Forget the British Grand Prix. If you want to see some proper motorsport competition, you need to don your waterproofs and held into the cold and wet Welsh forests this weekend.
Wales Rally GB starts in Llandudno on Thursday evening, and the revamped event is shaping up to be a thriller. While the World Rally Championship is still some way off the glory days of the late 1990s, it’s produced some cracking competition this year – and without having to resort to random tyres, DRS or other recent F1 gimmicks. Here are five reasons why you should be excited about the event:
1: A big fight at the front. Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier has dominated the WRC in 2013, winning eight of the 12 rallies held so far. But he’s never finished higher than 11th in Britain. In 2011, the last time he tackled Rally GB in a top-level World Rally Car, he crashed out less than two miles into the opening stage.
Ogier’s biggest rival is likely to be his team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala. The Finnish driver is arguably the fastest driver in the WRC, but is prone to crashing. Still, he loves the British stages, and is chasing his third Rally GB win in a row.
Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen is a former GB winner, and is desperate for a win after struggling so far in 2013. Another driver who hasn’t won yet but has the pace to is rising star Thierry Neuville. The Belgian will lead the challenge of the British M-Sport Ford team.