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RE: Wales Rally GB: PH Guide

RE: Wales Rally GB: PH Guide

Saturday 7th November 2015

Wales Rally GB: PH Guide

If you're joining us in Wales for the WRC next weekend here's everything you need to know!



It's November; the clocks have turned back, the temperatures are dropping and they're playing Christmas songs on the radio... In better news, November also means it's time for Wales Rally GB! Thousands will descend on the Welsh forests in their thermals and hats for the final round of the World Rally Championship next weekend. If you've never been to a rally before, the experience is like no other.

You can hear the cars coming from miles away - the sound of a 300hp WRC car, the exhaust crackling through the trees followed by the shriek of a marshal's whistle and air horns as it get closer. The smell of the pine trees, bacon cooking on camping stoves, burning clutches, melting rubber and unburnt petrol - it really is something you'll never forget.

As we'll be in Llandudno next week for our inaugural Wales Rally GB Sunday Service, we've put together a beginner's guide to the rally to complement the Wales Rally GB guide. Essentially if you haven't been before, here's the guide you need for tips and advice to make the most of a great weekend!


Introduction
Preparation
Saturday
Sunday





Author
Discussion

RyanTank

Original Poster:

2,668 posts

79 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
Arriving an hour before a stage is leaving it a bit late in all honesty. With many spectators arriving the night before the later you leave it the further away from the stage you'll be, with quite possibly an hours walk to the stage from your car.

I'd also make a torch an essential item realistically. if arriving for the first stages at 9am Friday, 7:30am Saturday and 8:30am Sunday it is going to be still quite dark. and when leaving the stages for the afternoon runs, it'll be dark by 5pmish. the light on your phone isn't adequate enough to spot all the dangers a forest floor will present.

A power bar will be a good idea to charge cameras/phones if your staying put during stages.

A small camping chair or stool will come in handy for the wait.

I really would recommend hanging about for the National crews. some of them are in it purely for the spectacle so will be "balls out" at every opportunity.

Plan your clothing and waterproofs, and then double it. there's nothing worse than sitting around all day in wet cold clothes.


And lastly. As a marshal for this event I cant stress enough the importance of listening to the marshals instructions. With the whole of British rallying under scrutiny at the moment there is a real risk to its continued future if people still conduct themselves as they did on stages earlier this year.
I'd also like to apologise in advance for any of you who encounter the jobs worth marshal, sadly not all of us are able to use some leniency. If they are instructed by their sector official that no one can move from the designated zones then they really will try and keep you there, despite you being in a safe area.
The problem of "once a year marshals" is still an issue to regulars, however with marshal numbers in decline we need them as a necessary evil to keep the event safely staffed.
Please also don't hate us because we allow the media to stand where we say you are not allowed too. they sign on to the event like marshals so do get more freedom to roam. But if the safety cars are all happy with where they are, even if it is in a prohibited location, then we cant do anything to move them. however they should still be conducting themselves safely while on stage, as they are being scrutinised too as some media personnel are contributing to the issues around British rallying.

If you do encounter media or marshals that are taking the piss with things then report it to a radio car, take a note of the media persons number, or a marshals name and report it to the radio car. They can be removed from the stage if required. (media personnel will all have white tabard with a florescent section with a number on, this is their media accreditation number)

Flying38Italian

3 posts

77 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
Nice article and very useful advice in the previous post.
However how about the Friday stages?

moribund

2,959 posts

139 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
Yes 1 hour before stage running is too late, even for a 7:30am stage. Aim to arrive a minimum of 2 hours before to allow time to park and walk to your preferred viewing point.

Rally GB has been very busy the last few years which leads to a great atmosphere but also means that the "car parks" (actually the verges of narrow muddy forestry tracks) become chaotic in the last hour before a stage runs.

RyanTank

Original Poster:

2,668 posts

79 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
be prepared for long tailbacks when leaving stages too. as many people will only hang around for the top 10 then move on to another stage. this causes bottlenecks for people leaving the stage against people arriving.
factor this into moving about for the day.
And as above poster, don't expect actual car parks (with the exception of parts of sweet lamb), its mainly single track forestry roads with cars on either side. which makes moving about difficult.

