With eight stages now completed of Rally Italy 2021, another eight lie in wait for the World Rally Championship crews on Saturday.
Following the same – but less traditional – format as Friday of two stages repeated across the same loop instead of two identical loops punctuated by a service, this should be a classic Sardinian Saturday with some classic tests.
SS9/11 Coiluna – Loelle (9.95 miles)
Completely unchanged from last year, this is the stage that caught out Kalle Rovanperä in 2020 and he smashed his Toyota into the trees. Typically Sardinian with some narrow-yet-fast sections, littered with roadside rocks and shrubbery, the unique feature of this stage is it enters a motocross track.
SS10/12 Lerno – Monti di Alà (13.7 miles)
The one with the famous Micky’s jump. The airborne moment is just 500 meters into the stage, and from there drivers can try and settle into a more consistent rhythm but that won’t be easy as the test repeatedly switches from technical to fast-and-flowing throughout.
SS13/15 Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba (9.1 miles)
A brand-new stage for everybody, although it has been run in the past back in 2005 – the second time Sardinia was in the WRC. Starts off narrow before continuing into a windfarm and ending with a series of fast downhill hairpins towards the end.
SS14/16 Sedini – Castelsardo (8.1 miles)
Shortened from previous years to cater for spectator access, Sedini – Castelsardo is otherwise unchanged and remains a staple of Rally Italy. Beginning with a smooth surface, the stage is notorious for its surface changes as the road regularly transitions from more forgiving stones to beaten, narrowerer tracks and even some asphalt sections.