One stage that can throw literally anything at World Rally Championship crews, who can find it too easy to throw their cars off the road, and another which has had to adapt to the lack of spectators in coronavirus-era rallying.
This what awaits the world’s best drivers on Sunday of Rally Turkey, and they have to cover the array of challenges brought up by these stages twice. As ever, David Evans explains what each of the stages will offer.
SS9/11 Çetibeli (23.70 miles)
The average speed for this rally is 49mph. Without the first three miles of this stage, that average would be even slower. Welcome to a very warm Finland (albeit without the jumps, the lakes, and the Tupla chocolate bars, but with a whole lot more massive rocks).
Seriously, in that first section there are only a couple of significant corners. But after that, the road narrows and the edges get edgier, with the cuts more and more risky.
Once the road starts to climb the surface gets looser and looser, but the road gets tighter and more twisty. In places it’s slow and really hard going, the soft stuff will dig-out and expose proper bedrock on the second loop.
Over the top and into the descent, it’s super nadgery for a mile-and-a-half downhill before an open hairpin left leads the crews back into a fast section.
That fast section runs to just past 15 miles and that’s where this stage description has to stop. Why? That’s where Team DirtFish got a puncture (which was hire car problem one; hire car problem two was a bit more sinister – an overheating issue which forced Hertz to wheel out the T-car).
Suffice to say, the last eight miles are rough, rocky, dusty and liable to turn the rally on its head in an instant.
SS10/12 Marmaris (3.86 miles)
The run around the bus station car park was pretty much hated by all the drivers, but loved by the fans. With no fans on this no-spectator event, the bus station grand prix is a thing of the past. Instead it’s off the line on asphalt and straight onto the dirt and into a mile-long climb on, guess what? A rough, narrow and twisty stretch. The downhill after the uphill is similarly tricky before a smoother faster and more flowing section towards the finish.