Also be aware of the local plod out with speed vans and radar guns when moving about the stages wink

moribund

2,959 posts

139 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
yes

But don't let any of that put you off, seeing any of the top 10 contenders attack a stage literally feet in front of you has to be one of the all-time great Motorsport experiences.

Last year there was a synchronised gasp from about 1,000 people when Latvala exploded out of the woods sideways onto the bit we could see. The speed was properly shocking, and I've been going for years!
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RyanTank

Original Poster:

2,668 posts

79 months

Thursday 5th November 2015
quotequote all
moribund said:
yes

But don't let any of that put you off, seeing any of the top 10 contenders attack a stage literally feet in front of you has to be one of the all-time great Motorsport experiences.

Last year there was a synchronised gasp from about 1,000 people when Latvala exploded out of the woods sideways onto the bit we could see. The speed was properly shocking, and I've been going for years!
Absolutley!

Didn't mean it as a negative, more a forewarning. the sooner the planning is done the easier it is for moving about.

Ben Lowden

848 posts

102 months

PH Marketing Bloke

Friday 6th November 2015
quotequote all
Thanks for all the great informative feedback so far, I'll definitely be putting it into use next year.

Flying38Italian said:
Nice article and very useful advice in the previous post.
However how about the Friday stages?
Thank you! As it's meant to be a beginners guide, I felt that most people would only go on the weekend or just for one day, so skipped the Friday. I will however look at working it into next years guide if you feel it would be helpful.

RyanTank said:
I'd also like to apologise in advance for any of you who encounter the jobs worth marshal, sadly not all of us are able to use some leniency. If they are instructed by their sector official that no one can move from the designated zones then they really will try and keep you there, despite you being in a safe area.
Don't worry, there's definitely been a few over the years but they are the minority and I've come across plenty of fantastic cheery marshals too. One kind chap gave me a spare high vis marshal tabard at my first WRC in 2004 as a souvenir, and it comes back with me every year in my bag as a lucky charm!

Pwig

11,834 posts

195 months

Friday 6th November 2015
quotequote all
Just to re-iterate, 1 hour before is way too late. 2 hours ideally. I can easily be a good hours walk from the car to the start of the stage.

Alex Langheck

792 posts

54 months

Friday 6th November 2015
quotequote all
To get the full Rally of GB experience, you really need to turn up the night before - and sleep in the car. Then up early and cook breakfast in the open air.....

Something great about waking up in a forest and the smell of fried breakfasts being cooked.

AdamST

61 posts

88 months

Friday 6th November 2015
quotequote all
I've got a couple of questions for anyone in the know.

Firstly if the carpark opens at 6am will I be fine if I get there around 8-8:30?

Secondly if I arrive at the carpark around then will that give me sufficient time to get in a decent spot for the first car at 11:53?

Thirdly is Dyfnant a decent stage for viewing? Could anyone recommend a decent spot?

Thanks in advance smile

RyanTank

Original Poster:

2,668 posts

79 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
Dyfnant will be a good stage for viewing. The night running is spectacular. Depending where you are you can see the cars lights tracking through the forest for miles as they get brighter and the cars louder the faster they approach.

Getting there for 8 will be ok for the stage running at late morning will be ok. Just expect a walk from the car and not to be straight out of the car to the stage. Expect densely populated areas of viewing too.
As a general rule if there's a bunch of media on a particular part then it should be a decent view. These guys are out to make money from their pics so know the best places to hunt out.

I can recommend the hairpin from car park j on Dyfnant. It's where I marshalled last year along with hundreds of spectators and just up from Irish corner. If you want a wild experience spectate with these guys. They really are bonkers!
The stage is run in reverse this year from last years route.
Google rally maps and check out their stage layout in googlemaps. Make a choice from there for where you think you'll get to from whichever car park you arrive at.

Here's a video I made of the hairpin last year, this year you'll see the car approach the other way and see them burst over a slight crest into the hairpin, before disappearing down a straight away from you to a 90right.
http://youtu.be/4Lsn0QNE69s

AdamST

61 posts

88 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
Thanks for the quick reply

The plan is to find a good spot and just stay there for the second pass, seems pointless moving to another stage when it's so busy.

