Wales Rally GB announces revised route due to tree disease

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Organisers of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB have announced a revised four-day route following the discovery of tree disease in mid-Wales by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) who manage the forest estate in Wales.

The original itinerary announced in May included two runs through the full Myherin Special Stage on Friday – this has now been shortened to allow contractors to remove infected larch trees. The spread of fungus-like Phytophthora ramorum can only be detected with the advent of early summer growth – hence the belated need to amend the previously confirmed route.

However, the UK’s penultimate round of the thrilling 2017 FIA World Championship still features more than 300km (187.5 miles) of competitive action, as crews will face a second run through the Aberhirnant stage. This has been added to Saturday morning’s schedule and will offer the fans and crews an early sighter in advance of the evening’s final stage.

Located close to Bala, Aberhirnant is one of the event’s fastest and most spectacular tests, so its double inclusion is sure to be popular with both competitors and fans eager to experience the new generation of more powerful WRC cars on maximum attack.

“We take our environmental responsibility very seriously and work closely with NRW,” explained Ben Taylor, managing director of Wales Rally GB. “Come October, NRW will be clearing the infected trees out of Myherin, so we have to make other plans. Luckily, we have a route guru in Andrew Kellitt who has crunched the maps and the figures to replace the lost mileage by adding another run through Aberhirnant on Saturday morning.

“That sounds an incredibly simple solution, but believe me, it has taken about ten route iterations to get there and has had a massive knock-on effect throughout the whole event – stages have been reversed, fuel locations altered and the entire schedule reworked. But we’re there now and looking forward to making this fantastic event come to life in October.”

Spectators are advised that the changes in Myherin have necessitated the creation of new car parks and viewing areas. As a result, fans will not be able to access the stage through the normal routes and should check the rally planner in September for parking directions.

Organisers have also confirmed that the first running of the Gwydir stage on Sunday morning has been cancelled from the original schedule, with the final day now starting at Alwen.

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive portfolio. Prior to joining the company, John worked for leading automotive design website, Car Design News. Currently editor of Engine Technology International, Professional MotorSport World, Professional MotorSport Circuit, and Transmission Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web and social media content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as chairman of the annual Professional MotorSport World Awards.

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