Rally Italia Sardegna
|Rally Italia Sardegna|
|Stages:||20 (313,46 km)|
- Rugged and sun-baked gravel tracks ensure tough times amid stunning scenery in the north of the Mediterranean holiday island.
- Exciting super special stage at the former Ittiri motocross track near host town Alghero kicks off the action on Thursday evening.
- Friday features four stages to the north-east that are driven twice for a total of 122.86km. All are familiar and include an extended version of the Tula test.
- Saturday is the longest with almost 150km of competition over a tightly-clustered group of three stages in the Monte Acuto region. A revised Ittiri test divides the two identical loops.
- Sunday’s finale is unchanged from 2017, featuring two repeated stages covering 42.04km on the coast north of Alghero.
- Saturday’s Monte Lerno – home to the iconic Micky’s Jump. If you like your WRC action of a high-flying nature, then it gets no better than here.
- Fast but narrow roads lined with bushes, trees or rocks right on the edge leave no room for error.
- Hard base roads covered by a sandy surface, which is swept away during the first pass to leave rougher and rutted conditions for the second run.
- Thin layer of slippery gravel on the surface disadvantages early starters in the opening leg.
- Temperatures approach 30°C so it will be uncomfortable in the cars with higher than normal stress on engines and transmissions.
- Gravel suspension.
- Drivers raise the ride height for rutted roads during the second pass of stages.
- Hard and soft compound tyres available.
- Italy’s WRC counter was formerly a mixed surface event based in Sanremo, and known as the Rally of the Flowers when it was first held in 1928.
- It formed part of the WRC from the championship’s beginning in 1973.
- Michèle Mouton became the first and only woman to win a WRC round when she triumphed in 1981.
- The rally moved to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia in 2004.
What’s new for 2018
- Far too many short sections within familiar stages to be specific. More than a third of the competitive distance is new compared to 2017 and another 25km is driven in the opposite direction.
- Friday’s Castelsardo test is back on the agenda after missing out 12 months ago.
- There are few more photogenic start locations than Alghero. Relax in one of the many typically Italian cafes and watch the WRC stars depart on Thursday evening against a stunning backdrop of the town’s leisure port.
- Micky’s Jump #1 - one of the WRC’s iconic locations in Saturday’s Monte Lerno stage. Cars fly high and long as the road literally drops away beneath them. The steepness of the take-off, combined with the proximity of a sharp left-hander shortly after, make it a must-see. Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNO284EPoZA
- Micky’s Jump #2 – if you enjoy it on Saturday morning, then there’s no reason not to stay for a second helping in the afternoon!
- Pay a visit to the podium ceremony in Alghero on Sunday afternoon. After the trophies and anthems are done, it is traditional for the winning team to dive en masse into the harbour to cool off.
- Fancy an ice cream? As well as hosting one of the championship’s most picturesque service parks, Alghero’s historic harbourside is rammed with a mouth-watering selection of Italian gelateria.