Dani Sordo Delights Home Crowd - RACC Rally of Spain | WRC - 2013

Even those winding well barricaded & constructed circuit like asphalt roads of Catalunya showed some teeth, and Sebastien Ogier was the one the first to find out in the top class of rally cars. His team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, had put a word of caution - but Frenchman seems like to have ignored it and ended up with a broken wheel, and lost nearly a minute from his commanding rally position.

It was the last set of asphalt stages of the rally, also for the championship and the leader-board was shuffled with one car[d]. In SS6, Ogier did a cut & hit something hard enough to chip off a good chunk of the wheel - resulted in a flat tyre and lost almost a minute dropping straight to 6th overall. Although he recovered two positions, still not sufficient to re-claim the lead and it will not happen until the top order competition does something similar to even out.

The penultimate asphalt stage, the second run of SS8 Colldejou being the Power Stage, went without any shows of dropping time for road-order tactics due to tomorrow's starting position for gravel stages. Perhaps, it was due to the slippage of the Frenchman's spot for racing to the top, and also because it did also bestowed some vital bonus championship points. A commendable strategy by the event organisers to control such unsporting tactics, I must say!

Anyway, it was Thierry Neuville who claimed the max 3 points to his championship score, while Ogier & Latvala had to be satisfied by couple and single points, respectively. Sordo finished 4th quickest, maybe conserving his advantageous position rather than going for small counts, or maybe tactical game did happen. Who knows?!

By the end of the rally's final asphalt stage in the city of Salou, Latvala & local WRC hero Dani Sordo are locked on to the battle for the top spot, separated by just 1.6secs apart.

Belgian driver, Thierry is 29.3secs down the rally leader, while the newly crowned WRC champion, Ogier is locked horns to the final podium step with the Belgian will have to start with a deficit of 46.5s to his team-mate rally leader, Jari-Matti.

A similar fight is brewing right down for the top 5 position between Mikko Hirvonen at 57.8s & Evgeny Novikov, who is just 0.1secs down the Flying Finn.

The bigger task is with the service crew, who have change the car's complete setup from Tarmac spec to Gravel spec in just about 75mins to spare, and also the crews have to switch their mindset to the loose surface - from the stiffer ones today.

In the WRC-2 category, Robert Kubica continues his domination with a healthy 4minute lead, Elfyn Evans retired in the final stage, hence Sepp Wiegand & Yazeed Al-Rajhi complete the top 3 spot. In Junior WRC, the rally leaders Pontus Tidemand & Jose A.Suarez crashed out at the same spot in SS5, luckily nobody was hurt and Yerey Lemes leads.

Also if we recall the situation in 2011, the front order cars, especially no.1 on the road might just be in good position to avoid any hanging dust which could hamper the visibility - hence affecting speed. If not then it is a different game altogether. What if it rains? Well, anything can happen! So stay tuned, until then good night! ¡hasta mañana - see you tomorrow!

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VW Boys Lead by End of Day 1 - RACC Rally Spain | WRC - 2013

picture source wrc.com
Rally Espana kicked off with the opening set of three stages late in the day, actually in night at around 20:18, local time. Sebastien Ogier continued his dominance an kept a very healthy margin with his fellow competition, and he did it in style by winning all the three stages of opening leg.

Local WRC hero, Dani Sordo was a tough competition, and he climbed to a strong 2nd by the end of SS2, but unfortunately lost time in the night's last stage and had slipped to third overall. Jari-Matti Latvala, another VW Polo R driver finished in a strong second place by the end of the stage.

Qatar M-Sport's emerging talent, Thierry Neuville was not able to find his perfect rhythm and is 19.1secs Citroen WRT's no.1 driver Mikko Hirvonen sits further down by another 8.2secs in 5th overall. Andreas Mikkelsen, Evgeny Novikov, Mads Ostberg, WRC class debutante - Hayden Paddon, and Martin Prokop finish the top 10 positions respectively.
down the leader in 4th overall.

Rally resumes early tomorrow, with the repetition of the last stage of today as the opening stage for the day, and later resumes with a fresh itinerary with a monster 42.04km special stage with another 26.48km stage, which will be run twice [after a mid-day service] and ending the day with a super special at the city of Salou. 

It is definitely going to be an spectacular winding and circuit type roads to feast for tomorrow. Don't miss for updates at our FB page, and on twitter account. Until tomorrow, despedida!
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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 wrc.com]

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 www.best-of-rallylive.com.

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