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Rally to return to Newtown after a year's absence

 
Created on 07/01/2018 @ 11:20
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Local motorsport fans will be pleased to know one of the area's popular rallies is returning after a year's absence.

The Mid Wales Stages, based in Newtown, will return to the British rallying calendar in March as event organisers Newtown and District Automobile Club release the regulations for the Newtown based event.

After a 12-month sabbatical, the Grooms Garage Mid Wales Stages will take place on 4th March and is a qualifying round of a host of popular national and regional championships which will see crews tackle 44 miles of classic Mid Wales forests.

The one-day event will be based from The Hafren, Newtown and will utilise world-class forest tests, such as Sweet Lamb and Hafren, as used on the World Rally Championship round, Wales Rally GB.

It was cancelled last year following concern about the potential costs of running rallies in forestry owned by the Welsh Government's National Resources Wales which wanted to charge extra costs to cater for clearing the routes within the forests before and after the events.

The event will also head into the Carno forest complex as used by the Forest Experience Rally School. This rarely used venue will provide a unique twist to the format which has been dubbed as a “back-to-basics” event by rally organisers.

The Mid Wales Stages last ran in 2016 as the opening round of the British Rally Championship but due to the financial uncertainty surrounding the use of forest roads at the end of the year, was canned in 2017. The dedication of the organising team and support from the Rally4Wales initiative has allowed Newtown and District Automobile Club to resurrect the event and will enable crews from across the UK to sample some of the best stages in the country with this compact format.

The event will be a qualifying round the Pirelli MSA Welsh Stage Rally Championship who return to the rally once again in 2018. Joining the series is the Restruct Ltd & www.jelfmotorsport.com Welsh Mixed Surface Championship, the Brian Dennis Motorsport Welsh Historic Rally Championship, the West Wales Rally Spares HRCR Stage Masters Challenge, the ANWCC Forest Rally Championship and the FMP Rally Challenge.

Clerk of the Course Wayne Jones is delighted to be able to resurrect the popular stage event and believes the organisers have the format just right this time around.

“It was great to be part of the British Rally Championship and hosting a two-day event with night stages was an experience, but we are really conscious that a basic, cost-effective stage rally with some world class stages is just what rallying in the UK needs right now and this was the right time for the Mid Wales Stages to convert to this format," he said.

“We have a great mix of stages which will challenge competitors of all skill levels and combines a route which many will know and love, with some new stages to keep everyone on their toes. It has all the ingredients for a classic event.

I would like to extend our thanks to our new title sponsors Grooms Garage and of course to the championships who will be joining us in March.”

Competitors are urged to enter the event early as due to time constraints, the maximum entry for the event is 110.

More details, event regulations and online entry forms are available at www.midwalesstages.co.uk

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