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