07 May 08
This year’s Rally of Turkey will feature a return to a Thursday night Superspecial around the Akdeniz University test on the outskirts of Antalya.
The last time the event ran, in 2006, the stage was not included on Thursday evening. For this season, the event’s crowd-pleaser is used as the event’s first test and the last stage on Saturday evening. This year, however, the Superspecial will be half its usual length, running at 2.6km as opposed to the 5.2kms included previously.
Among the other alterations to the route are tweaks to the Olympos and Phaselis stages. Olympos is 2.65km longer while Phaselis is 6.81km shorter. The first two loops of day one are identical to 2006, but thereafter some of the stages have been moved around. The competitive route is 22.95km longer this season, but the overall distance covered by the cars is down by 83.07km.
The rally returns to a June date for this season, after running in tough conditions in October, 2006. The torrential rain which struck the rally caused the cancellation of three of the first four stages. Marcus Gronholm won the event last time, making the most of Sebastien Loeb’s enforced absence due to his broken shoulder. The event will also be remembered as Colin McRae’s final WRC round. The Scot drove Loeb’s number one Citroen Xsara WRC, but retired on the final day.