The final leg of a six-round programme in this year’s WRC 3 World Championship, Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) will be a completely new experience for the Renault Sport Rally Team and Michaël Burri. The Swiss driver will be competing on an all-gravel rally for the first time since Poland in early July, as he looks to make the most of his debut outing at this iconic event.
Michaël Burri and Anderson Levratti tackle the sixth and final leg of their 2016 journey in the WRC 3 at Wales Rally GB, the third round in five weeks. Improving steadily since the middle of the season, they are on a positive run, after securing fifth place in Corsica and finishing as runners-up in Spain. Although the Renault Sport Rally Team has some bearings here, Wales Rally GB (27-30 October) will however be a new experience both for Renault Clio R3T and Michaël Burri.
"I know about the reputation of this rally and I know it will be a challenge," revealed the Renault Sport driver. "But it’s a very exciting way to round off the season. We were working on getting up to speed in a test session last Monday. We’ll need to be very accurate with the pace notes to get our bearings and feel confident on the surface. We are delighted to take part in this great event for the first time and we hope that we’ll really enjoy competing here. The pressure is off, but we are nonetheless very determined to do well."
Although the surface is different and Renault Sport doesn’t have as much experience in Wales as at the other rounds, the aims will be to maintain the good run of form that began in Corsica.
"It is certainly a new experience for the team and for Clio R3T, but we are going to use all the knowledge we have acquired over the last two seasons in WRC 3," explained Sylvain Alanore, Renault Sport Rally Team Manager. "Naturally, our race strategy will be based on Michaël’s consistency and the reliability of Clio R3T. Generally speaking, the crews that make it to the end score heavily, so we hope we can make the most of strengths in that respect."
Wales Rally GB, the service park of which will be based in Deeside, is due to start on Thursday morning with the traditional shakedown. A loop of four stages will be contested twice on Friday, the timed sections covering a total of almost 180 kilometres, with no mid-leg service. The crews will tackle eight stages on Saturday – equally with no service break between the two loops – before Sunday’s final leg, which will feature three stages, each contested twice. In three days, crews will take on 330 kilometres of timed stages, covering a total distance of 1,295 kilometres.