Former Welsh International and Barbarian flanker, Richard Parks, will be present during the ‘shakedown’ test in the final build up to this week’s eagerly awaited Wales Rally GB (10-13 November). The official shakedown is based at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells on Wednesday 9 November.
Having been forced to retire from the game following a career ending shoulder injury, Parks has just conquered the world via a unique 737 Challenge.
In July he became the first man to stand on the summits of the highest mountains in each of the world’s seven continents as well as all three poles (the South Pole, the Geographical North Pole and the summit of Everest) in the same calendar year – a remarkable feat he completed in less than seven months, raising funds in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The world record holder will be joining the stars of the FIA World Rally Championship on the eve of Wales Rally GB – the final event of a thrilling 13-round globe-trotting series that itself has ventured to all four corners of the Earth including Australia, South and Central America, the Middle East and Europe. And, of course, a rally that will see a new World Champion crowned in Cardiff on Sunday evening with the title battle finely poised between Mikko Hirvonen and defending champion Sebastien Loeb.
“Richard has certainly conquered the world in 2011 and so his presence at an event that will culminate with the crowning of this year’s World Rally Champion is particularly welcome,” said Simon Long, CEO of WRC promoter North One Sport. “Like all top rally drivers, Richard clearly has a tremendous taste for adventure and his unprecedented feats are truly astonishing.”
As well as meeting the top teams, local Welsh hero Parks will experience a passenger ride during the pre-event shakedown courtesy of the M-Sport Stobart Ford Rally Team. He will be available for photo calls and interviews throughout the morning. For more information on Richard’s amazing achievements please visit
. Copyright-free photographs of Richard’s visit to the WRC will be available on request.
Editor’s notes:The FIA World Rally Championship is widely regarded as the most challenging motor sport competition in the world. This year’s 13-round championship has included events in Central and South America, Australia, the Middle East and Europe with the final round staged here in Britain – Wales Rally GB. The WRC enjoys UK television coverage via ESPN – which provides live coverage of the Power Stage – and Motors TV.
Daily news reports from Wales Rally GB and action photography is available on request.