Britain’s round of the 2012 World Rally Championship (WRC), the Wales Rally GB, will be held this year from the 13 – 16 September and will include an all new special stage at the Celtic Manor Resort, venue of 2010’s Ryder Cup. Home to that extraordinary moment in sport two years ago, the Celtic Manor Resort will once again open its doors to world class sport and its stars when the WRC visits in the autumn of a year of sporting excellence across the United Kingdom. Tickets for the event will be on sale from Friday this week.
Wales Rally GB 2012 will see a ceremonial start in Llandudno in North Wales on Thursday 13 September following a Qualifying Stage at Walters Arena on Wednesday 12 September, before the event moves down to the classic Dyfnant, Hafren and Myherin tests on Friday 14 September. Following a remote service in Newtown, that loop of stages will be repeated on Friday afternoon.
Saturday 15 September takes the event to the Epynt military range, where the stages of Crychan, Epynt and Halfway will be undertaken twice, after which the rally visits Celtic Manor Resort for the first time, before service in Cardiff. For the final day, Wales Rally GB visits Port Talbot, Rheola and Walters Arena, before returning to those stages again after Cardiff service. The official finish ceremony of the event will take place in Cardiff Bay after the final stage.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Rally GB, this year’s ticketing is led by a limited-edition ‘Gold’ pass offer that provides spectators access to all stages, car parks, the qualifying test and service areas. The pass comes with its own unique gold lanyard, an exclusive key-ring and a complimentary copy of the 80th anniversary DVD which retells the history of one of motor sport’s most iconic international events. The cost of the Gold Rally Pass will be £130 – far cheaper than buying the tickets individually.
The start and finish ceremonies are free of charge, with the Llandudno start venue also including an autograph signing session, as well as demonstrations and displays to celebrate the 80th running of Rally GB.
Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB, is extremely excited by the route and commented: “In such a pivotal year for Britain and its role as a venue for world-class sport, it’s a real privilege to be able to take Wales Rally GB to Celtic Manor Resort this year, as well as continue last year’s initiative of delivering a truly pan-Welsh route. We made huge strides forward last year in terms of embracing the whole of Wales with our route and we have tried hard to build on that this year, while also bringing more innovation and fresh-thinking to the event.”
First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the return of the event, which is supported by Welsh Government funding of £1.4 million: “Wales Rally GB has the ability to engage with many communities during its week long journey from North to South Wales. It is a world class sporting event that will deliver a wide range of benefits and provide a welcome boost for retailers, hotels and tourism operators. The rally is an ideal platform for Wales, showing a global audience what we have to offer.”
Iwan Davies, chief executive, Conwy County Borough Council, said: “We are really pleased to be hosting the start of WRGB again this year. The attendance of thousands of spectators at the first ever Rallyfest in 2010 and the iconic start to Wales Rally GB 2011 around the Great Orme shows that there is certainly an enthusiasm for rallying in North Wales. Last year’s event was a great success and I know that rally fans will be pleased to see the event starting in North Wales again, so we’re preparing for another high turnout.”
Councillor Heather Joyce, Leader Elect for Cardiff Council, said: “I am thrilled that Cardiff is hosting Wales GB Rally 2012 for the eleventh year. This is an important date in the city’s calendar of sporting events and it gives me great pleasure to be leading the city in welcoming the significant number of visitors from across the UK. The World Rally Championship is great for the city and benefits local traders, retailers and hoteliers. We wish all competitors the best of luck and I hope that spectators have an enjoyable weekend.”
Tickets for Wales Rally GB 2012 will be on sale at http://www.walesrallygb.com from Friday.