It may be six months to go, but for motorsports fans the clock is already running down until the start of the Wales Rally GB.
The 2011 route for the final leg of the World Rally Championship in November was launched at Rallyfest on the weekend, including a new special tarmac stage on the Great Orme and a sprint through the Clocaenog Forest.
The addition of the north Wales stages, combined with the popular mid-Wales routes and a finish in Cardiff means the 2011 rally will be the first “all Wales” tournament, a move welcomed by drivers and teams alike.
Former World Champion co-driver Phil Mills said the long campaigned for north to south race made him wish he were still a competitor.
“We’ve got a true north to south route starting on the Great Orme, Llandudno and going right down to Cardiff.
“It is a true, true tour straight down through the heart of Wales. Fantastic,” he added.
The tarmac special stage is also expected to make teams work more strategically, as the GB leg of the WRC tournament moves away from being a solely gravel course.
The hope is that the inclusion of a wider geological span will bring the high-octane rally to a wider audience, as well as spreading the financial benefit of the four-day event across more of Wales.
“The event will bring a host of economic benefits to the area and after the success of last year’s Rallyfest, which 14,000 people attended, we are expecting visitor numbers to be very high,” explained Councillor Graham Rees from Conwy Council.
Wales Rally GB will take place 10-13 November 2011. Tickets go on sale from 10 June.