The WRC crosses the equator of the season with the Rally of Italy-Sardinia, a quote that has managed to carve a niche in the calendar for their unique conditions. The narrowness of its stretches, the ground hard and the high temperatures that usually accompany this test you have been allowed to take the witness of the Acropolis Rally and become the quote of the WRC on european soil harder. This fact makes the appointment in Sardinia, in a test closer to the resistance and where the speed is not an important factor. Five manufacturers have won in this rally.
Italy and the WRC have an intimate relationship and dilated, although in this aspect is the Rally of San Remo the test that has starred in this idyll. Although hundreds of stories to tell of the appointment contested in Liguria, if we focus on the Rally of Italy-Sardinia, the trajectory is shorter and dates back to 2004. In this test have achieved at least one victory Subaru, Ford, Citroën, Volkswagen and Hyundai, although Sebastien Loeb with four victories remains as the pilot’s most successful. In this aspect, Ogier has the option of matching his fellow countryman if he wins this year.
the route of The Rally of Italy-Sardinia has been reviewed by Tiziano Siviero, co-champion of the WRC in 1988 and 1989, next to Miki Biasion. The first big change is the inclusion of a service park night in Olbia to retrieve two sections classic, although the main base of the rally remains in Alghero. There will begin the competition on Thursday night on the track motocross of Ittiri. Since that first stretch, the riders will cross the island from west to east to get to Olbia, where you will start the competition on Friday. A first stage that has four sections that are played in two times.
The stage of the Saturday is the more complex of the rally as the pilots dispute 143,16 kilometres against the clock divided into six sections. ‘Coiluna-Loelle’ is the shortest, but ‘Monte di Ala’ and ‘Monte Lerno’ have more than 28 kilometres each, which will be a challenge for the pilots by the heat and the tires for the characteristics of these sections. As usual, ‘Monte Lerno’ will leave one of the most iconic images of the rally, the ‘Micky”s Jump’. The last day is a final sprint with four short sections that just add 42,04 km and that will serve to put the finishing touches on the rally.
If anything defines the stages of the Rally of Italy-Sardinia, which add up to 312,66 km against the clock, is their fine gravel, sandy, that causes a huge clean-up factor. The removal of this first layer of soil, exposing a surface more hard and with stones that tend to emerge from the edges of the paths. This causes a major key, beyond the choice of tires, are the pricks. This fact and the lack of grip makes it very difficult to be fast and consistent, also because pilots have to to cope with the higher temperatures of the season.
Sébastien Ogier party as the rival to beat for his victory in the last Rally of Portugal, and by its status as a leader of the WRC, although it is true that each brand has its own argument. However, Thierry Neuville comes from winning two of the last three rallies with the Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe and in addition was the winner in Sardinia in 2016. Both are the spearheads of M-Sport and Hyundai, perhaps the two formations, which have more options to win in Italy, any time that Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo also come to perform at a good level.
beyond the favoritism of M-Sport and Hyundai, Citroën lands in Sardinia with the signing of Andreas Mikkelsen. The Norwegian returns to the top category of the WRC and represents the main novelty with respect to the entry list of the Rally of Portugal. Kris Meeke and Craig Breen will be the companions of the Norwegian in his debut with the Citroën C3 WRC. Finally, Toyota gets to have three Yaris WRC, although the unit of Esapekka Lappi is almost a car laboratory. Mads Ostberg competes with the latest World Rally Car of new generation, while Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Martin Prokop and Jean-Michel Raoux will compete in the WRC Trophy.
The class WRC2 is drawn as a possible duel between Jan Kopecký and Ole-Christian Veiby in the absence of other big names of the category. The two are the only ones that have to do with these two units of the Skoda Fabia R5, which are a favorite of entry. Fabio Andolfi, for the sake of racing at home with a Hyundai i20 R5 managed by the ACI Team Italia. The japanese pilots protected Toyota, Hiroki Arai and Takamoto Katsuta, will also be in Italy. Finally, Nil Solans seek victory in WRC3 and in the second event of the JWRC, where his main rival will be Terry Folb.
Sections and schedules of the 14th Rally of Italy-Sardinia
Thursday, June 08, 2017
|08:00h||SD||Olmedo – Monte Baranta||4,15 km|
|18:00h||SS1||Ittiri Arena Show||2,00 km|
Friday, June 09, 2017
|07:18h||SS2||Newfoundland 1||14,54 km|
|07:41h||SS3||Monte Olia 1||19,05 km|
|09:12h||SS4||Tula 1||15,00 km|
|10:17h||SS5||Tergu – Osilo 1||14,14 km|
|15:25h||SS6||Newfoundland 2||14,54 km|
|15:48h||SS7||Monte Olia 2||19,05 km|
|17:25h||SS8||Tula 2||15,00 km|
|18:30h||SS9||Tergu – Osilo 2||14,14 km|
Saturday, June 10, 2017
|07:45h||SS10||Coiluna – Loelle 1||14,95 km|
|08:41h||ss11 state road||Monte Di Ala 1||28,52 km|
|09:20h||SS12||Monte Lerno 1||28,11 km|
|15:08h||SS13||Coiluna – Loelle 2 (TV / RB TV / WRC+)||14,95 km|
|16:04h||SS14||Monte Di Ala 2||28,52 km|
|16:43h||SS15||Monte Lerno 2||28,11 km|
Sunday, June 11, 2017
|08:33hrs||SS16||Cala Flumini 1||14,06 km|
|09:08h||SS17||Sassari – Argentiera 1 (TV / WRC+)||6,96 km|
|10:54h||SS18||Cala Flumini 2||14,06 km|
|12:18h||SS19||Sassari – Argentiera 2 (PS) (TV / WRC+)||6,96 km|
* Live by Movistar Deportes, Red Bull TV or WRC+.