16 - 18 May 08
Most Recent Winner:Jari-Matti Latvala (2009)
The Italian round of the WRC was previously the Rallye Sanremo, based on asphalt roads around the Italian Riviera resort of San Remo. But in 2004 the event switched from asphalt to gravel and from the mainland to Sardinia and it's remained there ever since.
The opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the Parc Ferme take place in the luxury resort of Porto Cervo in the northwest of the island, while the service park is based in the docks at the nearby town of Olbia. The event's stages are mostly located in the hilly countryside southwest of Olbia, although the competition on Sunday moves 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 need to balance the desire to push with the need to avoid the numerous stones and rocks that litter the roadside.
An early summer slot on the calendar, which should bring warm and sultry weather, and a short final stage around the 5-star hotel resort 'Cala di Volpe' - home to James Bond in the film 'The spy who loved me'.