Tuesday | 15 Sep 2020

Turkey countdown – rally route

It’s hot, the gravel tracks are littered with rocks and while Rally Turkey (18 - 20 September) is shorter than previous editions, anyone feeling complacent about the WRC’s Asian adventure will be in for a shock.

The short format event, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship, contains 12 tough mountain road speed tests packaged around stunning coastal scenery near the resort of Marmaris.

It adds up to 221.46km of competition, almost 90km shorter than last year. That merely adds to the difficulties, with the pressure on from the very start and less time for drivers to recover from problems.

After Friday’s late-afternoon start ceremony in Mamaris, competitors face an evening appetiser of two tests. Içmeler (13.90km), which adjoins the Asparan service park in the hills above the resort of the same name, is followed by Gökçe (11.32km), the most northerly stage of the event.

Saturday is the longest leg of the weekend and is unchanged from 2019. It journeys west of Marmaris and packs 107.38km into three tests, which are driven morning and afternoon. The loops are divided by service, during which the running order of the top drivers will be reversed.

Video: Rally Turkey - the stages

Yeşilbelde (31.79km) provides a tough start but amazing coastline views. The Mediterranean scenery becomes even more dramatic in the following Datça (8.75km), which features pretty much everything you can find in the rest of the rally in one stage.

The loop is closed by Kizlan (13.15km), which promises to be the fastest test of the event.

Then comes Sunday’s sting in the tail, featuring the longest closing day in the championship for more than four years.

Two passes through the fiendishly difficult Çetibeli (38.15km), the longest special stage of the rally, are allied with a double run through the Marmaris (6.28km) test to take the tally to 88.86km

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Not since 2016’s Mexico round has Sunday’s finale reached such lengths. Then the North American encounter’s final leg opened with a monster 80km Guanajuato stage, the WRC’s longest test for 30 years.

The rally-closing Marmaris Wolf Power Stage finishes at the service park entrance and offers bonus points to the fastest five crews.

• Full coverage from Rally Turkey will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.