After a highly successful move in the WRC calendar this year, the 2017 Wales Rally GB will once again be in the autumn half-term, 26-29 October.
Again it will be the penultimate fixture of a 13-round FIA World Rally Championship opening in Monte Carlo in January and culminating in Australia during November and holds the promise of a thrilling series with new entrants.
A record number of 92,000 visitors enjoyed better autumnal weather while the switch to a weekend coinciding with the half-term holiday of many local schools proved popular with families, including the Cholmondeley Castle RallyFest, which provided a feast of entertainment for all ages and attracted 10,000 spectators.
Building on this success, the 2017 Wales Rally GB will again be based in Deeside with the spectacular competitive action set almost entirely in the legendary Welsh forests. The final route will be announced when tickets go on sale in the spring.
While there may be a familiar feel about the 2017 calendar, next year sees the dawn of an exciting new-era WRC featuring greater manufacturer interest with the return of automotive giants Toyota and Citroën.
The championship also will welcome a new generation of World Rally Cars. Dramatic new-look challengers boasting extra power, less weight, bigger rear wings and more noise will enhance the entertainment while the biggest shake up for many years among the drivers will add extra intrigue and interest – not least as reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier will be targeting an unprecedented fifth consecutive victory in Wales with a new, as yet unconfirmed, team.
“Wales Rally GB continues to go from strength-to-strength and next year’s WRC with its new cars already has all the hallmarks of being a classic,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB.
“This year’s move to a new spot at the end of October was widely welcomed by new visitors and was a great success. Now, with a similar half-term event confirmed for next autumn – plus the mouthwatering prospect of an even more appealing championship – next year’s Wales Rally GB should be the first date in everyone’s 2017 diaries!”