PICK OF THE DAY THIS WEEKEND/Rallying Vauxhall Rally of Wales Chester

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The Independent Online
Alister McRae won the Vauxhall Rally of Wales, the opening round of the Mobil 1/Top Gear British Championship, last year and went on to become champion. He will be back at Chester today, though this year he is not contesting the Formula 2 championship, driving instead a Ford Escort Cosworth with the intention of making the step up to World rallying level and joining his brother Colin. Chester is the base for 150 miles of forest stages as the drivers take up the challenge today of tricky gravel surfaces in north and mid-Wales. A new 2.3-mile stage has been added this year and will be held under floodlights on the promenade at New Brighton on the Wirral peninsula tonight from 8pm. To supplement the championships classes, the classic and sportscar rally, held tomorrow, will provide a view of stately cars.

Where to watch: The rally starts today from Chester racecourse at 2pm. Stage one: Clocaenog Forest East (first car 2.04pm; B5105 south-west of Ruthin, Clwyd). Stage Four: Penmachno South (4.21pm; south of Betys-y- Coed on B4406 from A5; parking is 1/2 mile south of Penmachno village, Gwynedd, on left). Stage five: Penmachno North (4.44pm; parking is in village on right near church); Stage seven and eight: Euro Wirral (8.14pm; one mile from junction one of M53, taking A554 towards New Brighton; park on promenade). Tomorrow: Stage 10: Sweet Hafren (9.36am; North of A44, six miles north-west of junction of A470 at Llangurig, Powys). Stages 11 and 13: Dyfi (11.27am and 1.58pm; north of B4404 11/2 miles from junction of A489Machynlleth road, south-east of Dolgellau, Gwynedd, on A470). Stage 15: Dyfnant (3.31pm; 11/2 miles north of A458 on B4395, 1/4 mile from Llangadfan, Powys). Finish: 6pm at Chester racecourse.

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