I will check out the rally maps, oh and liking the tip r.e media never really though of that.

Probably a silly question but Is it worth pre booking my tickets or just buy on the gate? Will it get me into the forest quicker ect?

orangeknight

276 posts

61 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
RyanTank said:
Arriving an hour before a stage is leaving it a bit late in all honesty. With many spectators arriving the night before the later you leave it the further away from the stage you'll be, with quite possibly an hours walk to the stage from your car.

I'd also make a torch an essential item realistically. if arriving for the first stages at 9am Friday, 7:30am Saturday and 8:30am Sunday it is going to be still quite dark. and when leaving the stages for the afternoon runs, it'll be dark by 5pmish. the light on your phone isn't adequate enough to spot all the dangers a forest floor will present.

A power bar will be a good idea to charge cameras/phones if your staying put during stages.

A small camping chair or stool will come in handy for the wait.

I really would recommend hanging about for the National crews. some of them are in it purely for the spectacle so will be "balls out" at every opportunity.

Plan your clothing and waterproofs, and then double it. there's nothing worse than sitting around all day in wet cold clothes.


And lastly. As a marshal for this event I cant stress enough the importance of listening to the marshals instructions. With the whole of British rallying under scrutiny at the moment there is a real risk to its continued future if people still conduct themselves as they did on stages earlier this year.
I'd also like to apologise in advance for any of you who encounter the jobs worth marshal, sadly not all of us are able to use some leniency. If they are instructed by their sector official that no one can move from the designated zones then they really will try and keep you there, despite you being in a safe area.
The problem of "once a year marshals" is still an issue to regulars, however with marshal numbers in decline we need them as a necessary evil to keep the event safely staffed.
Please also don't hate us because we allow the media to stand where we say you are not allowed too. they sign on to the event like marshals so do get more freedom to roam. But if the safety cars are all happy with where they are, even if it is in a prohibited location, then we cant do anything to move them. however they should still be conducting themselves safely while on stage, as they are being scrutinised too as some media personnel are contributing to the issues around British rallying.

If you do encounter media or marshals that are taking the piss with things then report it to a radio car, take a note of the media persons number, or a marshals name and report it to the radio car. They can be removed from the stage if required. (media personnel will all have white tabard with a florescent section with a number on, this is their media accreditation number)
A great response and some good info there, thank you. We are going to get to Sweetlamb on Thursday night in the camper and have a beer or 2 etc….

I appreciate that there are "safe" spectator areas set up but obviously the whole of Hafren can't possibly have these set up. As you see on TV quite often there spectators literally all over the stage, whether it be 1's, 2's or whatever with, unfortunately, very little regard for their own safety!!! Are you free to roam into the Forest and deeper into the stage to pick your own viewing points??

datum77

350 posts

46 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
Very, very informative from all concerned.
I, sadly, will not be accompanying any of you to the forests of Wales, as I did my RAC Rally following back in the good old days of the 70s and 80s. Chasing around Scotland, Wales and England for 4 days or so were fantastic times. We got soaked, cold and worn out - but wouldn't have missed any of it for anything. I also got myself a job building rally cars for the likes of Tim Brise, John Weatherley and John Taylor, (of Haynes of Maidstone). Tim, at one point, was leading the RAC Rally in 1980 in a car that I built, but alternator problems eventually put us out.
Although international rallying has had to be "toned down" somewhat since I was involved - it is still a fantastic spectator sport. YOU try getting close to the action or the prima-donna drivers in F1.........
These days all of the action can now be recorded on mobile phones and other digital media. My only recollections of those phenomenal days are in my head.
Go out and enjoy yourselves - it's the most fun you can have with your clothes on........

RyanTank

Original Poster:

2,668 posts

79 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
AdamST said:
Thanks for the quick reply

The plan is to find a good spot and just stay there for the second pass, seems pointless moving to another stage when it's so busy.

I will check out the rally maps, oh and liking the tip r.e media never really though of that.

