So here we are finally back to the North Wales forests for what seems like an age. The sights, sounds and even smells of rally cars are back to the local area with the postponed Cambrian Rally. Starting from Llandudno town centre on the 30th of October the event is the 66th running of the event and the penultimate round of the BRC season.
With the last Cambrian being all the way back in February 2020 and being one of the last forest events that was run due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Since then hundreds of cars have been sitting in garages just gathering dust instead of sliding round in dense forest fighting over tenths of seconds.
Organised by the North Wales Car Club and using forests stages with famous names such as Gwydir, Alwen and Penmachno the rally looks lined up to be a classic especially with the new ‘Twin Lakes’ stage where the crews will have to tackle this new all tarmac 3.10-mile stage using gravel tyres as the rally’s curtain closer. This means that the crews will not be able to just take it easy on the last stage to secure that all important win.
Talking of the all-important win the Cambrian Rally will once again be the host to the penultimate round of the 2021 British Rally Championship. 5 rounds have already given way to what has been an exciting season which has close battles all season long. Osian Price leads heading into the Cambrian with 96 points from local boy Matt Edwards who is 16 points behind. With a win earning the driver a cool 25 points and with Edwards not using his joker round yet the championship is still all to play for.
(Osian Price – Neil Howard Stages 2021)
The rally hype all kicks off on the Friday before the event starts with the pre-event scrutineering. This essential part of pre-rally checks is a great way to get up and close to the cars and drivers of this year’s Cambrian as after this they will be flying past trees on a muddy forest track (So get your autograph book ready!) stating at 2.00pm in the Multi story car park in the Victoria Centre, Llandudno.
(Scrutineering Taking place 2012)
Then it all kicks off on the Saturday with the first stage being a blast into the 5.93-mile Gwydir stage above the sleepy town of Llanrwst. From there they head to the tricky Penmachno stage where during the 2019 Wales Rally GB Jari-Matti Latvala found himself between two trees after rolling.
Lastly, they head into the beautiful Alwen stage. Located next to Llyn Alwen this stage can be a photographer dream with the right light and car.
They then head back to the service park to make essential repairs and tyre changes. Another loop of the three stages brings the afternoon together.
Then the last and most exciting stage is Twin Lakes a brand-new stage for the Cambrian that has only been used for Road Rallies in the past. This all Tarmac stages is done with gravel tyres from the previous loop which mean less grip and if it is raining this will make this stage quite exciting in places.
(All new tarmac stage)
Spectator information can be found at the Cambrian Rally’s website at: www.cambrianrally.co.uk
We hope to see you out there on the stages and please stay safe and obey the marshals instructions!
Article and photographs courtesy of Robert Whelan.