Wales Rally GB pays tribute to shining star

The organisers of Wales Rally GB, the British round of the FIA World Rally Championship, have announced plans to commemorate the late Gareth Roberts, an extremely talented young co-driver from Carmarthen. Gareth was just 24 when he tragically lost his life competing at the Targa Florio Internazionale di Sicilia earlier this year, and the organisers of Wales Rally GB have chosen to commemorate the shining star by renaming one of the event’s trophies in his memory.

The Croeso Trophy was presented to Wales Rally GB by the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs in 1969. It is awarded to the highest placed all-Welsh crew competing in Wales Rally GB and, in 2008, Gareth won the Croeso Trophy with his driving partner Gwyndaf Evans. After his success in 2008, the Wales Rally GB team worked closely with Gareth to promote the event and rallying in Wales. In recognition of respect that Gareth held within the motorsport community, the award will be renamed ‘The Croeso Trophy in memory of Gareth Roberts’.

Andrew Coe, chief executive of Wales Rally GB, was one of the team behind the decision to rename the Croeso Trophy: “Gareth was a skilled co-driver and a rapidly rising star in the world of international rallying. He was always willing to lend a hand and get stuck in, something that was particularly evident from working with him to promote Wales Rally GB over the past few years. There is always a special feeling when competing on home turf and it was obvious how much winning in Wales meant to him. It was a very easy decision to rename the trophy that Gareth was so delighted to win back in 2008.”

Gareth’s family added: “We’re really honoured to have the award renamed after Gareth. He won his world title last year in Wales and was always proud of his Welsh roots! He would have been really proud to be part of any scheme promoting young Welsh rallying talent in the WRC. ”

This year the Rally, which is again supported by the Welsh Government , begins with a Qualifying stage on Wednesday, 12th September at Likes Land Rover at Walters Arena. This is followed by the ceremonial start in Llandudno on Thursday 13th, before the event moves down to the classic Dyfnant, Hafren Sweet Lamb and Myherin tests after a remote service in Newtown. Saturday 15th takes the rally to the stages of Crychan, Epynt and Halfway. After a lunchtime service in Cardiff, the loop is repeated, following which the rally visits Celtic Manor for the first time, before service in Cardiff. For the final day, Wales Rally GB visits Port Talbot, Rheola and Likes Land Rover at 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.

Tickets are on sale 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 www.facebook.com/walesrallygb or visit the website www.walesrallygb.com.