YPF Rally Argentina
|YPF Rally Argentina|
|Stages:||18 (358,25 km)|
|Servicepark:||VILLA CARLOS PAZ|
- Vast pampas plains, rugged mountains and softer lakeland landscapes provide three distinct legs in the valleys of the Cordoba sierras.
- Based in lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz, 700km north-west of Buenos Aires and 30 minutes from Cordoba city.
- Spectacular super special stage in downtown Villa Carlos Paz kicks off the action on Thursday night.
- Route journeys south on Friday for two loops of fast, sandy tracks in Calamuchita Valley. The morning ends with a super special in a Villa Carlos Paz theme park.
- Second leg heads west into Punilla Valley for two identical loops, the theme park roads again closing the morning action.
- Sunday brings gruelling rock strewn tracks in the Traslasierra mountains, famed for their moonlike landscape, and includes classic El Cóndor and Giulio Cesare tests.
- Copina – El Cóndor. A rugged mountain test that climbs to more than 2100 metres and is tackled twice in Sunday’s finale, the second time as the Power Stage. Driven uphill this year, the scenery is stunning as the road crosses hanging bridges and twists and turns among improbably high rocks at the top of the mountain.
- The contrast between soft roads in the Santa Rosa de Calamuchita Valley and rocky, narrow tracks in the Traslasierra mountains.
- Sandy gravel roads become heavily rutted for the second pass and moving out of the ‘rails’ can pitch a car off the road.
- Many river crossings in the valleys which become wide and deep in wet weather.
- Early autumn in the southern hemisphere brings a risk of fog and possibly even ice in the mountains.
- Gravel suspension.
- Drivers raise the ride height to cope with rutted roads for the second pass of stages.
- Both soft and hard compound tyres likely to come into play.
- First run in 1980 in Tucumán province in the north, when it was known as Rally Codasur.
- The 1982 edition was cancelled due to the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.
- Moved to Bariloche, in the south, in 1983 but found its home in Cordoba in 1984.
- Argentines are passionate soccer fans and in 2007 a stage was held at the River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires while Cordoba stadium, home to Talleres, has twice hosted stages and the finish.
What´s new for 2018
- The opening night super special stage switches from Cordoba to the streets of central Villa Carlos Paz.
- The roads of the Tanti – Mataderos stage were driven last year as a liaison section. This time round they comprise a 13.92km stage driven twice on Saturday.
- Sunday’s Giulio Cesare and El Cóndor mountain tests will be used in reverse direction to last year.
- Few vantage points in the WRC compare with a place perched high on the enormous roadside rocks at the finish of El Condor. Keep an eye out for the soaring birds too.
- It’s party central up there as fans pitch their tents and camp out several days before the rally arrives to ensure a prime viewing position. It’s not warm but once the asados (barbeques) are under way and the alcohol starts flowing, the atmosphere sizzles as much as the cooking meat.
- Just as dramatic as El Cóndor is the stunning moonlike vista of the nearby Giulio Cesare test.
- If there has been plenty of pre-event rain, the river crossings in the stages around Santa Rosa de Calamuchita are a fantastic spectacle.
- Steak and a bottle of Malbec wine. We have yet to find a restaurant in Villa Carlos Paz that disappoints!