Slate return unlikely for Rally GB National
Wales Rally GB’S Ben Taylor has admitted that it was an error for the National Rally to feature the Slate Mountain stage, which competitors labelled as “damaging” to cars.
The two runs around the former quarry featured a surface lined with large rocks that had been exposed by the World Rally and WRC2 cars which had run earlier on the stage.
Taylor, the rally’s managing director, said: “With the benefit of hindsight we could have taken that stage out of the national rally for the sake of the three kilometres [1.86 miles] of stage mileage it gave us.
“We’ve worked hard to try and resurface there but the rain really didn’t help. It left for the Nationals a route that was perhaps worse than we anticipated it would be.”
Although the WRC drivers appeared to enjoy the test, with Hayden Paddon calling it “a nice little stage”, the majority of the National competitors had complaints about it, but it was drivers of historic cars who were most vocal.
Historic winner Gary Smith said: “It’s horrible, I haven’t been able to put any power down, I’ve just been driving round to finish. They shouldn’t have let historic cars through there because it’s too damaging for these cars. It’s just silly.”
Robert Beales, who entered a Volkswagen Beetle, added: “Slate Mountain was a total disaster. On our second time through I just backed off because there were stones so big with sharp edges that they would’ve wrecked the car.”