From the fast and flowing roads of Estonia just over a week ago, the World Rally Championship moves on to the rough and rocky Rally Turkey this weekend.
As in Estonia, Turkey is a bit shorter than a normal WRC itinerary, with Friday truncated to a pair of stages run only once, and only 12 stages over three days of action.
But there are two fairly beefy stages that are run twice and will require maximum concentration over a long period: Saturday’s Yeşilbelde test, which runs to 19.75 miles, and Sunday’s Çetibeli stage, the longest of the event at 23.71 miles.
In both cases they’re the first stages of the day and subsequent afternoon loops, giving the crews a rude awakening straight out of the service park.
Experience will count for more in Turkey than Estonia too, as only 9.3 miles of special stage is different for 2020; the rest is identical to 2019. That puts Hyundai junior Pierre-Louis Loubet at an even bigger disadvantage, as the only one of the 10 priority one drivers never to have competed on the Marmaris-based event before.
Other changes to the WRC line-up include nine-time champion Sébastien Loeb rotating into the third Hyundai for the first time since January, and Toyota’s fourth Yaris for Takamoto Katsuta being absent this weekend.
This is how the drivers, teams and stages stack up for Rally Turkey this weekend:
#17 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC)
#33 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC)
#8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
#69 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC)
#11 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
#3 Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC)
#4 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Ford Fiesta WRC)
#9 Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
#44 Gus Greensmith/Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC)
#7 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Leading championship positions:
1 Ogier 79; 2 Evans 70; 3 Tänak 66; 4 Rovanperä 55; 5 Neuville 42; 6 Suninen 34
1 Mads Østberg 75; 2 Pontus Tidemand 55; 3 Nikolay Gryazin 51; 4 Adrien Fourmaux 48; 5 Ole Christian Veiby 33; 6 Rhys Yates 22
1 Jari Huttunen 43; 2 Marco Bulacia 37; 3 Oliver Solberg 35; 4 Nicolas Ciamin 26; 5 Eric Camilli 25; 6 Emil Lindholm 18
Drivers shown in italics are not competing on Rally Turkey
Rally Turkey entry breakdown:
Total 26 crews
10 Priority 1 crews
3 Priority 2 crews (WRC2)
12 Priority 3 crews (WRC3)
1 Non-Priority crew
Itinerary – all times Turkey local (+2 BST, +7 ET, +10 PT)
Friday September 18
Shakedown – (2.92 miles) 0856
SS1 İçmeler (8.64 miles) 1708
SS2 Gökçe (7.03 miles) 1821
Flexi Service Asparan 2006
Saturday September 19
Service Asparan 0757
SS3 Yeşilbelde 1 (19.75 miles) 0850
SS4 Datça 1 (5.44 miles) 1008
SS5 Kızlan 1 (8.17 miles) 1106
Service Asparan 1332
SS6 Yeşilbelde 2 (19.75 miles) 1450
SS7 Datça 2 (5.44 miles) 1608
SS8 Kızlan 2 (8.17 miles) 1706
Flexi Service Asparan 1827
Sunday September 20
Service Asparan 0627
SS9 Çetibeli 1 (23.71 miles) 0730
SS10 Marmaris 1 (4.38 miles) 0908
Service Asparan 0943
SS11 Çetibeli 2 (23.71 miles) 1110
SS12 Marmaris 2 (4.38 miles) 1318
Total competitive distance: 138.57 miles
Total liaison distance: 301.25 miles
Total distance: 439.81 miles
Keep an eye on our website plus our social media channels for the fastest and most comprehensive Rally Turkey coverage this weekend.
We’ll have coverage of every stage, all the news from the service park, on-the-scene conditions updates from Wednesday morning and regular video insight and interviews from Colin Clark and David Evans.
Then check back on Monday for David Evans’ unrivaled in-depth analysis of how the rally was won, our ‘things we learned’ rundown of the biggest talking points, a ranking of the drivers’ performances over the event and the best pictures of the weekend.