22 - 24 May 09
Categories:WRC, PWRC, JWRC
Most Recent Winner:Jari-Matti Latvala (2009)
The Italian round of the WRC was previously the Rallye San Remo, based on the twisty asphalt roads around the Italian Riviera resort. But in 2004 the event switched from asphalt to gravel and from the mainland to the island of Sardinia where it's remained ever since.
The Service Park and administrative hub of the rally are located in the port of Olbia, with the event's stages mostly located in the hilly countryside south west of the city.
The regions of Olbia-Tempio, Nuoro, Sassari and Goceano provide a stunning landscape for the opening two days of the rally; while on the third day competitors also head north to the opulent Costa Smerelda region, created by the Aga Khan in the 1960's.
The stages themselves are made of fine and sandy gravel and are surprising fast, given their tight, narrow nature. This can provide a real challenge for the drivers as they balance their desire to push with the need to avoid the numerous stones and rocks that litter the roadside.
Saturday's competition features two new stages, located in the Goceano area in the middle of the island. 'Sa Line' follows the route of an old railway line while 'Fiorentini' is run on forest roads. This year's ceremonial start will be held on the waterfront in Olbia while the finish podium remains in Porto Cervo. Rally d'Italia Sardegna is one of four events this year eligible for the WRC, P-WRC and J-WRC competitions.