Spain’s October fixture remains the only WRC round to use a mixed surface format for the seventh consecutive season.
The Salou-based RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España (13 - 16 October) features mainly gravel roads in the first full day before teams switch their cars to asphalt specification for the final two sealed surface legs.
Drivers face a familiar itinerary on roads down the coast from Barcelona. Most of the special stages are the same as last year or with minor alterations, but new for 2016 is a test in darkness on Sunday morning to kick-off the final leg.
The action begins for a third year with a spectacular street stage in Barcelona on Thursday evening on the lower section of the Montjuïc hill, covering roads that used to host the Spanish Grand Prix.
Friday is virtually identical to 2015. Three mainly gravel tests are blended with the mixed surface Terra Alta stage, at a slightly extended 38.95km the longest of the event. The four tests are repeated in the afternoon following a tyre fitting zone in Ascó, but there is no service available until cars return to the PortAventura park at Salou in the evening.
With cars now in asphalt trim, drivers face the longest leg of the weekend on Saturday with 139.18km of action. Querol and El Montmell return for the first time since 2013, while Vilaplana and Alcover - Capafonts use roads in the opposite direction to last year.
A mid-leg service splits the day, which ends with the fan favourite test along the seafront in Salou.
Sunday is identical to 2015, with two stages wet of Salou repeated after a mid-leg service. It ends with bonus points on offer for the fastest three drivers at the live TV Power Stage at Duesaigües, where Sébastien Ogier crashed out of the lead in 2015 close to the finish.
The 21 stages cover 340.32km in a route of 1430.58km.