This is the first newsletter of the year, and a Happy New Year to you all!
A huge thanks to everyone for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the past 12 months. The 2016 edition of this great event was a real triumph, but couldn't have happened without the input of so many – so on behalf of the rally, thank you so much.   You may have seen that the date for next year has been confirmed by the FIA as the weekend of 27th – 29th October 2017.  Once again we will be the final European round of the championship.    Obviously the anticipation is already building for next season with the way the new cars are shaping up, but few could have predicted the excitement generated by the world champion joining forces with Cumbria's finest to take on the WRC next year. For those that haven't seen it yet, check out Malcolm's priceless announcement of his new signing to his staff here:   On the preparation side, we have already undertaken some site visits to look at different route options for October. Putting together the whole four days of action is not the work of a moment and these early visits to possible locations mean that work can commence straight away on providing the best possible route.
Next week also sees the traditional start of the season with the Autosport International Show. Rally GB will host the Rally Feature stand with many of the cars on display from the 2016 event. We look forward to welcoming you to the stand should you be at the Show.  
We were very proud to announce our 'Achievement of Excellence' under the FIA Institute's Sustainability Programme last month, after demonstrating positive actions towards the environment at October's event.    We are the third to achieve the top level of the programme, which is part of the FIA's strategy towards raising global awareness of environmental management issues across motor sport and its efforts to reduce environmental impacts across the World Rally Championship.  

December; the season for Awards Nights and Presentations and Rally GB was no different.  The rally came away as the winner of the 'Magnificent Crowd Puller' category at the North Wales Tourism Awards – a great boost for us in the region and further testament to how integrated into the local community the rally has become.  
We also have our own awards to distribute amongst the many marshals from the event.   Winning a trip to a European round of the World Rally Championship is James Reynolds, Flintshire.  James marshaled on the Hafren, Cholmondeley Castle and Clocaenog stages and his name was picked out from the Marshals' Draw. He is heading to Sweden to see the WRC's only full (hopefully) snow event and we wish him a great trip.  
The following have all won a Wales Rally GB hoodie from the random draw taken from those who completed the marshals' questionnaire.   Karen Spencer – Deputy Stage Commander Brenig Tim Numm – Hafren, Pantperthog and Brenig Phil Gallagher – Alwen Ieuan Roberts – Aberhirnant Barry Morgans – Shakedown, Hafren and Cholmondeley Castle   The following car clubs have been recognised for providing more than 12 marshals at each stage they marshaled on. Huge thanks and congratulations to the following:   British Rally Marshals Club, Clwyd Vale Motor Club, British Motorsport Marshal Club, Caernarvonshire & Anglesey Motor Club, Rally Stage Team Motor Club (Wales), North Wales Car Club Ltd, Quinton Motor Club Ltd, Teifi Valley Motor Club Ltd, Ilkley & District Motor Club, Lancashire Automobile Club, Carlton & District Motor Club Ltd, Tregaron & District Motor Club, Lampeter & District Motor Club, International Motor Sports Ltd, Ecurie Cymraeg, Ammanford Motor Club, Warringtong & DMC, CSMA Club (Head Office), RallyStageTeam, Port Talbot Motor Club Ltd, Knutsford & District Motor Club, Buccaneer Motor Sports Club, Silverton Motor Club, Herefordshire Motor Club Ltd, Ecurie Royal Oak Motor Club Ltd, Amman & District Motor Club Ltd  
We all delivered the biggest and best Dayinsure Wales Rally GB.  The competitive route was the longest since moving to Deeside and provided some superb action, the new RallyFest at Cholmondeley Castle exceeded all expectations and the visit to Chester on Friday night proved to be tremendously popular.  It is so important to bring the sport to the people and it was fabulous to see that all the current WRC stars were happy to make time to engage with spectators and create new fans.     To cement the international element of the event, the top eight places were occupied by eight different nationalities.   The television pictures were taken by some 55 broadcasters across 155 international markets bringing Dayinsure Wales Rally GB to the small screen, with regular news and digital feeds putting Wales firmly in the spotlight all around the world.     None of the above would have been possible without the wholehearted support of you, the marshals and officials who gave up their time to make it all happen.  The Half-Term weather may not have been as wild as it was 12 months ago, but it still tried its best to make the stages and regroup controls challenging right around the country.     Thank you once again for all your support and we wish you all the best for this New Year.  We look forward to seeing you again in October 2017.