• Resort town prepares to host Wales Rally GB for the very first time
• Major teams based in town centre, others on the seafront Promenade
• Public, officials and competitors park and ride from Bodafon Fields
• Big Bang and Rally HQ housed in waterfront Venue Cymru centre
Full details of Llandudno’s exciting central role in hosting next month’s Wales Rally GB (3-6 October) have been revealed.
In recent years, the popular seaside resort town in Conwy County Borough has featured prominently on the major sporting event’s itinerary staging both Ceremonial Starts and Finishes. Llandudno also made history last autumn when it pioneered the UK’s first World Championship motorsport on closed sections of public roads.
This year, however – and for the very first time – Llandudno will be home to the entire rally bringing considerable business to the town and invaluable international publicity for tourism in the region. Previously the international event has been sited in the Deeside Industrial Park, Flintshire.
Wales Rally GB, round 12 of the hotly contested 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), will have its busy headquarters in the waterfront Venue Cymru complex – also home to an interactive Big Bang exhibition. Organised to encourage and inspire those studying STEM subjects at schools within north Wales, exhibitors include BAE Systems, F1 in Schools, IET, IMEC, Lab Rascals, the RAF and Techsoft. More than 1,500 students are expected to attend over four days.
Creating a real buzz, the focal Service Park for all four major manufacturer-supported WRC teams will be based around Venue Cymru: Hyundai in the Mostyn Broadway Coach Park, while Citroen, Ford and Toyota will be located in car parks adjacent to Venue Cymru.
The smaller WRC2 and Junior World Championship teams will be accommodated close-by on the Promenade, while those contesting the two-day WRGB National Rally will be positioned on South Parade which will remain closed to through traffic between Ty’n Y Ffrith Road and Vaughan Street from Thursday 3 to Sunday 6 October.
Aside from Tudor Road, adjacent to Llandudno Swimming Pool, that will be the only significant road closure in Llandudno and the town will remain fully open for business and ready to welcome competitors, media, event organisers and many thousands of visitors coming from all over the world to experience the unique thrills served up by the world’s top drivers and the sport’s fastest-ever cars.
Teams will start arriving the previous weekend in preparation for a final official Shakedown test in Snowdonia’s spectacular Gwydir Forest on Thursday morning. Crews will then head off to Liverpool for the Ceremonial Start and then to Oulton Park, near Chester, for the opening speed test on Thursday evening.
Thereafter, the high-speed action is set in the familiar forests of mid and north Wales – as well as a final day blast around the legendary Great Orme – with the competitors returning to Llandudno for overnight halts as well as a mid-day service on Friday and the Ceremonial Finish early on Sunday afternoon. With so much electrifying activity going on at its heart, the entire resort will be alive with adrenalin and excitement.
“There is going to be a truly vibrant festival atmosphere in Llandudno,” confirmed Hugh Chambers, Chief Executive of Motorsport UK, organiser and promoter of Wales Rally GB. “As well as bringing many millions of pounds of economic benefit to shops, hotels, restaurants, garages and a host of other businesses in the town, the presence of the prestigious World Rally Championship is sure to ignite huge local interest plus massive global awareness for all the holiday and adventure attractions Llandudno and north Wales have to offer.”
Admittance to the Service Park paddock areas is free to all-comers who, as well as seeing the latest generation of World Rally Cars being readied for action, will enjoy a raft of activities and entertainment.
A central stage will provide interviews with leading drivers after both Thursday morning’s Shakedown test and at the end of each day. There will be a big screen keeping visitors up-to-speed with live coverage from the timed special stages in the forests plus merchandise stalls and catering outlets. To ease congestion, public and official parking will be on Bodafon Fields with a free ‘park and ride’ bus service for those preferring not to take the short walk down the seafront.
“We’re thrilled to have WRC action throughout Conwy County, in forest stages as well as on the coast, plus this year to have the manufacturers and teams based with us in Llandudno is very exciting,” said Councillor Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development.
“Considering the variety of elements involved, we have more than ever on offer for all, and look forward to welcoming locals and visitors alike to another great event.
“We simply couldn’t afford to buy the worldwide media coverage that comes with Wales Rally GB, so we welcome the opportunity to highlight Conwy County is the right environment for great events by working with the rally team again.”
While entry to the Service Park is totally free of charge, a wide selection of tickets for the 22 special stages that make up the 2019 Wales Rally GB itinerary are also on sale with prices starting at just £15 for the Saturday evening family-friendly speed test in Colwyn Bay. Full details can be found on the official www.walesrallygb.com website.