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wrgb16-beetle-b– The fourth string in Volkswagen’s impressive rallying bow
– Old-timer gets ready to share the stages with today’s WRC pocket-rockets
– Class winning crowd-pleaser returns to contest WRGB National Rally
– Catch Bertie in action with advance tickets on sale from as little as £20, kids go FREE

While Volkswagen Motorsport’s triumvirate of pace-setting Polo WRCs will be gunning for outright glory on this month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (27-30 October), spare a thought for the fourth VW on the star-studded entry list. Lining up alongside Sébastien Ogier and all the sport’s other top guns is plucky Bob Beales in his 58-year-old ‘Bertie’ Beetle!

Mind you the venerable orange Bug is no ordinary rally car – like many approaching pensionable age, it boasts quite a colourful history. Bertie was born back in 1958 and early in his life was owned by a Hereford taxi company where he suffered a skirmish with a bus and somehow a more damaging roll.

wrgb16-beetle-aThe repaired car was then rally-prepared by the legendary VW specialist Bill Bengry in the early sixties before being acquired by Beales a few years later. “I was a lucky boy to get my hands on the car and it’s been a dream ever since,” says Bob who competed extensively in rallies, autotests and even autocross before putting Bertie into storage.

In more recent years, though, the Beetle has enjoyed a new lease of life competing in many historic events including the Monte Carlo Rally in 1990.

Marking the 25th anniversary of that adventure, Beales entered last year’s Network Q WRGB National Rally and – despite the best efforts of storm Abigail – won his class, a feat he’s now trying to emulate in 2016.

“Competing in Wales Rally GB last year was a brilliant experience,” he enthuses. “It was very hard on the old car and the weather made it all the tougher – there was lots of aquaplaning. But that’s what makes it such a great event – it’s a monumental challenge.”

Beales admits he takes great interest in the successes of the VW factory team and is ultra impressed with their all-conquering Polo R WRCs. He says: “The technology in those cars is just brilliant, although I’m not sure if I’m man enough to give one a go. That said, I actually passed one of the Polos on last November’s event when Jari-Matti Latvala got stuck in a ditch – that would have made a great photo!

“I reminded Jari-Matti about it when I saw him at Goodwood earlier this year, and he remembered seeing Bertie going past – it’s one of those cars you just can’t forget!”

Tickets on sale

wrgb16-beetle-cTickets to follow Bertie’s fortunes on this month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are now on sale. Advance adult admission starts at just £20 for the family-friendly RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle, with day tickets available for £25 and the full four-day World Rally Pass priced at £99. All tickets include free parking and an event programme priced at £9. Accompanied children aged 15 and under are admitted FREE – a real half-term treat for families. The latest event and ticket information can be found on the official http://www.walesrallygb.com website and the official Rally Planner is now available online, providing fans with all the details required to plan their visit.

Hospitality

Combine the thrill of spectating with the indulgence of fantastic hospitality at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB between 28 and 30 October. World-class rally action always delivers an amazing spectacle, but nothing compares to enjoying the day from the comfort of our fabulous hospitality facilities at Sweet Lamb, Cholmondeley Castle and Llyn Brenig. For more information on hospitality visit walesrallygb.com

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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