RALLY RACC CATALUNYA
Rally de España
|RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España|
|Stages:||19 (312,02 km)|
- Spain is unique as the WRC’s only mixed surface encounter. Medium-speed gravel roads contrast with smooth, fast, circuit-like asphalt.
- Costa Daurada holiday resort of Salou, south of Barcelona, is the host town with the action covering familiar roads in the Tarragona hills.
- After Thursday night’s Salou start, Friday’s ‘dirt day’ heads west and is identical to 2016. However, the long Terra Alta test includes several asphalt sections and many surface changes. Three morning stages are repeated in the afternoon.
- The second and third legs are entirely asphalt. Saturday journeys north-east and includes two new stages, one of which is driven in the reverse direction to 2016. Two loops of three stages are followed by a fan favourite test on Salou seafront.
- Sunday’s tough finale contains six stages without service. All the tests are new but the roads are well-known and the rally ends with the Santa Marina Power Stage.
- Only mixed surface round of the season as two days of asphalt are blended with a day of primarily gravel.
- After the first full day teams convert their cars from gravel to asphalt specification in a longer than usual evening service to accommodate the surface change.
- Drivers must quickly adapt their driving style to an overnight change in road surface.
- Fast, smooth, sweeping asphalt is comparable to a race circuit in its characteristics.
- Both asphalt and gravel set-up required for the mixed roads.
- Different tyres are needed for the two surfaces.
- Asphalt is abrasive and if temperatures are hot, drivers must manage tyre wear carefully.
- First run in 1957 and included in the European Championship from 1975.
- Entered the WRC in 1991 when it was based on the Costa Brava in Lloret de Mar.
- Relocated to Salou in 2002 and after being a pure asphalt event, it developed into a mixed surface event in 2010.
- Sébastien Loeb dominated the rally, winning every year between 2005 and 2012.
What’s new for 2017
- Plenty - starting with a Thursday evening start ceremony on the seafront in Salou.
- New stages everywhere. Saturday’s El Pont d’Armentera and Savallà join the schedule for the first time, while all three of Sunday’s tests are new compared to last year. The Santa Marina Power Stage is driven for the first time since 2012.
- Plan a trip to the PortAventura service park on the edge of Salou. Cars are serviced there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and when you have seen enough of that, a visit to the roller-coasters in the adjacent theme park will round off a perfect day.