It’s hard to take your eyes off the race for this year’s World Rally Championship title. Rallye Deutschland was an enthralling battle between the main contenders, where Ott Tanak took his second win in a row to move closer into the fight. Sébastien Ogier pushed Tanak hard but ended up fourth after a puncture, with Thierry Neuville instead taking a crucial second place to 23 points. Now, what’s next? It’s time for Rally Turkey.
Rally Turkey: A new challenge
The WRC returns to Turkey for the first time since 2010, but in a new location around the coastal resort of Marmaris. We know it will be a gravel event, with a combination of smooth roads close to Marmaris and rockier mountain tracks near Mugla to the north.
There are many unknowns for the teams and drivers, who haven’t even had the chance to test in the area before the event. Shakedown on Thursday will be the first opportunity to perfect the setup of their cars for the local roads and to gain an understanding of tyre performance, which could be crucial with high temperatures and rough roads.
Before that, the crews will use the recce to gain an understanding of the nature of the stages and to write all their pace-notes from a blank sheet of paper.
The rally will begin on Thursday evening with a street stage in Marmaris, before venturing north for six stages on Friday. The crews will head west for another six tests on Saturday and the rally will end with four stages on Sunday, with the final Power Stage to end right by the service park.
The rally route is very compact, with 134 kilometres of special stages making up the 306-kilometre itinerary. Some incredible scenery is anticipated, with many stages running alongside the Mediterranean.
Rally Turkey Schedule (GMT+3)
Thursday, 13 September
9.30am: Shakedown (4,70 km)
6.30pm: Ceremonial start (Marmaris)
8.08pm: SS 1 – Super Special Turkey Full Speed (2,00 km)
8.33pm: Parc fermé (Asparan)
Friday, 14 September
7.00am: Service A (Asparan – 15 min)
7.58am: SS 2 – Çetibeli 1 (38,10 km)
9.21am: SS 3 – Ula 1 (21,75 km)
10.24am: SS 4 – Çiçekli 1 (12,57 km)
12.24pm: Service B (Asparan – 30 min)
1.37pm: SS 5 – Çetibeli 2 (38,10 km)
3.00pm: SS 6 – Ula 2 (21,75 km)
4.03pm: SS 7 – Çiçekli 2 (12,57 km)
5.48pm: Flexi service C (Asparan – 45 min)
Saturday, 15 September
7.42am: Service D (Asparan – 15 min)
8.35am: SS 8 – Yesilbelde 1 (34,24 km)
10.08am: SS 9 – Datça 1 (10,70 km)
11.11am: SS 10 – Içmeler 1 (20,37 km)
12.16pm: Service E (Asparan – 30 min)
1.24pm: SS 11 – Yesilbelde 2 (34,24 km)
3.08pm: SS 12 – Datça 2 (10,70 km)
4.11pm: SS 13 – Içmeler 2 (20,37 km)
5.01pm: Flexi service F (Asparan – 45 min)
Sunday, 16 September
9.25am: Service G (Asparan – 15 min)
10.08am: SS 14 – Marmaris 1 (7,14 km)
10.46am: SS 15 – Ovacik (8,05 km)
11.24am: SS 16 – Gökçe (12,65 km)
1.18pm: SS 17 – Marmaris 2 Power Stage (7,14 km)
— WRC (@OfficialWRC) September 10, 2018