2017 Wales rally GB

Motorsport Photography: 2017 Wales Rally GB

It’s October again so it must be time to head to Wales for the World rally Championship. I had such a great time with my brother last year for his 40th birthday (see R Kid…I got that that bit in again!!) we decided to go again. It always bring back memories of the old RAC Rally & planning our stage spectator list when the program & tickets arrived for the 2017 Wales Rally GB

Day 1. Friday

No sleeping in cold cars in the forest for us again. Well rested after a curry & a few pints of local Welsh beer in Aberystwyth. We woke early & were soon on the road to our first stage of the day, SS2 Myherin. As we drove out of Aberystwyth & started to climb slowly into the mountains, the sun was breaking through..a good day was in store.

Myherin wind turbines on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Early morning mist hangs in the Myherin forest

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Spectators enjoy a coffee waiting for the first car in Myherin

It had rained quite heavily in the days before the rally & the stages looked slippy & treacherous. All that mud didn’t seem to make much difference as the lead drivers blasted through the stage. The technology of these WRC cars to find grip is incredible. Marry that to the incredible skill of some of the best drivers in the world & you have an awesome spectacle.

Ott Tanak on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Ott Tänak (EST)/ Martin Järveoja (EST)driving the #2 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC through Myherin on FIA WRC Wales rally GB 2017

Kris Meeke on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Kris Meeke (GBR) / Paul Nagle (IRL) driving the #7 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën C3 WRC flying the flag through Myherin on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Elfyn Evans on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Daniel Barritt (GBR) driving the #3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC through Myherin on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN) driving the #12 Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC

Spectating on multi venue stage rallies like this is all about managing your time. Watch enough cars through to see the best of the action & then get back to your car. Before driving on to leapfrog the rally cars & get into another stage ahead of them. Our 2nd stage for today was in the spectator’s favourite for spectacular action, the Sweet Lamb Complex & we were disappointed!

Sebastien Ogier on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA) driving the #1 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC jumping into Sweet Lamb Complex Bowl section on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Kahlid Al Qassimi on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) / Chris Patterson (GBR) driving the #7 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën C3 WRC launch into Sweet Lamb Complex bowl on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

This jump can be deceptive, it doesn’t look much but taken at these speeds it can all go wrong & so it proved!!

Yazeed Ford Fiesta RS WRC crashes out on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

It started so well for Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) / Michael Orr (GBR) driving the #20 Yazeed Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC as they launch into Sweet Lamb Complex bowl on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Yazeed Ford Fiesta RS WRC crashes out on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) / Michael Orr (GBR) driving the #20 Yazeed Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC starts to over-rotate on landing into the Sweet Lamb Complex bowl on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Yazeed Ford Fiesta RS WRC crashes out on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) / Michael Orr (GBR) driving the #20 Yazeed Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC lands heavily & rolls. Sweet Lamb Complex on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Yazeed Ford Fiesta RS WRC crashes out on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Yazeed Al Rajhi (SAU) / Michael Orr (GBR) driving the #20 Yazeed Racing Ford Fiesta RS WRC lands heavily & rolls. Sweet Lamb Complex on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017

Day 2: Saturday

Alarm went off earlier today as we had to pack our bags & leave our base for the first 2 days. We were moving north to be nearer the stages in Gartheiniog & Aberhirnant Forests.

Our timings today meant we could watch the 2 runs through the Gartheiniog stage. Changing viewing locations the break in action gave us 2 great stages for the price of 1, bargain!!

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

during the WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 on SS2 Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Dani Sordo (ESP) / Marc Martí (ESP) driving the #16 Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Daniel Barritt (GBR) driving the #3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Pontus Tidemand (SWE) / Jonas Andersson (SWE) driving the #31 Skoda Motorsport Skoda Fabia R5 showers gravel everywhere during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Esapekka Lappi (FIN) / Janne Ferm (FIN) driving the #12 Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

There had been some rain over night which was starting to run down off the hillsides. A small stream of rain water had its path changed by the wheel ruts from early that morning. It was now coming straight across the track & making it very muddy indeed!!

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Ole Christian Veiby (NOR) / Stig Rune Skjærmoen (NOR) driving the #33 Skoda Motorsport Skoda Fabia R5 during the WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. On SS12 Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Juho Hänninen (FIN) / Kaj Lindström (FIN) driving the #11 Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota Yaris WRC throwing mud & gravel during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Daniel Barritt (GBR) driving the #3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

Elfyn Evans on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Daniel Barritt (GBR) driving the #3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Hayden Paddon (NZL) / Sebastian Marshall (GBR) driving the #4 Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Gartheiniog Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

The 2017 Wales Rally GB would see the long awaited return of true ‘Night Stages’ to the rally. A much missed tradition of this rally for me was going out into pitch dark forests to see the cars. Huge spot lamps bolted to the front of the cars are now replaced by high tech LED lights. A happy childhood memory was restored as the sound of a fully committed rally comes through the tree line. Dazzling blaze of lights arc into view as the rally cars scrabble for grip, make for great photos.

Night Stages on FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Daniel Barritt (GBR) driving the #3 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC. Elfyn cuts through the night stages on his way to winning the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Aberhirnant Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Julien Ingrassia (FRA) driving the #1 M-Sport World Rally Team Ford Fiesta WRC. Spot lamps cut through the night stages during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Aberhirnant Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017 motorsport photography by motorsport photographer Ian Skelton Photography

Kris Meeke (GBR) / Paul Nagle (IRL) driving the #7 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroën C3 WRC. Spot lamps cut through the night stages during the FIA WRC Wales Rally GB 2017. Aberhirnant Forest on Saturday 28 October 2017. Photo: Ian Skelton

 

My 2017 Wales Rally GB long weekend ended with tired, aching legs, but we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. We saw Elfyn Evans win his first World Rally Championship event & become the first British winner of Wales Rally GB in over 20 years.

See you again in 2018!!!

Hopefully I captured some great images from the forests, you can see a larger collection from the rally just