The Loudon-clear guide to… RallyRACC Catalunya-Costa Daurada Rally de España

The Loudon-clear guide to… RallyRACC Catalunya -Costa Daurada Rally de España

More than any other round of the World Rally Championship, this Catalan classic is one for the whole team. It’s a unique challenge across the whole year.

Friday night in Salou is one of the highlights of the season as the world’s best drivers and co-drivers hand their too-tall gravel-rashed rally car over to the world’s best mechanics. And 75 minutes later, they’re handed back a hunkered-down Tar-snorting racer. Just in time for the weekend…

I won’t be around in Catalunya, which is a real shame. My outing with Mohamed Al-Mutawaa and Abu Dhabi Racing in Corsica really gave me an insight into working with a top-level team and left me wanting more of the same. So, no Spain for me.

I will, however, be doing the next best thing: the Mull Rally. John MacCrone and I are out for our second win in three years on one of the rally world’s best-kept secrets. We’re in a Ford Fiesta R5 and start on Friday night, stop around midnight, then re-start Saturday morning and go through until the early hours of Sunday. It’s fantastic competition on some incredible roads on an island just off the west coast of Scotland.

Mull will bring to an end an incredible three-rally, three-weekend journey that’s taken me from Bastia to San Marino (Rallylegend with Alister McRae) to Tobermory. I’m only two-thirds down and it’s already been amazing. And it’s only served to strengthen my desire to make this my job. I love this sport and I love co-driving.

So, from a distance, I’ll be keeping a keen eye on Salou to see how close Sébastien Ogier comes to title number four and who takes that all-important Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy title.


The rally ahead…

FIA World Rally Championship round 11/13

WRC – WRC2 – WRC3 – DDFT

Date: Thursday October 13 – Sunday October 16

Based: Salou

Service: PortAventura, Salou

Stages: 19

Competitive distance: 321.08km (199.51 miles)

Liaison distance: 1057.23km (656.96 miles)

Total distance: 1378.31km (856.48 miles)

Longest stage: SS4/7 Terra Alta 38.95km (24.20 miles)

Shortest stage: SS15 Salou 2.24km (1.39 miles)

Currency: Euro

Time difference: GMT +2

Language: Spanish

Spain population: 46.5m

Capital: Madrid

Sunrise: 0801

Sunset: 1914


Shakedown:

The 2.97km (1.84 miles) shakedown stage is located in Salou 2.36km (1.46 miles) from the service park. The stage runs from 0800-1200.


