Tiziano Siviero designed the Rally Italia Sardegna this year too. The rally will change its look again for its 15th edition. The race scheduled for June 7-10 is organized by Automobil Club d’Italia in partnership with Regione Sardegna and will be more compact than the previous editions.
The rally will touch again only the north part of the island, with a liason featuring 20 stages and 313 km competitive. The two times world champion describes the motivations behind this choice. «We chose to confirm the layout of the past two editions – the Italian driver commented – because it is quite homogeneous, easy to manage and has been appreciated. We chose to run the shakedown in Olmedo, as did in two different versions in 2016 and 2017, this time we mixed up the two versions to make it faster and more spectacular. We then opted again for the opening super special stage in Alghero, that will consist of two laps of the Ittiri Arena Show. There is not sign left of the old moto and auto-cross circuit. The new circuit has been made more interesting and completed by grandstands and the show will go live on TV. Slides, jumps and water fords will not be missing and this stage will be an unmissable spectacle for all fans, that have already highly appreciated the show in the past few editions filling up the circuit».
On day one, the historic co-driver of Miki Biasion highlights mainly the repetition of the format followed two years ago in Tula and Tergu-Osilo, the comeback of the Castelsardo test and the return of Monte Baranta. «Eight stages will make up leg one, four to be repeated twice, for a total of 122,86 km competitive. The 22km of the Tula SS will kick off the day. The stage is 7 km longer than in the past few editions and features several rhythm changes, which make it perhaps the most difficult stage of the whole rally. Getting these changes right might make one gain several seconds and the contrary might cost huge damages to the car. The Castelsardo SS, 14 km, will be back. This will differ from the past due to two short sectors at the start and end. The classic Tergu-Osilo (km 14,14) will follow, as usual in the Sardegna rally. The Friday loop will be completed by the Monte Baranta, in the same area that hosted shakedown the day before. This test will be 11 km long and will go through the same stages run in 2015 in reverse direction. The first km is located in a bauxite mine near Olmedo. Jumps, long corners and chicane around old equipment placed specifically to amuse the fans and photographers».
Saturday is going to be the longest and toughest day. It is a classic of the Rally Italia Sardegna, devised in the region of Monte Acuto following the itinerary of last year. «Due to its 146 km competitive, this is going to be a selective day, despite it featuring only seven SS – Siviero stated – because it is the longest but it also features the most selective stages. The scheduled tests to be repeated twice are a very short and fast version of the Coiluna-Loelle (km 14,95), specifically devised to meet the live TV coverage requests, and the more classic Monti di Alà and Monte Lerno, with the very famous Miky’s Jump, both longer than 28 km. These last two stages are split by only a few hundred meters and they will virtually be like a single 59 km stage. We decided not to make them a single stage because problems on the road would affect too much the length and difficulty of the rally». There is going to be only one pass through the Ittiri town at mid day, with the Città di Ittiri – Coros (1,4km) stage that will include a pass on the circuit of the super power stage run on Thursday followed by a short section to get out of the circuit.
Sunday June 10th the closing leg will feature 42,04 km competitive and four stages. «It is the same as last year. There will be two loops on the famous Cala Flumini (km 14,06) and Sassari-Argentiera (km 6,96, both loops live on TV). The second pass on the latter will be the closing power stage, as happened in the past two editions. The stage in Argentiera will unfold in the zone between Palmadula and Porto Palmas, and will also go through the remains of an old silver lead mine and some places on the sea that make it, according to the most of staff, the most beautiful power stage of the entire World Rally Championship. This is why this stage has been confirmed with full grades».
Tiziano Siviero does not have doubts on where the race will be decided. «Leg two will be crucial again with the whole Monte Lerno section that will house the three stages of the day. This is a classic of the rally, where the best drivers have always managed to set the pace inflicting big gaps. This is a graduation for old and new title contenders».