This year’s Wales Rally GB, taking place October 3-6, will set off from Liverpool’s historic waterfront.

It will be the first time Britain’s round of the FIA World Rally Championship has started outside Wales since 1999 and will also be the first time Liverpool has hosted the event’s “grand depart” ceremonial start.

All the cars and crews (around 75 in total) contesting the 2019 Wales Rally GB will assemble outside the Royal Liver Building on the afternoon of October 3 before being flagged away from the official podium ramp at one minute intervals from 4pm. Public admission will be free and a big screen and interviews with all the top competitors will add to the “high octane atmosphere” on the pier head.

Located adjacent to the Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building, the Royal Liver Building is one of the city’s famous “Three Graces” which line the refurbished Waterfront and all three are part of Liverpool’s UNESCO-designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, councillor Peter Brennan, commented: “Liverpool is the perfect city from which to start the 2019 rally for three simple reasons: this is the UK’s number one sporting city; we have a proud and rich motoring heritage here in the city and no other city in the UK puts on such a good show. We are proud and excited that such a prestigious event is bursting out of the forests of Wales to come to our city centre for the very first time.”

Eluned Morgan, Welsh Government minister for international relations, added: “This leg of the World Championship will see the very best rally drivers navigating our remarkable Welsh landscapes. Audiences from right around the globe and thousands of visitors will witness first-hand the action and adventure sports Wales is famous for.

“After the start in Liverpool, the rally travels right across mid and north Wales finishing in Llandudno, the new home for the event’s Service Park. Here, locals and visitors can enjoy our new, spectator-friendly hub. Wales is excited and ready to welcome everyone to what’s certain to be another world class event.”

In a further announcement, it has been confirmed that all 22 competitive special stages will be broadcast live – another first for the rally in its 75th running.