will be a reflective day for me. He was a great guy and I also have very fond memories of competing in the Welsh forests. It will be fabulous to be amidst the buzz of the World Rally Championship on Saturday night.”

Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB, added: “It’s great to see four famous motorsport names taking to the Rallyfest stage on Saturday night. We’re hoping for some great action over the next few days with the championship going to the wire and we know that the whole of Wales is looking forward to welcoming the event.”

The WRC cars will travel to Parc Fermé on Friday night, arriving in Cardiff Castle’s grounds from around 7.30pm, where spectators will be able to view them on display. From midday on Saturday 12th November, free entertainment on St Mary Street and High Street will include a BMX stunt display, Racing Challenge Super 8 Ferrari simulator to test fans’ racing skills, Titan the Robot, the Bread & Butter Theatre Company and The Racing Bug.

Radio 1 newsreader Dominic Byrne and Sky News presenter Jon Desborough will be taking to the stage at Cardiff Castle from 6.30pm on Saturday 12th November, introducing the Richard Burns Foundation motorsport memorabilia auction, interviewing the rallying legends and playing a selection of contemporary rock and pop music to entertain the crowds.

After a gruelling day in the forests of mid Wales, the battle-weary WRC cars and crews will arrive on St Mary Street and High Street from 6.30pm on Saturday for interviews and photo opportunities, before entering Parc Fermé in the castle grounds, where fans will be able to see the cars on display. A drivers’ autograph signing will take place in the castle’s Interpretation Centre from 7pm.

Spectator entry to Cardiff Rallyfest will be free for the duration of Wales Rally GB (10th to 13th November 2011). Ground access to Cardiff Castle will be free for Rally fans on Friday and Saturday evening and from 1pm on Sunday. 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.