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2019 FIA World Rally Championship Wales Rally GB - Preview

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Wales Rally GB, a classic test of the FIA World Rally Championship, awaits the crews on round 12 of the 2019 season on October 3-6.

The event has been based in the forests of Wales since the turn of the century and has a firmly established reputation as one of the most demanding challenges on the calendar. This is essentially due to the unpredictable weather conditions, which can make the fast gravel roads extremely muddy and slippery, with grip levels changing from one corner to the next.

Just three rounds remain in the fight for the championship, with Sébastien Ogier back into title contention after claiming a priceless victory on the last event in Turkey. The Citroën driver managed to cut the gap to leader Ott Tänak (Toyota) to 17 points, while Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville is within 30 points of the lead.

Wales Rally GB will see the return to action of its local hero, Elfyn Evans. The M-Sport driver, who missed the last three rounds due to a back injury, has recovered in time to take the start of the event where he achieved his maiden WRC victory in 2017. He is joined by Teemu Suninen and Pontus Tidemand in the M-Sport line-up, while Irishman Craig Breen makes his second outing for Hyundai alongside Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen.

Prevented from starting Rally Finland following a crash during testing, Hayden Paddon enters the British round in the FIA WRC 2 Pro class with M-Sport, as a team-mate to British driver Gus Greensmith. They will face strong competition from championship leader Kalle Rovanperä and Jan Kopecký at Škoda, as well as Mads Østberg at Citroën.

A special entry in FIA WRC 2 will be the father-and-son duo of Petter and Oliver Solberg in a pair of Volkswagen Polos. The 2003 World Champion Petter will make his final WRC start on an event he and his Welsh co-driver Phil Mills won four times in a row between 2002 and 2005. Oliver, meanwhile, will be enjoying his first WRC outing. The young Swedish-Norwegian talent, who made history as the  youngest winner of an FIA European Rally Championship round by winning Rally Liepāja on his ERC1 Junior debut in May, just turned 18 and passed his driving test earlier this week.

Rally GB will also be the final round and championship decider of this year’s FIA Junior WRC. Swedish driver Tom Kristensson is just one point ahead of Spaniard Jan Solans at the top of the standings.


Rally GB has a new base this year at the seafront of Llandudno, which has already hosted the ceremonial finish in recent years. Thursday also has a new look, as the rally will kick off in the city of Liverpool for the first time, before the opening stage at the Oulton Park race circuit, which last welcomed the rally in 1993. After that, the crews will move to a more familiar environment in the Welsh forests. Friday features a total of nine stages in North Wales, with the last one run in darkness. On Saturday, there will be nearly 14 hours between cars leaving service in the morning and returning in the evening, with two loops of three stages in mid-Wales, followed by a new test for spectators on asphalt at the seafront in Colwyn Bay. Sunday is made up of two passes of the Alwen and Brenig stages, split by the notorious Great Orme asphalt test.


Total distance

1625.14 km

Stage distance:

309.76 km (19.10%)

Number of stages:



The Accreditation Desk is located in the Rally Headquarters, also home to the Media Center, at the seafront Venue Cymru, Llandudno LL30 1BB  (GPS coordinates: 53.3219° N, 3.8163° W).

The opening hours are: 

Tuesday 1 October: 

14:00 - 21:00

Wednesday 2 October: 

09:00 - 21:00

Thursday 3 October: 

08:00 - 20:00


Wednesday 2 October


Mandatory media safety briefing, Photographers’ Room, Media Center

17:00 hrs



Thursday 3 October


Mandatory shakedown for P1 & P2P, Gwydir

08:00 - 09:30 hrs

Shakedown for all Priority drivers (P1, P2P, P2, P3), Gwydir

09:30 - 10:30 hrs

Shakedown (others), Gwydir

10:30 - 11:30 hrs

‘Meet the Crews’ Top 3 Shakedown, Michelin stage, Llandudno Service Park

11:00 hrs

FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, Venue Cymru

11:30 hrs

FIA WRC2 Pro & WRC2 drivers (10’)


FIA WRC drivers (10’)


FIA Junior WRC drivers (10’)


Start of the rally (section 1), Liverpool Waterfront

16:00 hrs

Autograph signing session for P1 & P2P, Liverpool Waterfront

15:00 - 15:45 hrs

Cars 7/23/48/51/54/55/93/94 (15’)


Cars 5/8/10 (Toyota), 11/42/89 (Hyundai) + 21 (15’)


Cars 3/7/33 (M-Sport), 1/4 (Citroën) + 22/25 (15’)


Photo shoot Ogier/Neuville/Tänak/Evans with “Fab Four” Beatles Statue

15:05 - 15:15 hrs

Ceremonial start, Liverpool

16:00 hrs

Autograph signing session for P1 & P2, Oulton Park Pit Garages

18:10 – 18:30 hrs

Cars 5/8/10 (Toyota), 11/42/89 (Hyundai), 3/7/33 (M-Sport), 1/4 (Citroën) + 54/55




Friday 4 October


Start of Section 2, Llandudno SP

06:10 hrs

First car arrives for regroup, media zone & service, Llandudno SP

12:20 hrs (TC5B 12:46)

First car arrives for regroup, media zone & final service, Llandudno SP

20:35 hrs (TC10B 21:01)

‘Meet the Crews’ post-Leg 1, Michelin stage, Llandudno SP

During the 45’ service



Saturday 5 October


Start of Section 5, Llandudno SP

05:40 hrs

First car arrives for regroup, media zone & TFZ, Theatre Hafren, Newtown

12:00 hrs (TC13A 12:18)

First car arrives for media zone, regroup & final service, Llandudno SP

19:30 hrs (TC17A 19:39)

‘Meet the Crews’ post-Leg 2, Michelin stage, Llandudno SP

During the 45’ service



Sunday 6 October


Start of Section 7, Llandudno SP

06:00 hrs

First car arrives for regroup, media zone & service, Llandudno SP

09:33 (TC20A 09:39)

First car arrives for Regroup, Brenig

11:27 hrs

Wolf Power Stage Podium, Brenig Visitor Center

approx. 13:00 hrs

Rally Finish, Llandudno SP

13:32 hrs

Podium Ceremony & Price Giving, Llandudno SP

approx. 14:00 hrs

FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, Venue Cymru

15:00 hrs


Thursday 3 October



Sébastien Ogier (FRA), Citroën Total WRT


Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT


Kris Meeke (GBR), Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT


Elfyn Evans (GBR) M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 




Mads Østberg (NOR), Citroën Total


Hayden Paddon (NZL), M-Sport Ford




Petter Solberg (NOR)


Oliver Solberg (NOR)




Tom Kristensson (SWE)


Jan Solans (SPA)


Dennis Rådström (SWE)


Tom Williams (GBR)



Sunday 6 October

Winning FIA Junior WRC Championship & Event crew


Winning FIA WRC 2 Pro Championship crew


Winning FIA WRC 2 Championship crew


Top three crews in the overall classification


Representative of the winning manufacturer


Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT

Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (#11)


Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger-Amland (#89)


Craig Breen / Paul Nagle (#42)



Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (#8)


Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall (#5)


Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (#10)



Citroën Total WRT

Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (#1)


Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (#4)



M-Sport Ford WRT

Teemu Suninen / Jarmo Lehtinen (#3)


Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (#33)


Pontus Tidemand / Ola Fløene (#7)


The provisional classifications for all the WRC Championships is available on the following link: