A new schedule replacing February’s original time-table reveals a hugely demanding Saturday comprising eight gravel speed tests with no service. The lunchtime service break in Alghero has been scrapped and competitors’ only respite is a tyre change zone in Buddusò.
Alghero’s seafront on the west of the Mediterranean island, which hosted the rally from 2014 to 2020, remains the hub after a year in the east coast city of Olbia.
While Thursday evening’s opening mixed surface Olbia - Cabu Abbas stage in the suburbs of the city remains unaltered, significant changes have been made to the following three days. The updates shave almost 150km of liaison distance from the schedule.
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After an early-morning restart on Friday, a double run through Terranova and Monti di Alà will be followed by service in Alghero as originally planned.
The late afternoon and early evening will now feature the north coast tests at Osilo - Tergu, which returns after a year’s absence, and Sedini - Castelsardo. Both were planned to be driven 24 hours later.
Saturday begins with two morning passes of Tempio Pausania and Erula -Tula which were previously planned for Friday afternoon.
The afternoon is spent on classic roads in the Monte Acuto region. A double run through Coiluna - Loelle and Monte Lerno, which features the famous Mickey’s Jump and is the only stage included in all 19 editions of the island event, were scheduled for the morning.
Sunday’s short finale north of Alghero returns to its more traditional look. Cala Flumini, rather than Olmedo Monte Baranta, opens the action before competitors tackle the picturesque Sassari - Argentiera, which finishes with a flat-out blast alongside the beach.
The two tests are repeated with the second run through the latter forming the bonus points-paying Wolf Power Stage.
The rally still features 21 stages but the competitive distance has been reduced by a handful of kilometres to 308.63km.