RallyRACC Catalunya -Costa Daurada Itinerary

Thursday October 13

Ceremonial start, Salou 1315

SS1 Barcelona 3.20km (1.98 miles) 1806

Friday October 14

SS2 Caseres 1 12.50km (7.76 miles) 1008

SS3 Bot 1 6.50km (4.03 miles) 1036

SS4 Terra Alta 1 38.95km (24.20 miles) 1111

Remote tyre zone Ascó 1211

SS5 Caseres 2 12.50km (7.76 miles)  1418

SS6 Bot 2 6.50km (4.03 miles) 1446

SS7 Terra Alta 2 38.95km (24.20 miles) 1521

Service PortAventura 1721

Saturday October 15  

SS8 Vilaplana 6.28km (3.90 miles) 0810

SS9 Alcover-Capafonts 1 19.93km (12.38 miles) 0849

SS10 Querol 1 21.26km (13.21 miles) 1021

SS11 El Montmell 1 24.14km (15.00 miles) 1103

Service PortAventura 1231

SS12 Alcover-Capafonts 2 19.93km (12.38 miles) 1357

SS13 Querol 2 21.26km (13.21 miles) 1529

SS14 El Montmell 2 24.14km (15.00 miles) 1611

SS15 Salou 2.24km (1.39 miles) 1800

Service PortAventura 1820

Sunday October 16

SS16 Pratdip 1 19.30km (11.99 miles) 0724

SS17 Duesaigües 1 12.10km (7.51 miles) 0813

Service PortAventura 0905

SS18 Pratdip 2 19.30km (11.99 miles) 1039

SS19 Duesaigües 2 12.10km (7.51 miles) 1208

Service PortAventura 1318

Finish Podium Salou 1430


Last year…

One stage to go and Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia are surfing a 53-second lead all the way back to the beach. They’re not going to drop this one. Ninety minutes later, all hell breaks loose. They’ve wiped their Volkswagen Polo R WRC against a barrier on the exit of a final-stage left-hander. The unimaginable has actually happened. And Andreas Mikkelsen has won his first ever round of the World Rally Championship. The Norwegian had pushed hard to wrest second place from his team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala by three seconds in the final stage, but when word came through Ogier had crashed, his face was a picture. He and Ola Fløene were genuinely speechless, but very worthy and welcome new winners. Latvala was second while Hyundai’s Dani Sordo was grateful for the leg up onto his home podium.

Result: 1 Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3h21m04.8s; 2 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Antilla (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +3.1s; 3 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +21.2s


Top 10 running order

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

2 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

3 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC)

4 Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC)

5 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

6 Dani Sordo/Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC)

7 Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)

8 Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle (Citröen DS3 WRC)

9 Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (Ford Fiesta RS WRC)

10 Craig Breen/Scott Martin (Citröen DS3 WRC)


Leading WRC2 runners:

31 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Škoda Fabia R5)

32 Armin Kremer/Pirmin Winklhofer (Škoda Fabia R5)

33 Pontus Tidemand/Jonas Andersson (Škoda Fabia R5)

34 Jan Kopecky/Pavel Dresler (Škoda Fabia R5)

35 Marius Aasen/Veronica Engan (Ford Fiesta R5)

36 Pierre-Louis Loubet/Vincent Landais (Citroën DS 3 R5)


Leading WRC3 runners:

62 Michel Fabre/Maxime Vilmot (Citröen DS3 R3T)  

63 Fabio Andolfi/Manuel Fenoli (Peugeot 208 R2)

64 Damiano de Tommaso/Paolo Rocca (Peugeot 208 R2)

69 Enrico Brazzoli/Maurizio Barone (Peugeot 208 R2)

70 Michael Burri/Anderson Levratti (Renault Clio RSR3T)

71 Kevin van Deijne/Hein Verschuuren (Renault Clio RSR3T)


Leading DDFT runners:

102 Max Vatanen/Maxime Vilmot (Ford Fiesta R2)

103 Osian Pryce/Dale Furniss (Ford Fiesta R2)

104 Gus Greensmith/Katrin Becker (Ford Fiesta R2)

106 Jon Armstrong/Noel O’ Sullivan (Ford Fiesta R2)

107 Jakub Brzezinski/Jakub Gerber (Ford Fiesta R2)

109 Oscar Solberg/Patrik Barth (Ford Fiesta R2)


Stuart Loudon’s key stage: SS11 El Montmell 1 15.00 miles (24.14km)

Depending on which weather forecast you read (and which one you believe), the first run at El Montmell could be a tricky one. The stage itself is far from easy, starting from Vila-rodona just off the main road, the route runs up into the hills before coming down through some vineyards to a junction-right and on down to the finish near Sant Jaume dels Domenys. That last stretch is the interesting bit, with a good few long, long corners – which could be really squeezing the last bit out of an already compromised tyre choice. Don’t forget, the crews will start this stage in the hills on a selection of tyres made four hours earlier in the service park by the sea.


Stuart will be watching… all the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy runners.

This has been a fascinating series with some brilliant performances from the British and Irish crews. Osian Pryce and Dale Furniss are in the box seats, starting this final event in the lead of the championship, but Jon Amrstrong and Noel O’Sullivan and Gus Greensmith and his new co-driver Katrin Becker have shown enormous speed through the season so far. And then there’s that Vatanen name… second in the standings right now, Max Vatanen is the biggest threat to Osian and Dale this week. It’s going to be fascinating to watch how this one plays out.


