|2004 Wales Rally GB|
60th Wales Rally of Great Britain
|Round 12 of the 2004 World Rally Championship season|
|Host country||United Kingdom|
|Rally base||Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom|
|Dates run||16 September 2004 – 19 September 2004|
|Stages||19 (394.03 km; 244.84 miles)|
|Overall distance||1,298.12 km (806.61 miles)|
|Overall winner|| Petter Solberg (driver)|
Phil Mills (co-driver)
Subaru World Rally Team
|Crews||83 at start, 42 at finish|
The 2004 Wales Rally GB (formally the 60th Wales Rally of Great Britain) was a rallying autosports race held over four days between 16 and 19 September 2004 and operated out of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It was the twelfth round of the 2004 World Rally Championship (WRC) and the 60th running of the event. Contested over 19 stages, the rally was won by Subaru World Rally Team driver Petter Solberg. Sébastien Loeb finished second for the Citroën World Rally Team and Ford driver Markko Märtin came in third.
The 2004 Wales Rally GB was the twelfth round of the 2004 World Rally Championship (WRC) after taking a two-week break since the previous race of the season in Japan. It was held over four days from Thursday, 16 September to Sunday, 19 September 2004. The rally headquarters was set up in Cardiff but some stages of the rally were altered. One new place the rally went to was Epynt forest with parts of the Rhondda and Resolven combined to form a new stage. The stage in Rheola returned to the event but was revised to make it faster and the rally concluded in Cardiff instead of Margam Country Park the previous year. Before the event, Sébastien Loeb led the Drivers' Championship with 84 points, ahead of Petter Solberg in second and Markko Märtin third. Carlos Sainz was fourth on 50 points, and Marcus Grönholm was three points adrift in fifth. Citroën were leading the Manufacturers' Championship with 137 points; Ford stood in second on 102 points, 33 in front of Subaru. Peugeot were fourth on 73 points and Mitsubishi rounded out the top five with 17 points. Citroën had so far been the most successful team over the course of the season with Ford claiming one victory with Märtin in México and Subaru had taken three wins apiece.
With pressure from the South Wales Police who initiated a campaign against speeding, the rally was under threat from cancellation as several drivers had been observed exceeding the local speed limit in the 2002 event, and the world governing body of motorsport, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), announced it would investigate whether the roads were suitable for the large amount of rally traffic. On 12 December 2003 the Wales Rally GB was granted a provisional slot on the 2004 WRC calendar pending a formal road review by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) after the FIA chose not to downgrade the event which would have made the event illegible to count for championship points. Five towns in England were mooted as alternative bases in the event Wales was deemed unsuitable. The FIA president Max Mosley later held discussions with the chief constable of South Wales Police Barbara Wilding and the Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain. At the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Paris on 24 March, the MSA presented a traffic management report that confirmed the roads the rally used were safer than the national average. The council later confirmed that the rally would be given the go-ahead but would be monitored by FIA observers until its future as a championship round was secure.
87 crews registered to compete in the rally. The starting order for Leg 1 was "Priority 1" (P1) and P2 WRC drivers in the order of the current classification following the previous race of the 2004 season, followed by all other drivers as decided by the MSA. Solberg, the previous season's champion, set off first, followed by Loeb, then Sainz.
|List of entrants|
|Car No||Driver||Co-driver||Car||Entrant||Group /
|1||Petter Solberg||Phil Mills||Subaru Impreza WRC 2004||Subaru World Rally Team||A8||1|
|2||Sébastien Loeb||Daniel Elena||Citroën Xsara WRC||Citroën World Rally Team||A8||1|
|3||Markko Märtin||Michael Park||Ford Focus RS WRC 04||Ford Motor Company Team||A8||1|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Marc Martí||Citroën Xsara WRC||Citroën World Rally Team||A8||1|
|5||François Duval||Sven Smeets||Ford Focus RS WRC 04||Ford Motor Company Team||A8||1|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2017)
Championship standings after the event
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- Gordon, Ian (12 November 2003). "Speeding fines put GB event in doubt". The Independent. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Rally GB faces safety inquiry". BBC Sport. 12 December 2003. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "Five alternative venues in line for Rally GB". Autosport. 27 January 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "'Hype' blamed for putting rally in jeopardy". WalesOnline. 25 March 2004. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- Proby, Johnny (24 March 2004). "Wales Rally gets green light". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
- "Wales Rally GB Entry List". Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. Archived from the original on 5 December 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- "2004 FIA World Rally Championship - Regulations" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile. 12 December 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 January 2005. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
2004 Rally Japan
|FIA World Rally Championship,
2004 Rally d'Italia Sardegna
2003 Wales Rally GB
|Wales Rally GB||Next year:|
2005 Wales Rally GB