Wednesday | 25 Feb 2015

Drivers face marathon day in Sardinia

One of the longest days of WRC competition in recent years awaits competitors in a revamped Rally Italia Sardegna (11 - 14 June) route.

Saturday’s second leg contains more than 202km of special stages and will last almost 17 hours – the longest competitive distance since 2012 when Rally New Zealand and Rally Argentina featured opening days in excess of 200km.

It will begin at 06.00 with a morning loop of five tests to be repeated in the afternoon. One venue remains to be confirmed, but if it is scrubbed organisers will add extra distance to ensure the leg stays at over 200km.

This will be the 12th WRC edition of the gravel Mediterranean island event, which is based in Alghero after a successful move there last year.

Organisers have introduced several new features and less than a third of the stage distance is identical to 2014.

High-flying Thierry Neuville in Sardinia in 2014

After a partly new curtain-raising street stage in Cagliari on Thursday night, competitors will overnight there before a totally new Friday leg on the west coast near Oristano. Some roads were used in 2011 and have previously hosted testing.

Saturday’s marathon covers familiar territory east of Alghero, although some roads are used in the opposite direction to last year. It includes the stomach-churning Micky’s Jump in Monte Lerno, and a spectator-friendly test at Ippodromo di Chilivani horse racing track closes each loop.

The final leg is north of Alghero and contains the new Monte Baranta test and the familiar Cala Flumini coastal run, the second pass of which will comprise the live TV Power Stage.

The 24 stages cover 400.20km in a total route of 1561.07km.

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