Sunday was a day of mixed emotions.
Again we started at my friend’s hotel and we made the journey to SS19 the 10.1km long Alwen 1 stage
As we were cruising along, behind us was the unmistakable sight of Polo LEDs. Andreas Mikkelsen was on his way to the first stage of the day so naturally we let him pass. Big wave from me and a thumbs up from him which was pretty cool.
All this time the rally is signposted everywhere so there was no worry of getting lost at all. That and the GPS, and my dodgy map reading skills.
We arrived at the start of the spectator entry to the stages. It was a little trek to the spectator point but we managed it well. We found a great spot on a corner where the cars came straight down and into a 90 left, and then down a long straight. Right in the middle of the forest which was perfect.
The place was packed. There really is nothing like the atmosphere at a WRC event. So many camera flashes and horns just to make it more perfect.
It was fun analysing the approach each driver took to the corner, and who was fastest etc. Plus the people standing next to us were speaking primarily in Welsh which was a very cool experience too.
From here we went in search of a coffee shop/cafe to refresh after the stage… If that is even possible.
We found one in a very small town and went in. The place was absolutely jammed full of fans. The people running the place were overwhelmed by it all but also very excited and happy so many people were there.
They make probably one of the best toasted sandwiches I have ever had in my life!
Having the WRC circus in town is so good for small businesses like this, and a definite boost to the economy.
After this we headed off to the power stage SS23 Brenig. We were fortunate enough to have Katie with us over the weekend (Hayden’s partner if you were unsure) so we were able to get a bit further down the closed Road towards the end of the stage. After parking we still had a bit of a hike to get to the stage end but it was well worth it. The views in the Welsh countryside are some of the best ever.
We made it to the end and set up camp. I stayed at the finish control while the others found a great spot over the hill a bit. Unfortunately as soon as the cars started coming through it decided to rain…
I took shelter next to a portable room, even though the rain ended up coming in all directions. It was an idea spot though as Jari-Matti and Hayden ended up parking next to me for a while, which was very cool. Lots and lots of photographers swarming, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some shots floating around with me in them !
We then headed back to Deeside, and I headed back to the apartment. Post rally depression sunk in very heavily when I got there. It was a sad night.
Going over this in my head now it really does make me want to push harder to pursue a career within the WRC. It’s all I want really!
I was so lucky to meet some of the people I did over the weekend, and I hope some further opportunities can stem from it in the future.
I can’t thank Hayden, Katie, my friends and the entire Hyundai team enough for the opportunities I had this weekend. Everybody is working so incredibly hard, and they deserve every single good thing they get.
Hayden and John drove superbly all weekend, and I desperately hope to see him within the team again next year. Personally I think Hayden and John really deserved the second one full seat for next year, they have worked so incredibly hard along with Katie to make it happen. And I hope we get some news soon with whatever happens next year for them.
It was more than I had imagined this weekend, and I hope so much it will happen again.
Thank you so much everybody who helped me get here this weekend, it was probably one of the best weekends I’ve ever had in my life. I wish it would have never ended
As well as some event photos I have included a couple of my livery design ideas, one is my entry into a design competition run by the Graham Coffey Rally Team recently. If you would like to see more of my work check out https://www.facebook.com/rallymadmedia/photos_stream some are original creations of my own, others are rendering I have done for use on the Richard Burns Rally game.
Thanks for following my adventure to Wales Rally Great Britain, hopefully you will see a lot more of my RallyMadMedia designs in the years ahead