Mid Wales stage guide
You’ve heard plenty about the stages in Mid Wales, but who better to really provide the essential information than the co-drivers. MN caught up with two Welshmen, Craig Parry (co-driver to Elfyn Evans) and Tom Cave’s navigator James Morgan, to find out more about the tests.
Stage 1 and 5: Hafren/sweet Lamb
“Hafren is a bit more technical than Myherin, but generally still a fairly high-speed stage. We come out of Hafren and over the top where Sweet Lamb is waiting, then you descend down into the bowl. The atmosphere will be incredible through there with the spectators.”
“I think the conditions are going to be difficult. It looks like it could be quite loose and if we have rain in the next week, it could be very slippery in the stage. It will be really difficult to spot in the dark, that will be some test to start with.
“It’s flowing and corner to corner. There’s a lot of camber in the road in Hafren so you need to make sure you stay in the groove. I think Hafren could be where the rally is won or lost. If you come out of Hafren and you’ve lost 30 or 40 seconds to Elfyn, it’s going to be very difficult to make that up.”
Stage 2 and 6: Myherin/pikes Peak
“Myherin is a truly cracking stage, fantastic. It has a real flow to it and you can really find a rhythm. It’s going to be a massive challenge in the dark, especially as it’s at high speed. This part of Wales has a really unique surface and if it rains, that could really make it very slippery.
“Pikes Peak shares a lot the same qualities, fast and flowing. You have those iconic windmills and you can imagine the kind of roads they needed to build to get all the construction equipment up there, wide, flowing and compact on the surface.”
“The first part of Pikes Peak is quite basic. Compared to Hafren there isn’t a lot there to catch you out. When you get to Myherin though, it can be quite tricky depending on the road conditions after GB. I think from the start all the way up Pikes Peak there won’t be much in it there in terms of pace, everyone will be within four or five seconds of each other. It will split up a bit in Myherin I think.”
Stages 3 and 4 will run Pikes Peak and Myherin alone. The stages are similar, but they are shorter with the split and don’t join to other stages.