The reshuffled event schedule was confirmed today by the organisers of October’s RallyRACC Catalunya-COSTA DAURADA - the penultimate round of this year’s World Rally Championship.
As well as the introduction of night stages on day one, the order of the mixed-surface rally has been turned on its head, with the mixed asphalt/gravel stages switching from the opening day – where they have been for the last three years - to the final day.
2013 will be the ninth consecutive year that the Spanish round of the WRC will be staged completely in the Costa Daurada, with a base in the holiday resort of Salou and a central service area in the PortAventura theme park.
This year’s action gets underway in the afternoon of Thursday, 24 October with shakedown on an all-asphalt road near Salou.
On Friday the teams will journey 110km to Barcelona, for a start ceremony in the Avenida de la Catedral, an event that proved extremely popular when it was introduced in 2012.
From Barcelona, crews will tackle three asphalt stages in darkness, totaling 62 competitive kilometres, as they make the journey back to Salou. All three of Friday’s tests were last run in 2009: Querol (21.26km), Montmell (24.14km) and the first pass though Riudecanyes (16.35km).
Saturday’s itinerary begins with five more all-asphalt tests. After a repeat of Riudecanyes, crews will make two passes thorough a slightly shortened El Priorat which at 42.04km remains the longest test of the rally. Also on Friday are two passes through Colldejou (26.48km) – last run in 2012 as Santa Marina but in the opposite direction.
The day concludes with the two-kilometre mixed-surface spectator stage in central Salou that was run for the first time in 2012.
That evening the cars will be switched from asphalt to gravel specification at an extended 1hr 15min end-of-the day service in PortAventura. At this point drivers will also choose their start positions for Sunday’s leg, according their classification in the rally.
Sunday’s schedule features repeat passes through the gravel stages Gandesa (7km) and Pesells (26.59km) and the mixed asphalt / gravel of Terra Alta (35.73km).
The podium ceremony on the seafront in Salou is scheduled for 1636hrs on Sunday.
Follow this link to see the full itinerary.