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european rally championship

Rali Ceredigion Welcomes ERC Stars with Extended Route

Organisers of JDS Machinery Rali Ceredigion [August 30 - September 1] are delighted to reveal key details of this year's route, which is set to be the biggest and most challenging in the event’s history as it restores Wales onto the European rallying calendar for the first time in 28 years.

First run in 2019, Rali Ceredigion has quickly grown into one of the biggest events on the British motorsport scene, with the Aberystwyth-based event counting as the UK’s round of the FIA European Rally Championship (ERC) for the first time this season.

Competing in state-of-the-art Rally2 cars, the ERC's best will battle for glory against the UK's homegrown stars from the Probite British Rally Championship as the event welcomes the very best drivers and teams from across UK, Ireland and Europe to west Wales. Running alongside the international crews will be the national event, open to competitors in the Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship and drivers of non-homologated rally cars.

They will all take on the longest and most diverse route yet, as the rally’s 183km of competitive special stages will visit the neighbouring Carmarthenshire and Powys counties as well as Ceredigion – driving increased economic benefits for local business and greater opportunities for community involvement.

Starting on Friday morning with the Cwmerfyn shakedown and qualifying stage, which sets the running order for the competitive action, the rally officially begins with two now traditional runs through the Aberystwyth town centre stage, which has been lengthened from last year and offers brilliant spectating views and access for fans.

Saturday's second leg comprises eight stages with two brand-new tests, Brechfa and Llyn Brianne, joining the billing alongside the familiar Nant y Moch and Aberystwyth, which will again be repeated twice that evening to round off the action.

Brechfa takes the rally into Carmarthenshire for the first time and includes challenging roads around the Brechfa forest area, familiar territory for Wales Rally GB in the past. The succeeding Llyn Brianne test is the longest of the event, starting in Powys before skirting the famous reservoir it is named after. With a demanding nature and spectacular landscape, it promises to be a real hit with drivers and fans alike.

The only stage to be unchanged from last year, Nant y Moch is a Rali Ceredigion classic and is another to run on narrow, but high-commitment, reservoir roads.

Sunday offers a double loop of two stages, beginning with the all-new Bethania test – a difficult countryside stage with a mix of single and double-width roads. Hafod, which will run as the ERC's power stage on the second pass, also offers a selection of terrain, featuring sections of stages used in previous years.

In total, 183km of competitive action across 14 stages are on offer before the podium and finish celebrations back in Aberystwyth on Sunday afternoon.

Spectators will have plenty of opportunities to watch their heroes in action across the weekend, as fan zones return for 2024. Providing key vantage points, dedicated parking areas and live commentary on each stage, tickets will be available to purchase from the event website. There's also the opportunity to meet the drivers, get their autographs and take selfies at Friday afternoon's Rali Show on Aberystwyth Promenade.

The community is also at the heart of Rali Ceredigion's mission, exemplified by the launch of the Rali Engage initiative this year. A new event designed to boost community involvement and engagement with local schools, there will be various displays and exhibitors covering road safety, local food producers, education and career opportunities in motorsport and the motorsport supply chain. It will be staged within the international service area in Aberystwyth during the rally weekend.

Sustainability is again a key pillar of the event which is why Rali Ceredigion has strengthened its partnership with Carbon Positive Motorsport this year to drive further decarbonisation.

Building on last year's award-winning environmental initiatives and carbon offsetting programme of 125 tonnes of CO2, this year’s event will go even further to ensure Rali Ceredigion is a world rally leader in certified and responsible carbon offsetting. Vehicles used by the organising team will also use alternative fuels such as HVO to replace traditional diesel, creating a 90% reduction in carbon emissions.

Andy Gilmore, Clerk of the Course, said: "It's always a proud moment to reveal our plans for Rali Ceredigion, which this year makes history in bringing the FIA European Rally Championship back to Wales for the first time since 1996.

"The event has previously attracted world class drivers such as Hayden Paddon, who was victorious two years ago, and this year fans are set to witness an iconic battle play out as we bring the best competitors from across the UK, Ireland and Europe to Aberystwyth.

“Roads across Ceredigion offer a unique challenge to competitors and this year’s expanded format means more local communities can get involved and the region will benefit from increased international exposure thanks to the live TV coverage – all creating a significant economic boost to the region.”

Hayden Paddon, European Rally Championship leader and 2022 Rali Ceredigion winner, said: “It’s great to have Rali Ceredigion as part of the ERC for the first time. I loved our experience of the rally in 2022, not only for the challenging nature of the stages, but just how welcoming everyone was which made the event one of our highlights of the year. The character of the stages is such that it will provide a unique challenge to the ERC unlike any other event on the calendar.”

Osian Pryce, British Rally Champion and two-time Rali Ceredigion winner, said: “The calendar has been missing something with such big status since Wales Rally GB last ran five years ago, so it’s great to have Rali Ceredigion as part of the European Rally Championship. It’s an exciting prospect for everyone, but particularly myself as a local driver who’s had some good success on the event in the past.

“I would absolutely love to take another win against the very best drivers in the world, but we have to be realistic. The level is continuing to go up so it will be very difficult to match them, but we’ll be giving it our all to fly the flag for Wales on the country’s biggest motorsport event of the year.”

Key Facts

Date: Friday 30 August to Sunday 1 September 2024

Location: Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

No of stages: 14

Stage distance: 183 competitive km

Surface: asphalt public roads

No of competitors: 150

Edition: fourth running of the event (2019, 2022, 2023)

Previous winning drivers: Osian Pryce WAL (2019, 2023), Hayden Paddon NZ (2022)

ERC: round 7 of 8, FIA European Rally Championship

BRC: round 5 of 6, Probite British Rally Championship

Protyre: round 7 of 8, Protyre Asphalt Rally Championship

External Credits:

Rali Ceredigion


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