The Penultimate Round - WRC, 2013 | RACC Rally de Espana [Spain]

The RallyRACC-Rally de Espana is an unique event from past seasons of the WRC and also for being the only true mixed surface round of the season. Nowhere else any other WRC event has three days of rallying been split across gravel and asphalt. Here in Spain the first day's competition is on gravel, with the last two days running on tarmac.

The use of asphalt and gravel stages on the same event not just increases the challenge faced by the crews due to quickly adopt to the different driving style requirements, it also sums up a complete change over of the car's specification, from gravel to asphalt - the mechanics and engineers have to accomplish it in a restricted time frame.

Based on Spain’s Costa Daurada in the country’s Tarragona region, the event is always one of the highlights of the WRC season. While being a popular finale during the 2012 season, the Rally de Espana has been moved back to October for this year to be the penultimate rally and allows Rally Wales GB to take its traditional spot as the championship's final event. However, organisers are still predicting a huge number of fans to travel to the popular seaside tourist town of Salou to enjoy the party atmosphere and visit the permanent service area at the PortAventura theme park.

In 2011, whilst the opening day in Spain was in theory a gravel-only leg, just one repeated stage took place entirely on gravel. There were two repeated stages using a mixture of gravel and asphalt as a means of increasing the challenge for the drivers and raising the spectacle for the many spectators following the action.

But, as ever, it’s the sweeping race circuit-style asphalt roads that characterise this event that will once again dominate the competitive route. To be quick this year, drivers must maximise their pace through the high-speed turns by taking the optimum line at all times. [excerpts from]

Technical aspects of this dual surface rally, explained in this video!

In yesterday's shakedown stage, local star & WRC driver Dani Sordo was fastest, quickly followed by Ogier & others. Here is a short video by

Rally starts with SS1 Querol [21.26 km] at 20:18 [local time, Salou], 25th Oct 2013.

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