WRC 2017: Rally de España at a glance (+itinerary)

WRC 2017: Rally de España at a glance (+itinerary)

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This year, the WRC teams had to wait until the end of August before getting a breather. Following rounds in Poland, Finland and Germany, the six-week break was very welcome after a busy summer! The championship, therefore, returns to action in Catalonia, at a round that is special in more ways than one. Based in Salou, right next to the PortAventura theme park, Rally de España is the only mixed-surface event on the WRC calendar.

Rally de España, Rally SpainThe mixed surface Spanish event covers 19 timed stages over a total distance of 312.02km.

A shakedown and ceremonial start are held in Salou on Thursday. After that, the teams return to the PortAventura service park ahead of Friday’s gravel stages. The mixed surface Terra Alta on Friday represents the longest individual stage of the weekend at 38.95km.

The pivotal point in the rally is probably the Friday evening service. It lasts only 75 minutes. And that is when cars adopt a tarmac-spec for the remainder of the event.

Rally de España culminates with the 14.50km Santa Marina Power Stage, which has not been used since 2012.

Rally de España, Rally SpainSpain means

  • The only true mixed-surface event on the world championship schedule.
  • While the rally continues to be based at Salou’s PortAventura theme park, its home since 2005, there will be no fun and games on an event that tests drivers and their teams in equal measure due to the use of asphalt and gravel stages.
  • Friday’s opening leg begins with two stages on gravel followed by the mixed surface Terra Alta, the rally’s longest at 38,95 kilometres.
  • It’s back to tarmac-only on Saturday with the famous El Montmell test opening the action followed by two new-for-2017 stages, El Pont d’Armentera and Savallà. The latter is never run before.
  • Sunday’s timetable is busier than in 2016 with an extra stage added to the mix. Riudecanyes adopts the format last used in 2013, while Santa Marina reverts back to the route run in 2012 with the second run forming the event-closing Power Stage.
  • Rally de España, Rally SpainFirst run in 1957 under the Rallye Catalunya-Volta a Catalunya banner, Spain’s WRC counter was a regular European championship fixture before its elevation to global status in 1991 from its old base on the Costa Brava in Lloret de Mar. The rally’s relocation to Salou in 2005 coincided with Sébastien Loeb beginning his unbroken sequence of eight wins.
  • Arguably Spain’s most successful rally driver is Carlos Sainz, the two-time world champion and winner of 26 WRC events. While his 22-year-old son Carlos Jr is in his second season of racing in Formula One, factory Hyundai driver Dani Sordo will be firmly in the Spanish motorsport spotlight this weekend.
  • It is the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC of Sordo and co-driver Marc Martí that graces the official poster for Rally de España – the fourth time that the home heroes have had such an honour.

Recent winners

2016 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2015 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2014 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2013 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia Volkswagen Polo R WRC
2012 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena Citroën DS3 WRC

Rally de España, Rally Spain, Dani SordoRally de España schedule (GMT+2)

Thursday 5 October

8.00am: Shakedown – Salou (2.97km)

8.00pm: Ceremonial start (Salou)

Friday 6 October

8.15am: Start

9.53am: SS1 – Caseres 1 (12.50km)

10.21am: SS2 – Bot 1 (6.50km)

10.56am: SS3 – Terra Alta 1 (38.95km)

1.11pm: Service A (PortAventura – 30 mins)

3.19pm: SS4 – Caseres 2 (12.50km)

3.47pm: SS5 – Bot 2 (6.50km)

4.22pm: SS6 – Terra Alta 2 (38.95km)

6.32pm: Flexi Service B (PortAventura – 75 mins)

Rally de España, Rally SpainSaturday 7 October

6.45am: Service C (PortAventura – 15 mins)

8.00am: SS7 – El Montmell 1 (24.40km)

9.07am: SS8 – El Pont d’Armentera 1 (21.29km)

9.54am: SS9 – Savalla 1 (14.12km)

11.35am: Service D (PortAventura – 30 mins)

1.08pm: SS10 – El Montmell 2 (24.40km)

2.15pm: SS11 – El Pont d’Armentera 2 (21.29km)

3.02pm: SS12 – Savalla 2 (14.12km)

5.00pm: SS13 – Salou (2.24km)

5.30pm: Flexi Service E (PortAventura – 45 mins)

Rally de España, Rally SpainSunday 8 October

6.00am: Service F (PortAventura – 15 mins)

7.00am: SS14 – L’Albiol 1 (6.28km)

7.38am: SS15 – Riudecanyes 1 (16.35km)

8.38am: SS16 – Santa Marina 1 (14.50km)

10.14am: SS17 – L’Albiol 2 (6.28km)

10.53am: SS18 – Riudecanyes 2 (16.35km)

12.18pm: SS19 – Santa Marina 2 – Power Stage (14.50km)

1.41pm: Service G (PortAventura – 10 mins)

3.00pm: Podium (Salou)

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