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Local roads could soon see competitive races

Created on 02/02/2018 @ 13:46
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Roads and lanes around Newtown could be used for this year's Wales Rally GB after new laws were introduced today to allow close-road motor sports in Wales.

The organisers of the Wales Rally GB, which is expected to return to Newtown in October, said they were considering options that could see competitive stages on roads in the areas as well as forestry tracks.

International Motor Sports Ltd (IMS), organiser and promoter of Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship, said it wasdelighted that new laws facilitating closed-road motor sport events have today come into force in Wales."

Newtown normally plays host to a service stage, based in the Back Lane car park and along Broad Street.

"We have been working closely with the Welsh Government on achieving this exciting piece of legislation,” remarked Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “We are already looking at what this might mean for this year’s event. 
“Whether it’s the introduction of an entire special stage set on closed roads or just closing a small section of highway to link two existing forest tests, we will be considering all the options. It’s really exciting!”
The landmark development for Welsh motor sport comes after the MSA spent several years campaigning for a change in the law to allow local authorities to suspend the Road Traffic Act for authorised motor sport events, without requiring individual Acts of Parliament. New enabling legislation commenced in England on 10 April 2017.
Following a further consultation, the Welsh Government has now published its own Statutory Instrument that will facilitate closed-road motor sport in Wales from 2 February 2018. As in England, it names the MSA and its sister governing body for two-wheel UK motor sport, the Auto-Cycle Union (ACU), as the authorising bodies for closed-road motor sport events such as racing, rallying and hillclimbs.
Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said: “Wales is home to a dynamic automotive sector with an annual turnover of some £3 billion and this is an excellent opportunity to inspire people to become a part of automotive and engineering industries in the future. I also recognize how such events can boost local, often rural, economies through increased tourism and hospitality, and offer community opportunities such as volunteering.”
The final route for the 2018 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, which takes place from the 4 October, will be announced in April when tickets go on sale.

Photo: Competitors in the Wales Rally GB in Newtown (©Owain Betts)


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