Wales Rally GB will return to its former base in Deeside, Flintshire in autumn 2020 (October 29 – November 1). The familiar location, on land adjacent to the Toyota Engine Plant in the busy Deeside Enterprise Zone, was home to the international motor sport spectacle for six years between 2013 and 2018.
With support from Conwy County Borough Council, last year’s rally was relocated to the heart of Llandudno. With many of the teams based on the town’s seafront promenade and the resort’s Venue Cymru hosting the event’s headquarters and Big Bang educational exhibition.
With this year’s Wales Rally GB reverting to a more traditional date at the end – rather than the start – of October, however, Deeside has been assessed as the preferred venue. It offers easier access to the forests of mid Wales – an important consideration with the shorter hours of daylight – while Llandudno’s coastline will also be experiencing extreme high tides during rally week.
“Having been made to feel so brilliantly welcome in Llandudno last year, this was a very hard decision to make,” admitted Hugh Chambers, chief executive of Motorsport UK, organiser and promoter of Wales Rally GB. “However, this is a major World Championship event with a massive global TV audience and, having taken advice from all the experts, the responsible decision has led us back to Deeside for 2020. This is a well-proven option providing the rally with a more suitable geographical location given the time of year.”
Cllr Louise Emery, Conwy County Borough Council’s cabinet member responsible for events, said of the move: “Over the last few years we have been working very closely with Wales Rally GB to increase the amount of activities that happen in Conwy County as we recognise the huge economic value. Bringing the Service Park to Llandudno in 2019 was something we were keen to see happen – it was challenging operationally but still a notable success in many areas. We fully appreciate the rationale behind the organiser’s decision to revert back to the Deeside model and very much look forward to welcoming back the WRC to the forests of Conwy County and Snowdonia come the end of October.”
Constructed as the event’s pits and paddock complex, the Service Park is where the cars are prepared for action, which will once again be set mainly on the gravel forest tracks in the mountains of north and mid Wales. The large site not only provides the perfect panorama for the WRC to display its technology and welcome visitors but also offers plenty of space for further entertainment, catering, merchandise sales plus an interactive exhibition for local students studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects.