WALES Rally GB is ready for a high-speed blast this weekend as some of the world's fastest drivers battle for glory.
Thousands of motoring enthusiasts are expected to soak up the three-day action across our region for the famously gruelling event.
Since relocating to Deeside, the world-class sporting spectacle which runs through some of Wales’ most stunning scenery has gone from strength to strength.
Pictures from the Rally Village in Deeside on Wednesday, by Don Jackson-Wyatt
Last year it attracted 87,000 visitors, delivering almost £10m of economic benefit to the Welsh economy as well as extensive global TV and media coverage.
Organisers will be hoping for bigger numbers this year, as the penultimate round of the 2016 WRC will again be based at the Deeside Rally Village in Flintshire with the majority of the timed Special Stages set in the legendary forests of North and Mid Wales.
The event will also be crossing over the border as it includes a special RallyFest stage at Cholmondley Castle.
The 22 Special Stages offer a total of 336 kilometres (208 miles) and include many of the established classic tests plus some exciting new additions and revisions.
On Thursday, fans get their first chance to see the stars and cars in action during the official pre-event in Clocaenog Forest, as the teams make their final preparations.
The high-speed competition blasts off in spectacular style on Friday with four Special Stages in the forests of mid-Wales to the east of Aberystwyth, each tackled twice – once either side of a lunchtime regroup on the busy streets of Newtown.
While Myherin, Sweet Lamb and Hafren are familiar, the twist for 2016 will see all three run in the opposite direction.
Located further north towards Oswestry, the day’s fourth stage – Dyfnant – is another well-known Wales Rally GB highlight, run in the same direction as last year.
Saturday offers another long, action-packed day. Starting just north of Machynlleth, the Pantperthog stage has not featured on the Rally GB itinerary since 1997, followed by two other stages on the classic forest tracks of Gartheiniog and Dyfi.
Crews then face a single blast through the fast and tricky Aberhirnant stage en route to the RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. The WRC frontrunners will return to the busy Deeside Rally Village from around 5pm.
Sunday is a shorter day set entirely in north Wales, featuring Clocaenog, Brenig and Alwen stages.
The celebrations then switch to Mostyn Street in Llandudno for the ceremonial finish and prize-giving.
Details of how to watch the stages can be found at www.walesrallygb.com
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