Once again the Catalan organisers have lined up the fastest and finest gravel and asphalt roads for our WRC heroes. WRC.com has highlighted five reasons why RallyRACC-Rally de Espana will be one of the highlights of 2012.
1: The straight fight
In overall terms, the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships are won - so it’s a straight fight from flag to flag; nothing to prove, nothing to lose. The fastest man wins in the season’s only three-day mixed-surface scrap.
2: Sordo chases dream win
He’s come close before, but could this be Dani Sordo’s biggest year at home to date. He’s done second, now he wants a first first and if the Prodrive WRC Team driver does bring his MINI John Cooper Works WRC back to Salou in P1 on Sunday night, the party might still be going on when we get back here next year...
3: A Friday night not to be forgotten
If you’re in Salou this week, the only place to be come Friday evening is the seafront, with a cold cerveza, a plate of calamari and a field full of WRC superstars to entertain you. The rally comes to town properly for the first time at the end of day one...
4: SWRC fight
Anybody who thought the fight had gone out of this year’s season-long battle, think again - the struggle for supremacy in the Super 200 World Rally Championship has captivated since Rally Monte-Carlo in January 10 months ago. And here in Spain, on the eighth and final round, three drivers fight for the right to call themselves champion. Craig Breen leads P-G Andersson by two points, with Yazeed Al-Rajhi 20 down on the Irishman’s Fiesta at the start. The Production Car World Rally Championship is also tightly poised with six drivers in contention for glory.
5: The start of the big finish
Unless you’ve been residing on another planet for the last few months, you’ll be aware that the master of the WRC race - the nine-time champion - Sebastien Loeb is semi-retiring at the end of the year. He’ll be back for a few rallies next year, but nothing’s guaranteed. This could be his last crack at Catalunya; it’s the beginning of the end for our master. Enjoy it while it lasts.