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Potholes: North London closed and added as permanent new WRC rally stage

Broken, potholed tarmac considered ‘perfect’ for off-road racing, say organisers

Published: 19 Mar 2024

Here’s TopGear.com’s roving correspondent, Cory Spondent, with his mostly incorrect exclusives from the world of motoring

North London has officially been closed down and added as a permanent stage of the World Rally Championship following a review of its awful, broken, pothole-strewn roads.

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WRC organisers were particularly impressed by the damaged tarmac in the borough of Barnet – home to the start of the M1 motorway and A406 North Circular ring road – saying they ‘couldn’t believe’ the network was used by non-competition, regular production cars.

Insiders claim the borough faced stiff competition to host a round of the WRC from a number of other areas in England including Oxfordshire, the latter increasingly resembling the ‘Grumble Volcano track from Mario Kart’, according to witnesses. Brent was eventually selected because the sheer number of potholes concentrated in one area alone ‘was truly breathtaking’.

“We’re always on the hunt to improve the spectacle of our racing and bring it closer to the fans,” a WRC insider said, “but outside of a forest, finding the right combination that’d provide our cars with a competitive surface while also allowing more people to watch was difficult.

“Until we found Barnet.

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“Good God. We broke three sets of suspension arms and punctured nine tyres just doing a recce of the place. We’ve never seen such a perfectly formed WRC surface before, and remember we go flat out across mud, rocks and water in Kenya.

“To be honest, the entirety of the UK is so poorly surfaced, we could run one big stage across it all. We’ve asked the government if we can shut down the country and run an entire season here.

"They’ve come back to us with a price,” the insider added.

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