The Nicky Grist Stages returns to Builth Wells on Saturday 8 July, when crews from six major UK rally championships gather for the Quinton Motor Club-organised rally – which will be played out over 44 stage miles in the nearby classic mid-Wales forestry stages of Llyn Login, Monument, Halfway and Crychan.
This year’s event celebrates the 14th consecutive year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports.
Thanks to the magnificent support of Powys County Council, Builth Wells Town Council, Builth Wells RFC and the businesses and residents of Builth Wells, the 2023 Nicky Grist Stages will once again be based in the very heart of the picturesque market town.
The start of the event will be held in Strand Street, outside the wonderful Strand Hall which will play host to rally headquarters. The mid-day service halt will be located on the nearby Builth Wells RFC pitch and the finish ceremonies will be in Groe Park, on the banks of the River Wye. With Builth Wells’ 18th Century bridge and surrounding rolling hills providing a stunning backdrop, it is one of the most scenic podium finish settings in British rallying.
All these locations are a stone’s throw away from the bustling Builth Wells high street, where rally visitors will be able to buy food from the local independent shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as hardware, clothes, mobile ‘phones and much more.
Scrutineering will take place the day before the event (Friday 7 July) at North Road Garage; the local Toyota dealership (owned by Eian Pritchard and his family) is located within sight of the service area on the other side of the River Wye.
The event – which last year won the Brian Davies Memorial Award for Best Event on Epynt, presented by the Welsh Association of Motor Clubs – will contain super smooth and challenging stages on Natural Resources Wales and Defence Infrastructure Organisation land.
There will be a 22 stage mile loop of four stages run in the morning, which will be repeated in the afternoon following a mid-day service halt in Builth Wells. The compact rally route will have just 80 road miles.
The smaller capacity 1400cc, Rally First and H1/2 Historic class cars will run first on the road in Batch 1, followed by the rest of the field in Batch 2 – starting with the top seeded four-wheel drive cars.
This year’s Nicky Grist Stages will be the 38th consecutive time that the event has secured a place on the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series calendar – winning the coveted Bill Turner Trophy for best event of the year six times (in 1995, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2016 and 2019).
The event is also a round of the popular Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship, HRCR Rally Master Challenge, IPS Paint Rally Challenge (which raises funds for the Wales Air Ambulance), the ANWCC Rally Championship and, for the first time, the Bowler Defender Challenge.
Marshals will be well catered for this year, for included in their exclusive Nicky Grist Stages goodie bag will be freshly baked Welsh Cakes, kindly donated by Brace’s Bakery – Wales’ favourite bakery.
“We are delighted to welcome back contenders from the MRF Tyres BTRDA Rally Series, Motorsport UK Pirelli Welsh Rally Championship, HRCR Rally Master Challenge, IPS Paint Rally Challenge and the ANWCC Rally Championship, and look forward to welcoming the Bowler Defender Challenge for the first time,” says Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course.
“We have produced a route that will challenge competitors old and new, and we are grateful to the landowners for their continued support and hospitality to make our event the success it is.”
“I am delighted to carry on my sponsorship of this event in partnership with the Quinton Motor Club organisers,” adds Nicky Grist.
“Neil Cross and his team are amongst the most experienced event organisers in the country, which always makes the Nicky Grist Stages a great event and why it is so well supported by competitors.
“Neil has come up with another remake on the same great stages that we use year in and year out. He is never stuck for new road combinations and direction of travel, and this year is no exception. The stages are in great condition and with some nice weather we will again have a fast and furious battle out on the stages in all the various championships that come to the Nicky Grist Stages. I look forward to seeing you all in July.”
Further information on the 2023 Nicky Grist Stages is available on the Sportity app (password: QMCNGS23) and nickygriststages.co.uk.
2023 Nicky Grist Stages – Important Dates and Times
Friday 19 May, 18:00 – Regulations published
Monday 22 May, 18:00 – Entries open for registered championship contenders and Quinton Motor Club members
Monday 29 May, 18:00 – Entries open for all competitors
Friday 30 June, 20:00 – Seeded entries close
Monday 3 July, 18:00 – Final Instructions and route details announced
Wednesday 5 July, 18:00 – Final entries close
Friday 7 July, 15:00-20:30 – Scrutineering at North Road Garage
Saturday 8 July, 08.31 – First car starts
Saturday 9 July, 15:30 – First car finishes