Crowds and cars lined the streets of Welshpool to welcome Rally North Wales, with the town’s high street serving as the event’s start line.

On Saturday, March 25, some of the top rally drivers in the UK arrived in Welshpool for a series of stages for the popular loose surface event, with over 120 cars competing.

The move to Welshpool, which serves as the rally’s headquarters for 2023, comes after a new partnership between the motorsport event and local food producer Get Jerky, by Trailhead Fine Foods.

As its headquarters, Welshpool saw the rally set up its official start line right in the heart of the town, on Broad Street, where cars set off into the forests for eight stages and almost 45 miles of competitive action.

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Matt Cotton, speaking on behalf of Rally North Wales, said: “By its nature, the rally needs a large area to house all the cars and teams and Welshpool fits perfectly.

“The Livestock Market has the space for that and the Cambrian Training centre has all the facilities needed for pre-vent technical checks.

“The jewel in the crown perhaps though, is Broad Street and the opportunity to start and finish the cars in front of fans. It’s perfect.

“The Broad Street start and finish ceremony enables the townsfolks to witness the amazing array of cars and drivers we have at the rally, without heading into the forests.”

After they set off from Broad Street, four stages will made up the morning loop, before a mid-point service at the Dolgellau Farmers Market halt, before drivers headed back out for the second loop in a reverse order.

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A return to the Welshpool town centre finish line in the afternoon was a welcome sight for those lucky enough to have completed the testing route.

Mr Cotton added: “We’ve felt wholeheartedly welcomed by the town. From Welshpool Town Council and Mayor Cllr Alison Davies to Trailhead Fine Food’s Arwyn Watkins and Rally Marketing’s Howard Watkins, everyone has embraced the event and its ethos.

“We definitely will be looking to bring the rally back to Welshpool in the future and establish it as the host town for the future.”

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The event also saw Welshpool Town Council organising one of its first street markets, which they hope to make a regular event for the remainder of 2023, with the future markets scheduled to coincide with the Easter holidays and the coronation of King Charles III.

Pics: Gary Williams