Corsica countdown:
rally route

Tour de Corse Rallye de France (1 - 4 October) covers the length and breadth of Corsica with a tough route focused on long stages which highlights the history of one of the FIA World Rally Championship’s original fixtures.

Just nine stages comprise the three-day asphalt event, which returns to the championship for the first time since 2008. But none is less than 29km and four are longer than 40km as the 11th round of the season offers competitors a format far removed from other rallies.

Incredibly twisty and narrow mountain roads, which wind around craggy rock faces, combine with bumpy asphalt to provide a throwback to days of old when the event earned its affectionate nickname The Rally of 10,000 Corners.

Some rugged sections have not been driven competitively for almost 30 years and faster parts over newer, smoother asphalt will provide a welcome contrast.

The rally starts and finishes in Corsica’s west coast capital of Ajaccio, the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the single service park is based in Corte in the centre of the island. Each evening’s halt will be in a different location as the rally pauses in the other major towns of Bastia in the north-east and Porto-Vecchio in the south-east.

Each leg contains just three tests. Friday heads north from Ajaccio and Saturday repeats two stages as it heads back south and is the longest with 128.58km of action. Sunday covers the south of the island, ending with the live TV Power Stage.

The nine stages offer 332.73km of competition in a route of 983.80km.

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