The end of August marks another major milestone in the countdown to the UK’s eagerly-anticipated round of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.
With little more than nine weeks remaining until the thrilling WRC title fight arrives on these shores, official entries to this autumn’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB from October 26-29 have just opened.
Entries for the shorter two-day WRGB National Rally, that shadows the main four-day event over the weekend, opened on Wednesday, August 30 and will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
As a classic round of the WRC, Dayinsure Wales Rally GB is always one of the most popular on the calendar, attracting top class entries from right around the world. This year’s International event, though, is all set to boast its biggest-ever entry since moving to its new home in North Wales in 2013.
With the title race going down-to-the-wire, a full field of exciting new-era WRC cars is expected with Citroën, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota all well represented at the front of the premier league pack.
Swelling the numbers, the UK’s premier rally is also a round of WRC2 and WRC3 Championships and, thanks to a new FIA regulation, enthusiastic amateur crews with nationally-registered machinery will be eligible for the main WRC event for the first time ever.
In total, a maximum of 90 entries will be accepted into the full event, which includes 21 special stages, adding just over 300km (187 miles) of world class competitive action.
The first 30 eligible entries from private entrants received before the September 26 closing date will be automatically accepted. A full breakdown of entry fees is available on the walesrallygb.com website with local crews able to take advantage of the discounted British privateer entry fee of £1,995 (£1662.50 + VAT).
Running alongside the main event, the WRGB National Rally has been a sell-out in recent years and this year’s shorter two-day event is again likely to be oversubscribed.
Initial entries will be restricted to maximum of just 70, though this figure could be increased to make a total field of 160 cars should the International event attract fewer than 90 starters.
The first 55 completed registrations received after entries open at noon on August 30 will be accepted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, with the remaining 15 places to be allocated at the organisers’ discretion – several of these being reserved for outstanding performers in the UK’s major domestic championships via the Road to Wales initiative.
With eight challenging stages totalling 60 miles of competitive action, the WRGB National rally is priced at £625 + VAT. To register, fully paid entries must be made online through the official walesrallygb.com website.
“With so much excitement surrounding this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, we are expecting huge demand from competitors wishing to enter both International and National events,” enthused Ben Taylor, managing director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.
“The new-look World Championship is proving to be a massive draw and we have never before offered privateers more opportunities to be part of such a wonderful sporting showcase.”
The promise of such a massive entry – topped by four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier in a British-built M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC – adds further to the event’s ever-growing appeal.
Tickets are on sale offering considerable discounts for those buying in advance. For those purchasing now, adult prices start at just £10 for the opening Visit Conwy Tir Prince test on Thursday evening, £23 for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, £28 for a day pass or £99 for the full four-day premium event pass. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted free.