A PROPOSED closed road stage rally - the first of its kind in Wales - could bring at least £1m to the economy of Ceredigion as it looks to attract a host of high-profile international rally drivers.

To be held on the first Saturday in September, 2019, the 40-mile competitive stage rally hopes to see around 120 cars taking part.

Organised by three local motor clubs –the Aberystwyth and District, Lampeter and District and Newtown and District Motor Clubs, with the possibility of the Teifi Valley MC joining forces - the Rali Bae Ceredigion Cardigan Bay Rally has the support of Ceredigion County Council cabinet member, Cllr Dafydd Edwards.

Cllr Edwards said: “It’s uplifting to know that road closure rules have changed within England and Wales and we can use our popular rural roads that are better than roads on the continent.

“On a personal note I think this event will raise the profile of the area, not only during the event, but after the event with tourists.”

The rally, which also has the full support of the Motorsport Association (MSA), hopes to start from Aberystwyth University and will place Wales at the forefront of international rallying.

One of the organisers, Andrew Edwards, said: “It’s very much an exciting event to the rallying world across the UK. Rally drivers are already coming across the border to west Wales to compete in night events such as the Cilwendeg because the roads are so challenging here.

“This rally will hopeful attracts the likes of renowned international driver Tom Cave – it really is going to be a high-profile event.”

Safety is paramount for the organisers who will see an estimated 500 marshals being appointed for the one-day rally. Work has been going on since April and feedback from local residents has been very positive.

Andrew said: “We’ve decided to hold two spectator points in two villages around Aberystwyth where the communities can sell food and drink and raise money for their own village causes.

“Even though it will be an international event, it will also be a community event where villages can profit and we’d like to thank all householders and landowners en route for their co-operation.”

The roads of west and mid Wales are renowned worldwide for being challenging and mountainous, with crests and twists and turns testing the best of drivers and co-drivers, and the likes of Nant y Moch is no exception.

“Night navigation events have used Nant y Moch and Pendam to rally for many years and the prospect of using this area for this rally is very exciting,” added Andrew.

The organisers are meeting on a regular basis to finalise matters and the rally will hopefully be given the green light in the next few months.