I haven’t been to service parks around the world, but I picked PortAventura in Spain, because it's at an amusement park!
Super Special Stage
Lousada in Portugal is the original WRC twin-car stage driven for the first time already in 1991. The track is wide and allows spectacular slides.
All of my Friday stages are relics of the past, but I wish they would make a comeback.
The leg begins from Pengonpohja, which featured on the Finnish WRC event in the Group B years. It’s a rollercoaster road with tight turns and steep hills. Sadly it’s situated too far from Jyväskylä to be on the WRC event route again, but can be seen regularly on national rallies.
Next up is Grizedale West, a long and technical stage for RAC Rally standards. It almost always caused dramatical position changes. The last time this or any other non-Welsh forest stage was driven on WRC level was 1995.
The leg closes with Bunnings North, which has the infamous big jumps and the water splash at the end. In 1999 the rally closed with a short TV stage which was essentially only this section. Rally Australia hasn’t been at this area on the West coast in over a decade.
When I started thinking of legendary asphalt driving, I kept coming back to images of driving on gravel tyres on mixed surface rallies, so I chose to make Saturday a mixed surface day, it should be possible on a dream rally!
The day begins in Argentina with El Condor's 2011 version which included a fast tarmac section after the twisty gravel section. It's a big rhythm change for sure!
The tarmac hairpin at the town of Chiusdino is something that everyone remembers from old films. The last time Rally Sanremo had gravel stages was 1996, also the last time this stage was driven on WRC level.
The last Saturday stage is Meteora from Acropolis Rally. It used to be full gravel, but in 1985 the beginning was paved, resulting in iconic footage of Blomqvist power sliding on gravel wheels with the Meteora rock as the backdrop.
Acropolis Rally Greece trailer
I wanted to include the snow element so I picked Torsby. It starts slow, becomes very fast and then very slow again at the end on the arena section.
An important aspect of the power stage is televising, and it’s essential to have a spectacular setting for the cameras. Fast stages in the middle of the woods are nice for sure, but slow turns and jumps on an open area look better on TV!
Get more of Antti's insights on his blog, itgetsfasternow.com