Thu 16 Jun 2022

Tough new opener scheduled in Spain

An all-new opening day headlines a much-revised route for the penultimate round of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship in Spain.

Asphalt roads in the mountains overlooking the Costa Daurada, south of Barcelona, remain the focus of RallyRACC - Rally de España (20 - 23 October), but organisers have swung the changes in the itinerary.

Friday’s opening leg north of longtime rally base Salou kicks off with two brand new speed tests at Els Omells – Malda (10.66km) and Serra de la Llena (11.93km).

They are followed by Les Garrigues Altes (21.44km) and La Pobla-Riba-roja (17.72 km), using roads driven in the opposite direction to 2021.

To add to the challenge, there will be no service between the morning and repeated afternoon loops. Competitors’ only respite will be a tyre change in Flix after the opening quartet of stages. The eight tests add up to 123.50km.

Saturday will be more familiar. The unchanged Savalla (14.08 km) and the longest stage of the rally at El Montmell (24.40km) sandwich Querol-Les Pobles (20.57km), which opens with a new 3km section.

Service at Salou’s PortAventura World separates morning and afternoon runs over the same roads before the day ends with the popular 2.15km street stage along Salou seafront. The six stages tally 120.25km.

Sunday’s finale features two laps of Pratdip (11.78km) and Riudecanyes (16.35km). The former is extended by 2km from last year while Riudecanyes is well-known for the roundabout at Coll de la Teixeta, where drivers complete a 360° donut in front of huge hillside crowds.

The second pass of Riudecanyes forms the Wolf Power Stage, with bonus points on offer to the fastest five crews. The four stages cover 56.26km taking the rally total to 300.01km in a route of 1405.03km.

Video: RallyRACC - Rally de España 2021
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