Wednesday | 07 Jan 2015

New for 2015: Fresh stages to master

The 2015 World Rally Championship will visit the same counties as last year, but as the events evolve so drivers can expect to face plenty of unfamiliar stages.

5: Fresh stages to master
Competition on real roads is part of what makes rallying such a thrill. And because there are plenty of roads about, changing a rally route is relatively straightforward to do. So while some motorsports are tied to the same tracks again and again, the stages of the WRC frequently take drivers into uncharted territory.

This year’s changes start with the opening round, and a Rallye Monte-Carlo route that is 75 per cent different to 2014. The biggest change comes on Friday [23 January], which features three all-new stages in the Hautes Alpes and Isère regions. The stages form a 67km loop which is run in the morning and then again in the afternoon.

The second round in Sweden [12-15 February] has also been modified, with about 20 per cent of the first full day’s icy action new compared to last year. There are exciting changes planned for round three in Argentina too - which you can read about in detail tomorrow on 

Exact routes of the rallies after Argentina are yet to be revealed, but having confirmed a switch from the Algarve to a new base 550km north, Vodafone Rally de Portugal will be almost unrecogniseable to the current crop of drivers.

The city of Matosinhos, close to Porto, will host the rally base and service park with the stages running almost as far north as the Spanish border. This is likely to signal the return of Fafe, which attracted more than 100,000 fans to a pre-event rallysprint last year, and other classic tests last used in 2001.

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