The Motor Sport Month - Rallying News
Mixed response to extended Rally GB
Rally GB will cover the length of Wales following a major revamp to the route of Britain's round of the World Championship.
Starting in the north coast town of Llandudno on Thursday November 10 and finishing three days later in the capital Cardiff, the event will cover a total of 1149 miles and feature 24 mainly gravel stages.
The action gets underway with two runs around the Great Orme toll road, which is back on the schedule for the first time since 1981. Crews then head to Clocaenog forest and return to Llandudno for an overnight halt.
Friday is based around a covered central service area in Builth Wells and consists of four repeated stages including the classic forest runs Dyfi and Dyfnant. Overnight parc ferme is in Cardiff from where the event will resume on Saturday morning, heading north to the spectator-friendly loop of Hafren, Sweet Lamb and Myherin. The day closes with an asphalt superspecial stage in Cardiff.
Sunday comprises three repeated stages in the Epynt military ranges, including the mixed-surface Halfway test and the Monument Hill Power Stage, which will be televised live.
But although the crosscountry route will appease the event's backer, the Welsh Assembly Government, leading teams have voiced their concerns.
"We need a lot of hotel rooms and we're not going to find them in Builth," said Ford's John Millington.
His counterpart at Citroen, Sven Smeets, said: "The route is a complete nightmare."
However, there was support from top British driver Matthew Wilson, who said: "It's great — it's going to be a real challenge."