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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So long as it is not cancelled I will be travelling to Wales (from the US) to spectate at The rally GB. So far I have read through the "official" forums posts from 11/2003 for advice. Essentially it is a lot of complaining about the ticket cost and Welsh traffic police. I can get over the ticket cost, as I'll be going to the rally instead of a GP.
What I'm looking for is advice on where to go etc. -links, direct experience all apreciated.

thanks in advance.
 

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>So long as it is not cancelled I will be travelling to Wales
>(from the US) to spectate at The rally GB. So far I have
>read through the "official" forums posts from 11/2003 for
>advice. Essentially it is a lot of complaining about the
>ticket cost and Welsh traffic police. I can get over the
>ticket cost, as I'll be going to the rally instead of a GP.
>What I'm looking for is advice on where to go etc. -links,
>direct experience all apreciated.

I was a first-time visitor to Rally GB in 2003. I was going to write a story for SpecialStage.com about my adventures and what I learned (both at Rally GB and the Condroz Rally in Belgium) but I never quite got around to it.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me at bradley at reed dot edu. Otherwise, I'll try to summarize some thoughts and post them here.

Ben
 

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I also went to the Wales Rally GB last year. I did extensive research beforehand, and was able to see 9 of the 17 stages, and visit service 3 times without too much fuss or bother. Shoot me an email at neiltbag at yahoo dot com and I can forward a bunch of schedules / anecdotes / thoughts etc.

Also, go to www.rallygb.co.uk for some really excellent spectator info.
 

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>Thanks very much, the link has answers to most of my
>questions.

It is a very helpful web page.

But there are things that you learn over there that aren't on the page...

I will try to post something soon. Sorry, I have been very busy this week.

Ben
 

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I traveled out to GB last year with some friends (we were flying out from the US also).

Biggest piece of advice - fly out a few days early if at all possible. We planned to get there on Wednsday morning and due to plane delays didn't end up getting in until 4AM on Thursday. Also keep all tickets, passes etc on your person for the flight. I recommend keeping spare clothes and a heavy jacket with you too. We got lucky, they found our luggage finally on Saturday morning (the only day it was really cold) and we had the tickets with us.

If you've never been to the UK the roundabouts and traffic signs will confuse you a bit. Being there early means you can get used to driving "backwards" instead of fumbling it out and nearly crashing into Harri Rovanperra's car on the way to shakedown. ;)

Also, we noticed a trend towards missing rally signs. Appoint a navigator to watch maps and if you pass more than 2 or 3 roundabouts without any rally signage turn around and make sure you haven't missed anything.

Try to scope out Cardiff before trying to locate SS parking late at night. In the dark its easy to miss signs. This caused us to miss the first SS on thursday, a situation we made a point of working on so we could catch the second one on friday.

There is free stuff in service. :D
but it will be gone quickly.

The lines in front of the Subaru camp (and some of the other teams I assume - we were with the blue masses) extend back about 6+ people when the cars pull in. If you want to get a good view stake out a spot early or be there in the mornings to see them pull in first thing. Not as many people will be there.

Make nice with the Marshalls. They know stuff you don't and can give good tips on where to be. (they may even help you get autographs :D )
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the pointers. We do plan on arriving a few days early to check things out. I'll be travelling with someone who has experience driving in the UK so hopefully I wont cause any accidents!. I plan on bringing the GPS -have any experience with Garmin maps for the UK? Hopefully the map is accurate. I would imagine I will also need local maps. I've never been a spectator at a rally before so it will be a bit different being on the other side of the tape.

Curious as to where you folks stayed -a local B&B?

Also would like to know about the "pens" From what I've read you can still walk up the stages?

Oh, and can you do something about the exchange rate? :'(
 

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In some spots the spectator pens are completely strict - one Resolfen 1 we couldn't get any further because the forest was too dense, and our viewing spot was not very good. We also got blocked in at the car park and made it to the next stage with 20 seconds to spare. Admittedly we had purchased a ticket to that next stage outside of the regular package, but in general that was our least favourite stage. This was car park J or K, can't remember, it's accessed through the village of Tawnmawr.

My favourite spot was Car Park G on Rheola. It's a very open area on the top of a mountain. There's no trees, and a very large area to spectate. There's also not very many people there.

Brechfa is good, but a bit busy. We were at Car Park A, and there was good access to a fast downhill left and a tight hairpin right.

Halfway is good because there's 2 runs through, but was very cold. We were at the car park that leads to the quarry, not the one that goes to the tarmac section with Dixie's Leap. The quarry is good, but there's another couple of spots accessible from that car park where there were only about 10 people. The cars came downhill through a fast right, over a bridge towards you, then turn left in front of you. Very cool.

Resolfen 2 was better but was still a bit of a pen. This was J or K, approaching the stage from the south to an open hairpin. Parking was easy but the place was packed. Perhaps the spectator areas accessed through Resolfen village are better?

Rhondda was a real cluster**** to get into. We squeeked through as police officers were turning away people with tickets. Once in there, the spectating was pretty good. It was VERY cold indeed. This car park was the one that approaches the stage from the east.

We stayed with a fmaily member in Swansea.

I can send you copies of the maps from the program if you'd like. They were crucial in our planning and we were lucky to have them sent to us in the US before we left.

Neil.
Team SoCalRally Audi Quattro
 

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>I'll be travelling with someone
>who has experience driving in the UK so hopefully I wont
>cause any accidents!.

I half think it was the shock upon seeing a WRC car just pull out into traffic in front of us for the first time. That was one of the highlights of the trip for me actually - driving along and suddenly having Petter Solberg or Colin McRae or Sebastian Loeb pull alongside you.

We were especially entertained watching Colin try to pick a lane of traffic to be in early Saturday(perhaps he's not a morning person?).

>I plan on bringing the GPS -have any
>experience with Garmin maps for the UK? Hopefully the map is
>accurate. I would imagine I will also need local maps.

Maps with lots of detail are good. I didn't man the navigator's seat, but the words "that roundabout was NOT on my map" got to be pretty familiar by the end of the trip. After awhile I just started looking for mud-coated scoobies to follow. That seemed to work 9 times out of 10

>I've never been a spectator at a rally before so it will be
>a bit different being on the other side of the tape.

This was my first WRC event to spec also. Its a whole other experience in person.

>Curious as to where you folks stayed -a local B&B?

We stayed at a B&B in Swansea. The guy that ran the place was very nice, and increadibly polite when we got in on Thurdsay. There was also a couple staying there for the rally in the room next to us.
I can PM you their contact info if you want.

>Also would like to know about the "pens" From what I've read
>you can still walk up the stages?

Depends on which stage...

>Oh, and can you do something about the exchange rate? :'(

heh - I wish
If I could I might be able to afford to go again this year
 

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Oh, and if you plan on getting maps, the ONLY option is the Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 maps. You can buy them in the US from Omnimap at www.omnimap.com

You'll need #146 for Brechfa and Trawscoed, #160 for Halfway and Crychan, #170 for Margam, Resolfen, Rhondda and Rheola and #159 for the service and for getting around in Swansea. You can also get #171 if want Cardiff too.

The best WRC event to spectate at IMHO is Sweden (cheap airfare in Feb), although I hear Finland is excellent too if you can pay peak season airfare prices.

Neil.
Team SoCalRally Audi Quattro
 
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