The Rali Bae Ceredigion (Cardigan Bay Rally) was launched in impressive style at Aberystwyth University last week. Guests from the local community and the sport of rallying, together with a number of the event’s commercial partners, witnessed the announcement of the first closed road rally to ever be held in Wales will take place this year on 8th September.
The launch began with a welcome reception in the University’s Arts Centre foyer, where those attending were able to find out more about the rally from the storyboards on display and by speaking to the organisers who were on hand to answer questions.
Guests were then invited to take their seats in the University’s cinema to watch the promotional video that not only provided a visual taste of things to come, but highlighted the key features (listed below) that makes this rally the innovative and ground-breaking event that it promises to be.
Following the video, presenters Howard Davies and Emyr Penlan - who spoke in both English and Welsh languages - invited the event’s key officials: Chairman of the organising committee Phil Pugh, Clerk of the Course Wayne Jones, Route Coordinator Andrew Edwards and Commercial Manager Charlie Jukes, to join them on stage to go into further details about the rally and to explain to the audience what’s in store in September.
They were followed by four of the five Rally Ambassadors: M-Sport Ford WRC team driver Elfyn Evans, former WRC co-driver and motorsport mentor Nicky Grist, two-times British Rally Champion Dai Llewellin and 2003 World Champion co-driver Phil Mills, who each spoke of their support for the event and how pleased they were to see the inaugural running of their country’s first closed-road rally. The remaining Ambassador who was unable to attend the occasion is the highly respected Welsh co-driver Ryland James.
Next on the agenda was the announcement that the event’s title sponsor will be the UK’s largest privately-owned mobile phone retailer Get Connected, with managing director and regular competitor Damian Cole commenting that he is pleased to be involved with the rally and that he intends to enter the event himself.
The final part of the presentation heard Aberystwyth University Vice Chancellor Elisabeth Treasure explain that she is excited the University is to be the rally headquarters and will host the start, finish and service area locations. She was followed onto the stage by MP for Ceredigion Ben Lake, who said that with the event brings with it a potential £1.5m boost to the local economy, he is delighted the rally is taking place in his constituency area and is personally committed in helping the event become a success.
Following the presentation, Chairman of the organising committee Phil Pugh said:
“The launch event has underlined the enthusiasm that exists for the Get Connected Rali Bae Ceredigion. From the moment the idea for the rally was suggested in April last year, we have been overwhelmed with the support and encouragement we’ve received from everyone involved: our commercial partners, Aberystwyth University, local authorities, businesses and residents, as well as our own car club members - and I have to thank them for all their support so far.
“While there is still a great deal still to do between now and September, the venues are in place and route is all but complete. We are sure the nature of the roads that run through some of the most stunning scenery to be found anywhere in the UK will prove popular with teams and spectators. We therefore hope the rally will become an annual occasion and build into a nationally - if not internationally - acclaimed event.”
First rally held entirely on closed public roads in Wales
Eight special stages (four in the morning that are repeated in the afternoon)
43 competitive miles
Top quality roads chosen for their driving appeal
Innovative park-and-ride service for spectators
Showcase scrutineering on Saturday on Abersytwyth Esplanade
HQ, Start, Finish and Service Park at Aberystwyth University
120 entry capacity
Competitors from across the UK
Strong interest from overseas teams
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