|The hugely popular event focused in the forests of southern Wales had originally been granted
only a provisional date on the 2003 calendar subject to favourable observers` reports into spectator safety issues on last month`s rally.
However, following today`s (Friday 13 December) FIA World Motor Sport Council in Monte Carlo, the MSA has confirmed that the rally will go-ahead as planned in early November.
"Naturally, we are delighted to be making this announcement," said Colin Hilton, Chief Executive of the Motor Sports Association. "As it is widely known, we have introduced a whole raft of new initiatives over the past 12 months aimed at providing spectators with better and safer viewing areas;
the FIA`s findings are a tribute to all of those involved not only in initiating all these new plans and procedures but also in ensuring their successful implementation."
"However, while I`m obviously pleased that we have secured our place on the FIA World Rally Championship in the short-term, we can not afford to be complacent. It`s now abundantly clear, Britain hasn`t a divine right to a guaranteed place on either WRC or Formula One calendars and so it`s essential we push ahead with our strategies designed, uncompromisingly, to ensure both our premier FIA motor sport events - the Wales Rally GB and British Grand Prix - are heralded as benchmarks by which others will be judged. That is the only way to safeguard their futures," said Hilton.
As from 2003, Britain`s round of the FIA World Rally Championship will be sponsored by Wales following an exciting new four-year partnership with the Welsh Development Agency and based in Cardiff for another three years, will see the famous event renamed Wales Rally GB. Now confirmed by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, the next year`s Wales Rally GB will take place between
5-9 November 2003.
Release MSA 02/14: 13 December, 2002
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