There’s not much glamour in the World Rally Championship. In fact, there’s probably none at all. I'd go so far as to say that some club meetings at circuits have more glamour, better facilities and far more pampered drivers spending big bucks to try and get to the top.

That's not to say it's a cheap sport to be part of: there’s lots of money involved in the WRC’s two works teams Citroen and Ford. A clutch, for example, sets them back £24,000 and will generally only be used for one day’s action.

Loeb wins sixth world title

Rally GB hi-res pictures

And that's the charm of the WRC circus - it's focused on competition, not trying to impress. The main service park for Rally GB was in a car park in a tucked away corner of Cardiff. With the rally cars driving on public roads to and from the various stages, it just added to the feeling that this is a sport that operates on an entirely different level to high-profile racing series, and connects with people for that very reason.

When the cars are out on stages the 'facilities' are even more charming. A deserted car park with a sheet of wet and muddy tarpaulin laid out to work on might not sound like much, but it's what they've got - rally folk are hardy types. Even the works teams don't have glamorous motor homes. On the road, the Ford team uses a hired coach as an HQ, and a pick-up truck for serving tea, coffee and bacon sandwiches.