WRC, Wales Rally GB, 2017- A Preview!
In a few hours from now Wales Rally GB the 2017 edition kickstarts, probably even define and crowns the World Rally championship winners too! It is one of the historic events in the championship and has been the proving grounds for many teams, drivers, and alike. Sebastien Ogier and M-Sport have a decent, rather easy chance to claim the championship this weekend at Wales. Thierry Neuville however, has a mathematical chance of winning the championship, given the 4-timer has retirements in this and the last event at Rally Australia. Although it is possible, however, the chances are finitely slim.
M-Sport, the Cumbrian outfit fields and supports many Ford Fiesta rally cars in the championship since 2011, and has a long-standing relationship with the American car manufacturer Ford Motors. Ever since Ford pulled out of the status as Official Manufacturer entry, has been supporting M-Sport to a certain degree. But that alone wouldn’t have been sufficient to keep English team in the forefront for nearly 5 years, if not for its successful spectrum of rally cars based on the Ford Fiesta, which shows the level of expertise in their field.
Perhaps homing the reigning world champion driver who went without a drive at the end of the last year (unexpected exit of the German Auto giant’s, Volkswagen Motorsport), was ‘the master-stroke’ by Malcolm Wilson that helped the team’s chance to win the championship a lot better. Teaming up Ogier, was the Estonian driver Ott Tanak; another fast young driver that MSport recognised and nurtured very early as a prospective talent.
Tanak vs Ogier‘s fight and their ability to work together to achieve maximum numbers of victories in this season, is definitely that helped M-Sport’s position for now. However, Ott Tanak has signed up with Toyota for the next season and would end his outing for MSport in the season’s last event at Rally Australia.
Okay coming back to the event in hand, Wales Rally GB, competitive action will start from tomorrow Thursday the 26th, with SS 1 – Visit Conwy Tir Prince, although the real action begins the following day with SS2 – Myherin 1, and will culminate on Sunday the 29th, of October 2017 at SS 21 – Brenig 2 (Power Stage).
- Fast gravel roads in remote forests. The picture-postcard scenery as British autumn offers a fantastic myriad of colours.
- Familiar itinerary in mid and north Wales with few changes from 2016. Based around Deeside service park.
- After a Thursday night curtain-raiser, Friday’s opening leg includes classic Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren stages. All are driven twice, with just a pause for fresh tyres splitting the passes.
- A marathon 17-hour Saturday includes a double loop of stages in Dyfi and Gartheiniog before two-night tests close the action.
- The final leg is the most northerly, with the picturesque Brenig again forming the final Live-TV Power Stage.
- Tree-lined forest tracks are not technically difficult but are treacherous in muddy conditions.
- Unpredictable weather can bring, rain, ice and fog.
- Inconsistent and ever-changing grip as isolated patches of mud or ice can trap the unwary.
- Logs piled high close to the edge of roads must be avoided at all costs.
- Gravel suspension.
- Soft compound tyres essential in cold, wet conditions.
- Studded tyres are banned – even in extreme winter conditions.
|DAYINSURE WALES RALLY GB|
|STAGES:||20 (306,98 KM)|