A challenging round in North Wales
The 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (where many teams involved are equipped by BMC) lights up North Wales this weekend for the penultime round. Frenchman Sébastien Ogier - who is gunning for a record-breaking fifth victory in Wales and with it a fifth WRC Drivers' crown – is ready for a historic weekend for his British employer M-Sport, with his team-mate and home hero Elfyn Evans.
The total distance covered by the 2017 Wales Rally GB is 1.470,35 km, which includes 21 special stages of 306,98 km. The format is quite similar to last season’s but a few changes have been made. The first stage is 1.6km long, around the Tir Prince horse-racing track, and it will kick off action on Thursday evening. ‘Dyfnant’ has been moved from Friday to Saturday. Gwydyr (on Sunday) is back too and it will be the first of the second day’s night-time tests, after being dropped since 2013.
Of Jacques Morelli – manager of Michelin’s WRC programme
“The total competitive distance has been shortened from 330km in 2016 to a little more than 300km this year, so there will be a high price to pay for any error,” of bserves Jacques Morelli, the manager of Michelin’s WRC programme. “The drivers will consequently need to find the ideal trade-off between speed and caution and steer clear of the event’s traditional hazards, including the many stage-side log-piles. The conditions, as usual, promise to be mixed, damp and deceptive, so it won’t be an easy one for the tyres, especially as the Welsh forest tracks pack of lot of sharp stones. Slow punctures tend not to be too much of a handicap for the crews who can be expected to count essentially on the outstanding strength of the soft-compound Michelin Ltx Force S5. Barring exceptional circumstances, this is likely to be the choice from start to finish”.
BMC News, International Online Magazine