Probably a silly question but Is it worth pre booking my tickets or just buy on the gate? Will it get me into the forest quicker ect?
Im not exactly sure how the tickets on the gate work this year, as they don't state if its £30 a car or per person.
In previous years it was £20pp on the gate, so maybe safe to assume that. If buying online, sooner rather than later is advisable as they still need to be posted out to you.

If I was spectating I'd probably be sticking to the one stage a day. The lower level boys and the nationals are just as, if not more committed to putting on a show. And if you've never heard a historic Escort BDA screaming through the trees then it's definitely worth a look.


orangeknight said:
A great response and some good info there, thank you. We are going to get to Sweetlamb on Thursday night in the camper and have a beer or 2 etc….

I appreciate that there are "safe" spectator areas set up but obviously the whole of Hafren can't possibly have these set up. As you see on TV quite often there spectators literally all over the stage, whether it be 1's, 2's or whatever with, unfortunately, very little regard for their own safety!!! Are you free to roam into the Forest and deeper into the stage to pick your own viewing points??
It depends who you ask regarding freedom to roam. FIA, WRGB Officials will advise you to stick to the designated spectator pens "that have been chosen for your viewing pleasure and spectacle".
But the truth is as long as your smart about where to stand, then you should be ok. If you get somewhere and a marshal says you shouldn't be there, then just move on a bit out of their sight.

A sound tip that I usually pass on, if possible try and find a safe place in the tree line and above the road. And don't stand on the outside of the corners.

moribund

2,959 posts

139 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
I'll just add that you can self-print Forest day tickets from email this year, so no need to worry about last post.

There may be more spectator controls this year as there have unfortunately been a few high profile spectator deaths and injuries at other events, but I would expect that you will still be able to explore the stage and leave the pens, especially if you are there well before the stage is live. Just keep your wits about you. Personally I'd never sit down next to a live stage, just in case I needed to move quickly. All part of the fun!

Unfortunately I've managed to badly pull a muscle in my leg, so my trip is in doubt now frown


Alex Langheck

792 posts

54 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
I must admit I have been expecting the spectator safety to be quite strict. After everything this year, and the MSA chairman putting out a letter I think you'd be mad to expect anything else. Whether it turns out like this, who knows? I haven't been to as many events this year because of the spectator restrictions. Nothing worse than travelling 100+ miles to be stuck in the same place all day.

However, enjoy the top drivers doing their stuff! The sport & event aren't what they were, but it's still pretty special to get close to the action.

DelicaL400

182 posts

36 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
orangeknight said:
As you see on TV quite often there spectators literally all over the stage, whether it be 1's, 2's or whatever with, unfortunately, very little regard for their own safety!!!
So anyone not wanting to be penned in with the other sheep has very little regard for their own safety?! I should've been killed many times if that's the case. I know it's probably beyond the comprehension of most these days but some of us use these things called OS maps to find SAFE places to view away from the crowds at events.

orangeknight

276 posts

61 months

Saturday 7th November 2015
quotequote all
DelicaL400 said:
So anyone not wanting to be penned in with the other sheep has very little regard for their own safety?! I should've been killed many times if that's the case. I know it's probably beyond the comprehension of most these days but some of us use these things called OS maps to find SAFE places to view away from the crowds at events.
I was referring to those that stand in the road pointing their cameras until the last possible second to move out of the way or standing in just plain dangerous spots. I, like you, have my OS maps ready and will be off into the forest away from the crowds.

Edited by orangeknight on Saturday 7th November 20:55

pablo36

35 posts

96 months

Sunday 8th November 2015
quotequote all
Just ordered a forest pass for Friday. This is the first time I have attempted to go to the rally since 1999 when I spent more time sat in a traffic jams than actually seeing the rallying. Hopefully this time will be better. Am only planning to go to one place out of either Hafren or Sweet Lamb. Which is likely to be the least hassle in terms of getting into and out of if I arrive about 8am or is that way too late?

Last time I went to Sweet Lamb but it took three hours to get in and three hours to get out!

Any help to make this time better much appreciated.