It’s the final day. How’s that possible? How have we come to the end of Rally Italy so soon – round six seems to have been done in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry, the final brings a brace of classics.
Closest to the service park in Alghero, these two stages are just north up the coast. They might not be massive, but they could prove to be very, very significant.
SS13/15 Cala Flumini (8.73 miles)
A Sunday morning staple, this one starts by threading the eye of a high-speed, stone-walled needle. Driving the first stretch of this stage is an absolute eye-opener to how narrow it is in places, and get it wrong and you’ll be pinballing between the walls. The good thing is the hard-packed gravel surface offers more than reasonable grip. An asphalt section mid-way through splits the stage and after the Tarmac, the crews are bound for the beach on a faster section before the road narrows again towards the finish.
SS14/16 Sassari – Argentiera (4.21 miles)
When this stage was first introduced there was absolute outrage that a round of the World Rally Championship could end on the beach. It’s now hard to imagine Rally Italy ending anywhere other than the Argentiera sands before the bright blue Mediterranean. You know this one, it really doesn’t need much of an introduction (if you want a reminder, YouTube for Ogier v Neuville a couple of years ago…). It’s quick off the start, but horribly bumpy in places before you run adjacent to the sea, through a hairpin left and into a staggeringly steep downhill section (the sort where you simple can’t believe anybody would be mad enough to accelerate – yet these boys are flat chat). And then back onto a quick section along the beach to the finish.