Spain stays with popular format

This year’s penultimate WRC round in Spain will follow a virtually identical mixed surface format that provided a thrilling final day scrap between Sébastiens Loeb and Ogier 12 months ago.

Loeb claimed his first WRC victory in more than five years during an intense final day at RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España, and there are few changes to the championship’s only mixed surface fixture for the 24 - 27 October encounter.

Salou’s PortAventura World theme park will be the nerve centre for a 15th season and the town’s seafront will host Thursday evening’s ceremonial start.

The action begins with the cars in gravel specification for Friday’s opening leg, the longest of the event at 129.70km. It contains the dirt roads of Gandesa and a reworked Horta-Bot, before the fiendlishly difficult 38.85km La Fatarella-Vilalba, which mixes gravel and asphalt.

Service in Salou precedes a repeat of the three tests before an extended 1hr 45min evening service in which teams race against the clock to convert their cars to asphalt trim.

Saturday is identical to 2018, featuring two loops of Savallà, Querol and El Montmell before the traditional and spectacular Salou seafront special stage.

Sunday’s finale brings the return of the twisty and technical La Mussara for the first time since 2014 and the popular Riudecanyes, complete with its famous roundabout junction.

Both will be driven twice, with the second pass of Riudecanyes forming the Wolf Power stage and offering bonus points.

The 17 tests cover 325.08km ahead of the Salou podium ceremony.

View the full route here.

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