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• Local heroes celebrated at Dayinsure Wales Rally GB
• Evans, Grist, Llewellin, Mills and Richards among those being hailed
• Meet the legends in Chester and at Cholmondeley Castle
• Tickets on sale with significant savings for those booking now

Top Welsh rally legends will be honoured during next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB (26-29 October), Britain’s prestigious round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Tribute will be paid to a number of high-achieving sporting luminaries including both drivers and co-drivers. The impressive roster features World and British Champions as well as much-admired national heroes and multiple Rally GB winners. All will be present on the event, renewing old friendships and rekindling past memories with photo and autograph opportunities.

The special celebration was announced at the Dayinsure Wales Rally GB Media Preview hosted at Cholmondeley Castle and endorses the Welsh Government’s own ‘Year of Legends’ campaign, overseen by Visit Wales.

The roll of honour is topped by two World Championship winning co-drivers. Phil Mills from Newtown, Powys guided Petter Solberg to the 2003 WRC title, as well as no fewer than four consecutive Rally GB victories between 2002 and 2005.

David Richards CBE from Ruthin, Denbighshire took the 1981 crown with Ari Vatanen and more recently founded prominent motor sport company Prodrive – the crack team behind Subaru’s many WRC successes. Richards also found time to run the Benetton and BAR F1 operations and to be Chairman of Aston Martin.

Wales’ most successful performer at World Championship level, though, is Nicky Grist. Hailing from Ebbw Vale, he joined forces with Juha Kankkunen and Colin McRae to win 21 rounds of the WRC, including triumphs on Rally GB in 1993 and 1997.

Neil Wilson from Corwen, Denbighshire is another Rally GB winning co-driver – his moment of glory came in 1985 when sitting alongside the late, great Henri Toivonen in one of Lancia’s fearsome Delta S4 Group B monsters.

A quartet of Welsh-born British Champions – Howard Davies (Machynlleth), Gwyndaf Evans (Dolgellau), David Llewellin (Haverfordwest) and Phil Pugh (Tywyn) – are also among those being honoured next month, along with fans’ favourite Phil Collins (Pontrilas).

Mills, Grist, Davies, Collins, Llewellin, Wilson and Pugh were in attendance at the Cholmondeley Castle preview where they were joined by Ken Skates AM, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure, Welsh Government.

“This is the perfect time for us to be celebrating Welsh rally legends,” enthused Ben Taylor, Managing Director of Dayinsure Wales Rally GB. “Not only is this Wales’ official ‘Year of Legends’ but the nation’s top current star, Elfyn Evans, is sixth in the World Championship – that’s higher than any Welsh driver has ever been. Should he win next month’s Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, that really would be the icing on the cake!”

All of the invited legends will be present in Chester city centre on Friday evening of the rally and again at Saturday’s family-friendly Toyota RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle. A number will additionally be attending Thursday evening’s opening speed test at Tir Prince Raceway in Conwy County and the Sweet Lamb special stage on Friday.

Tickets for Dayinsure Wales Rally GB are on sale with significant savings for those buying in advance. If purchased now, adult admission starts from just £10 with accompanied children aged under 16 admitted free of charge.

Full details of the 2017 Dayinsure Wales Rally GB including route, timetable and ticket information can be found on the official http://www.walesrallygb.com website.

WELSH RALLY LEGENDS: PROFILES

Phil Collins
Born: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire in 1949
Lives: Pontrilas, Herefordshire

Career highlights (driver):
1985: Securicor Sierra Challenge Champion
1987: Runner-up Circuit of Ireland Rally

Howard Davies
Born: Machynlleth, Powys in 1965
Lives: Machynlleth, Powys

Career highlights (co-driver):
1996: MSA British Rally Champion with Gwyndaf Evans
2011-2017: Presenter on S4C’s Ralio TV programme

Gwyndaf Evans
Born: Dolgellau, Gwynedd in 1959
Lives: Dinas Mawddwy, Gwynedd

Career highlights (driver):
1990: Winner of Group N Production class on Rally GB
1993: Winner of Group N Production class on Rally GB
1996: MSA British Rally Champion
Father of current WRC star Elfyn Evans

Nicky Grist
Born: Ebbw Vale, Blaenau Gwent in 1961
Lives: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

Career highlights (co-driver):
1993: Part-season with FIA World Champion Juha Kankkunen
1993-2002: 21 WRC wins with Juha Kankkunen and Colin McRae
1993: Network Q Rally GB winner with Juha Kankkunen
1997: Network Q Rally GB winner with Colin McRae

David Llewellin
Born: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire in 1960
Lives: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire

Career highlights (driver):
1984: National Rally Champion
1986: Gave MG Metro 6R4 first international win
1989: MSA British Rally Champion
1990: MSA British Rally Champion

Phil Mills
Born: Trefeglwys, Powys in 1963
Lives: Newtown, Powys

Career highlights (co-driver):
1992-1993: Welsh National Champion
1997: MSA British Rally Champion
2003: FIA World Rally Champion
1999-2009: 13 WRC wins with Petter Solberg
2002-2005: Four consecutive Wales Rally GB wins with Petter Solberg

Phil Pugh
Born: Tywyn, Gwynedd in 1970
Lives: Tywyn, Gwynedd

Career highlights (co-driver):
2007: MSA British Rally Champion with Guy Wilks
2012: WRC Academy winner with Elfyn Evans

David Richards CBE
Born: Ruthin, Denbighshire in 1952
Lives: Warwickshire

Career highlights (co-driver):
1980: MSA British Rally Champion with Ari Vatanen
1980-1981: 4 WRC wins with Ari Vatanen
1981: World Rally Champion with Ari Vatanen

Neil Wilson
Born: Corwen, Denbighshire in 1946
Lives: Marford, Wrexham

Career highlights (co-driver):
1980: Cyprus Rally winner with Roger Clark
1982: SCCA Pro Rally (US) Champion with John Buffum
1985: Rally GB winner with Henri Toivonen
1989: MSA British Rally Championship runner-up with Russell Brookes
1991: MSA British Rally Championship runner-up with Russell Brookes

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