Fingers are crossed that rallying can return to Wales this summer.
This year’s Nicky Grist Stages 10 July remains on course to host rounds of several championships.
The event will be based in Builth Wells town centre, with the service area located on the Builth Wells RFC pitch. Rally headquarters will be in the magnificent Strand Hall on Strand Street, both the start and finish ceremonies will be held in the town centre and North Road Garage will once again provide the superb pre-event scrutineering venue.
There will be a new compact route, with two loops of four classic mid-Wales forest stages, held on both Natural Resources Wales and Military of Defence land, on and around the famous Epynt military ranges.
Crychan, Halfway and Llyn Login forests – together with a return of the famous Route 60 roads, which haven’t been used since 2018 – will play host to around 45 stage miles, with many of the super smooth gravel sections re-configured to provide a challenge befitting the UK’s top national rally drivers that will come to compete.
It will be counting for points in the British Rally Championship, MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship, Motorsport UK English Rally Championship in association with Seacon UK Ltd and the HRCR Rally Masters Stage Championship – with the event organisers, Quinton Motor Club, fully focused on running the rally on Saturday 10 July as originally planned.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said, “Providing we’re allowed under central and devolved government Covid-19 guidelines, we fully intend to run the Nicky Grist Stages on schedule on Saturday 10 July.
“We have an experienced event organising team ready and able to deliver a first class, safe and Covid-19 compliant event, and this is what we have been working toward for many months already.
“This year will be the thirty-fourth consecutive year that the Nicky Grist Stages has been honoured with a place on the BTRDA Rally Series calendar, and we are equally delighted to have become a regular qualifying event within the Pirelli Welsh Rally, English Rally and HRCR Rally Masters Stage championships. Furthermore, this will be our twelfth year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports, and we are also looking forward to welcoming back the British Rally Championship, which we last hosted in 2017.
“We’d like to thank all the local residents and business owners, together with Builth Wells Town Council and Powys Country Council, for their continued support in helping to ensure a safe and successful event in 2021.”
Gwyn Davies, Mayor of Builth Wells, added,“We are very excited to welcome the Nicky Grist Stages back to Builth Wells this year. When the event last ran in 2019, it brought a lot of trade into the town centre, and after all the Covid-19 restrictions it will be an event the local businesses and people will appreciate even more than ever.
“Hopefully, come July, all the accommodation, cafes, pubs, restaurants and shops will be fully open, and both the rally and the town will once again benefit from Builth Wells hosting such a prestigious event.”
The 2021 Nicky Grist Stages event regulations will be published on nickygriststages.co.uk in mid-May.