20 - 22 Jun 13
Categories:WRC, WRC-2, WRC-3
Most Recent Winner:Mikko Hirvonen (2012)
Sardinia has hosted Italy’s FIA World Rally Championship counter since its switch from the mainland in 2004 and the event remains one of the most demanding on the calendar.
Although the island’s stages are predominantly fast and narrow, the terrain is a mixture of flat open areas and undulating tracks through woodland with water splashes and spectacular jumps thrown in for good measure. The surface is hard with rock-strewn sections commonplace, while ruts will often form after the first pass.
The rally undergoes major changes for 2013, switching from an October date into the heart of the Sardinian summer. Last year’s four legs of competition are reduced to just two long and arduous days, but the event still packs 304.40km of action into 16 stages before Saturday evening’s finish.
Free practice and the Qualifying Stage is held on Thursday morning over the 3.86km Monte Pinu stage, west of the rally’s traditional base in Olbia. In the evening, the town of Sassari, around which much of the opening leg is based, hosts the ceremonial start.
Friday’s opening leg lasts a daunting 16 hours and begins with the Monte Lerno test, which includes the spectacular ‘Micky’s Jump’. It will be followed the Castelsardo stage, used for the first time last year, and Tergu-Osilo, once a mainstay of Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda Rally.
After a remote service in Sassari, the three tests are repeated in a different order before another service at Olbia’s Isola Bianca port area. The day ends with two passes of the Gallura test, north-west of the town, and the second run is in darkness.
Saturday brings another early start and takes competitors to the picturesque forest stages of the Monte Acuto and Gallura areas. The route include the classic Coiluna - Loelle stage, and the Monte Olia and Terranova tests.
The four morning stages are repeated in the afternoon, with the penultimate Monti Di Ala’ forming the Power Stage. The finish ceremony has been switched from Porto Cervo to Olbia’s Molo Brin Archeological Museum shortly before 19.00.