This summer’s Nicky Grist Stages (Saturday 14 July) will be the only event in 2018 to run on the classic Welsh gravel roads in Halfway and Route 60 – while the Crychan stage is in prime condition and a brand new smooth, fast and flowing stage, which has never been used for rallying before, replaces the rested Monument test.
This year’s Quinton MC-organised event returns to its traditional one-day all-gravel format. The stages will be in excellent condition, as the Army has re-graded parts of the route after recent logging and other sections of the route will not have been used since Rally4Wales re-graded the roads following last year’s rallying.
The much loved and challenging Crychan, Halfway and Route 60 stages will be joined by a brand new five and a half mile stage to the north of the Epynt military range. In total, there will be 45 stage miles.
The event will be based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, and with 180 cars allowed to start the Nicky Grist Stages will once again been a major boost for the economy of Builth Wells and the nearby Powys and Carmarthenshire towns and villages.
This year will celebrate the 38th running of Quinton Motor Club’s forest stage rally and the eighth year of title sponsorship from Nicky Grist Motorsports. It’s also the 31st consecutive year of it hosting a round of the BTRDA Rally Series and therefore the event will play host to the 2018 Jordan Road Surfacing BTRDA Rally Series, incorporating the BTRDA Gold Star, BTRDA Silver Star, BTRDA Production Cup, BTRDA 1400, BTRDA Rally First, BTRDA Historic Cup, BTRDA Rallye R2 Cup and the Fiesta ST Trophy. The 2018 Nicky Grist Stages is also proud to host a round of the Pirelli MSA Welsh Forest Rally Championship, FMP Rally Challenge and the all-new Swift Shining Stars Rally Series.
After a second stint of 10 years, making 24 years in total, Susan Butcher has stepped down from her role as Secretary of the Meeting. Helena Mayall, who for the past two years has been the Entries Secretary, is the new Secretary of the Meeting.
Neil Cross, Nicky Grist Stages Clerk of the Course, said: “After two successful years running as a mixed-surface two-day event, we are reverting back to our traditional one-day gravel rally in 2018. We are planning a great event, and using the knowledge gained over the last few years to enhance the reputation of the Nicky Grist Stages. All the stages are in prime condition and are smooth, challenging, fast and flowing. We are the only rally to run in Halfway and Route 60 this year, and we have introduced a brand new five and a half mile stage to the north of the ranges that has never been used for rallying before. That stage replaces the Monument stage, which we are resting for 2018. The route has now been finalised, and we are extremely happy with it – it will be a truly great challenge for competitors come July 14. And on a personal note, Susan’s contribution to the event is unquantifiable and I’d like to thank her for all her efforts over the years.”
Nicky Grist said: “A new year, but not exactly a new rally, but we do have a brand new stage that no-one will have used before! Add this to the other three near perfect condition stages in Crychan, Halfway and Route 60, which are some of the best stages in Welsh rallying, and the crews will have a great time. I am delighted to be involved with the event again this year, although I am sad to see Susan leave us. After all the years she has been our Secretary of the Meeting we cannot complain, she has been a tremendous asset to the rally and I would like to thank her for all her hard work and effort over the years. I look forward to seeing you all on the Nicky Grist Stages in July.”