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

The new regulations follow a long campaign by the Motor Sports Association (MSA), and allows IMS to explore a range of new opportunities for this year’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB route.

Ben Taylor, managing director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, commented: “We have been working closely with the Welsh Government on achieving this exciting piece of legislation and 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. Following a further consultation, the Welsh Government has now published its own Statutory Instrument that will facilitate closed-road motor sport in Wales from February 2 2018.

Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for Economy and Transport, added: “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 recognise 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 will be announced in April when tickets go on sale. Last year’s event attracted more than 100,000 visitors, a record since the rally moved to north Wales in 2013.