If last weekend’s Wales Rally GB proved one thing, it is that the British public’s enthusiasm for rallying remains as strong as ever.
The 22-stage event – based entirely in North Wales for the first time – felt reinvigorated, attracting an overwhelming number of spectators at times. The sheer quantity of people trying to access Saturday’s Chirk Castle spectator stage took everybody by surprise and subsequently left some disappointed; we apologise to anybody who missed out, and they can rest assured that important lessons will be learned for 2014.
While new World Rally Champions Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia delivered a masterclass to win the rally for the first time, we were delighted to see MSA Team UK driver Elfyn Evans – navigated by Daniel Barritt – dominate the WRC2 category to win on home soil by over a minute.
While congratulating Sebastien and Elfyn, we must also pay tribute to the 3,500 volunteer marshals and officials who once again ensured that the rally ran safely and effectively. We are fully aware that due to the spectacular success of this year’s rally the marshals faced additional challenges, to which they rose and for which we are extremely grateful.
Further thanks go to a new addition to the volunteering team this year: Our team of Rally Makers, who added an extra dimension to thousands of spectators’ enjoyment of the event.
We must also thank all the competitors, organising team, emergency services, landowners, fans and media who contributed so much to such a fantastic occasion. We are also very appreciative of Toyota Manufacturing’s fantastic support in providing the ideal base for our service park and Rally HQ at its engine plant in Deeside.
Finally, we extend our sincere gratitude to the Welsh Government for its continued support as principal funding partner, as well as to their local counterparts: Conwy Borough Council and the other local authorities across North and Mid Wales. We look forward to continuing these great partnerships in 2014.
International Motor Sports
Acting Chief Executive
Motor Sports Association