Mills defends Rally GB's Welsh base
Welsh former World Rally champion co-driver Phil Mills has defended his homeland's hold over Britain's round of the WRC.
In the wake of the legal battle between the event organizers and sponsor the Welsh Assembly Government, there has been an increase in the debate over a future base for the event, which has run exclusively within the principality since 2000.
Cities like Newcastle and York have emerged as potential future hosts of the event - with such a move reckoned to be possible as soon as next year.
Mills, who won the 2003 world title with Petter Solberg, said he saw no reason to move north in Britain.
"There are five million people within a 30-minute radius of Cardiff," he said. "What is there in Newcastle? There's absolutely nothing north of Newcastle, except for oil rigs.
"Let's face it, if you're a fan of rallying, you'll be prepared to travel to watch Britain's round of the world championship. The Welsh government has put so much money into this event over the years, it should stay in Wales. The investment has been huge, why should it go outside of Wales now?"
The 2009 Rally GB was confirmed earlier this week after British motorsport's governing body, the MSA, stepped in to underwrite it amid the organisers' dispute with the Welsh government.