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– Unprecedented numbers enter FIA World Championship event
– Capacity field features world champions, national champions, past victors, a grand prix winner plus local heroes
– British stars to the fore in all major categories
– Network Q WRGB National Rally massively oversubscribed

Next month’s Wales Rally GB (12-15 November) will feature a full capacity field after organiser, International Motor Sports, confirmed it had received a record number of entries from right around the globe.

Entries for the International rally closed last week with no fewer than 78 cars representing 22 nations lining up to face the 19 challenging special stages in the legendary Welsh forests. It’s the largest number of International entries received in recent years and underlines the event’s escalating esteem since its successful move to a new base in north Wales in 2013.

The impressive International field, including 50 Priority drivers, will be complemented by 85 crews contesting the Network Q WRGB National Rally, providing amateurs with the chance to tackle the same timed sections alongside their WRC counterparts. Such is the National Rally’s popularity that entries were sold out within hours of opening and many hopefuls are still waiting on a reserve list.

“This is great news on every level and a further endorsement of the event’s spiraling popularity,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Wales Rally GB. “Our ambition is to create a fantastic sporting spectacle and a fitting finale to the FIA World Rally Championship – to have this star-studded, full-capacity entry is a major component in achieving those two goals. It’s superb for the fans who will be treated to some truly memorable top class action… and, who knows, perhaps even the added excitement of a British winner!”

Deputy Minister for Culture Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, added: “I’m delighted that this year’s rally has reached a record number of entries, it bodes well for an exciting event next month. Wales Rally GB has developed a strong profile on the World Rally Championship calendar, demonstrating Wales’ ability to deliver a wide range of major events. It’s a world-class event that hits the headlines time and again for the very best reasons, and it looks like this year will be even bigger and better than ever.”

Leading the International entries is Volkswagen Motorsport’s newly-crowned 2015 World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier seeking a hat-trick of famous Wales Rally GB victories. The Frenchman’s VW Polo WRC team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala is the only other previous winner in the packed field.

Those looking to add their name to the coveted gold Peall Trophy include two top home hopes: Elfyn Evans, lines up for the Cumbrian-based M-Sport World Rally Team while Kris Meeke represents Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT. Evans recently scored his best-ever result with a breakthrough second place in Corsica; Meeke went one better earlier in the campaign when becoming the first British driver to win a WRC round since Colin McRae in 2002 with victory in Argentina.Wales Rally GB15 Record 2

Hyundai Motorsport’s impressive four-car attack also includes some local talent with Englishman Seb Marshall co-driving for young Dutch star Kevin Abbring.

There’s plenty of additional British interest, too. Seven time Rally America champion David Higgins makes a welcome return to these shores in one of the latest Subaru WRX Sti machines. The Powys-based Manxman will be up against double Scottish champion David Bogie, promising Welshman Tom Cave – both in Ford Fiesta R5s – and Irishman Craig Breen (Peugeot T16 R5) plus a pair of pacy factory-entered Skodas in the super-competitive RC2 category.

The leading two-wheel-drive RC3 class features two of the UK’s hottest prospects with Osian Pryce and Chris Ingram lining up in a pair of Citroën DS3s. However they will face stiff opposition from Quentin Gilbert, the Frenchman who has already been crowned as the 2015 FIA Junior WRC Champion.

Other notable International entries include ex-F1 star Robert Kubica (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) and Henning Solberg (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) whose younger brother Petter is a four-time Wales Rally GB winner and this year’s official Rally Legend.

The Network Q WRGB National Rally has its own stars. Jimmy McRae ensures that Britain’s most famous rallying family is on the entry list 20 years after son Colin was crowned as Britain’s first ever FIA World Rally Champion. The evergreen five-time British Rally Champion is turning back the clock behind the wheel of a glorious sounding V8 Vauxhall Firenza Can-Am. Another standout is Scotsman Mike Faulkner who won last year’s WRGB National and is back to defend his title in his Mitsubishi Evo 9.

And it’s not only entries that are selling fast – advance ticket sales are also at record levels as fans take of advantage of the advance ticket prices on offer.

The four-day World Rally Pass is the all-inclusive ticket for fans. It provides access to all the individual Special Stages as well as Thursday’s pre-event Shakedown. It is priced at £99 for adults (or just £1 for accompanied children aged 9-15) and comes with a hard card pass and lanyard, plus an event programme valued at £9.

Forest Passes offer a similar level of flexibility as the World Rally Pass but just for an individual day of the event. Again they include an official programme and can be purchased in advance for just £25 – entry to a Single Stage on the day will cost £30.

Tickets for Saturday’s family-friendly RallyFest at Chirk Castle are available now for £25 with an even greater discount being offered to families. Full ticket information can be found on the WalesRallyGB.com website.

For further updates, follow Wales Rally GB on Twitter @walesrallygb or join the conversations on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/walesrallygb.

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