Region gearing up for rallying extravaganza


David Humphreys

ORGANISERS are gearing up for the Wales Rally GB as it roars into the region.

Deeside Service Park will serve as headquarters for the rally and crews have been putting together the final touches at the base, in readiness for the arrival of 150 rally teams.

Some teams have already completed setting up including Volkswagen with current world champion Sébastien Ogier and Citroen Racing’s former Formula One race winner, Robert Kubica.

Winter Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams will also be taking part in the rally as a co-driver for Sky Sports F1 pundit Tony Jardine.

James Bond stunt driver Mark Higgins is also making a return to rallying at this year’s event with MSL Motorsport.

The service park is situated next to Toyota’s engine manufacturing facility on Deeside Industrial Park.

In addition, the vehicle maintenance workshops at Coleg Cambria’s nearby Deeside campus are providing the location for all official scrutineering of participating vehicles.

To ensure the park was ready to host the worldwide rallying event, £250,000 was pumped in to Deeside Industrial Park – an investment made jointly by organiser International Motor Sports – and the Welsh Government.

The investment including importing 13,000 tonnes of locally sourced crushed stone from Halkyn to provide parking, also sees hospitality units and other temporary structures in place.

Andrew Coe, chief executive of event organisers International Motor Sports Ltd, said: “We have invested considerable funds into this fabulous new service park in Deeside and we want to encourage as many people as possible to come and see the cars, experience the event and have a great time.

“Deeside is not only perfectly placed for some of the legendary Welsh forest stages and the two new family-friendly RallyFest stages at Chirk Castle and Kinmel Park.

“But it is also is close to major roads such as the M56 and A55, thus providing those living in places like Liverpool and Manchester a rare chance to experience the excitement of World Rally Championship. An unbelievable amount of work has gone into creating what’s really a totally new event based in Deeside, and everything is now all set for what’s going to be some cracking World Championship action.”

As Wales Rally GB is the 13th and final stage of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championships, organisers are keen to put on a show and have invited X-Factor star Joseph Whelan and rock band Republica to perform on the stages at Deeside on Friday and Saturday nights.

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