Weather with you:

Looking like a bit of a mixed bag in the hills of Tarragona this week. With temperatures ranging from around 17-24 degrees, there promises to be some sunshine and some rain – with the potential for some thunderstorms thrown in to spice up some of those tyre choices as well.   


The media week:

Wednesday October 12

0800-2000 accreditation open (media centre, PortAventura World)

0800-2000 media centre open (media centre, PortAventura World)

1730-1815 Hyundai media lounge, (service park, PortAventura World)

1800-1845 M-Sport meet the team (service park, PortAventura World)

1830 Volkswagen meet the team (service park, PortAventura World)

Thursday October 13

0700-2000 accreditation open (media centre, PortAventura World)

0800-2200 media centre open (media centre, PortAventura World)

1000 meet the crews (top three from shakedown, service park)

1130 FIA pre-event press conference (media centre, PortAventura World)

1315 ceremonial start (Salou)

1745 photo-shoot for P1 drivers (Barcelona)

1800 autograph session for P1 drivers (Barcelona)

Friday October 14

0700-1400 accreditation open (media centre, PortAventura World)

0800-2200 media centre open (media centre, PortAventura World)

1800 (approx) meet the top three crews (service park, PortAventura World)

Saturday October 15

0700-2200 media centre open (media centre, PortAventura World)

1900 (approx) meet the top three crews (service park, PortAventura World)

Sunday October 16

0630-2300 media centre open (media centre, PortAventura World)

1430 podium finish (Salou)

1530 FIA post-event press conference (media centre, PortAventura World)

Stuart’s restaurant recommendation:

The tourist season is just about still going in Salou, so the place is absolutely buzzing with great places to eat. Castillo de Javier (+34 977 352222) is about the best, if you can get a table. If you can’t, walk down the seafront and take your pick. Or head to the Irish bar on the roundabout and have a think about it…  


Recent winners:

2006: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen Xsara WRC)

2007: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen C4 WRC)

2008: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen C4 WRC)

2009: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen C4 WRC)

2010: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen C4 WRC)

2011: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen DS 3 WRC)

2012: Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citröen DS 3 WRC)

2013: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

2014: Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)

2015: Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC)


Most successful driver on the Rally RACC Catalunya -Costa Daurada:

Sébastien Loeb  (8 wins)


World Rally Championship stat centre:

Rounds run: 10

Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 21-24), winners: Ogier/ Ingrassia; Rally Sweden (February 4-7), winners: Ogier/Ingrassia; Rally Mexico (March 3-6), winners: Latvala/Anttila; Rally Argentina (April 21-24), winners: Meeke/Nagle; Rally of Portugal (May 19-22), winners: Paddon/Kennard; Rally Italy (June 9-12), winners: Neuville/Gilsoul; Rally Poland (June 30-July 03), Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger; Rally Finland (July 28-31), winners: Meeke/Nagle; ADAC Rallye Deutschland (August 18-21), winners: Ogier/ Ingrassia; Tour de Corse (September 29-October 2), winners: Ogier/Ingrassia.

Stages completed: 177

Cancelled stages: 10

Accumulated winning time: 33h54m21.1s

Accumulated competitive distance: 3,396.29km (2,112.35 miles)

Accumulated liaison distance: 9,491.31km (5,900.38 miles)

Accumulated total distance: 13,251.60km (8,234.51 miles)

Longest stage of the season so far: Guanajuato (Rally Mexico) 80.00km (49.71 miles)

Shortest stage of the season so far: Street Stage Guanajuato (Rally Mexico) 1.09km (0.67 miles)

Most WRC fastest stage times in 2016

1 Ogier 51

2 Latvala 30

3 Neuville 24

= Meeke 24

Most WRC stages led in 2016

1 Ogier 61

2 Meeke 45

3 Latvala 31

Most WRC2 fastest stage times in 2016

1 Teemu Suninen 33

= Lappi 33

=Evans 33

2 Tidemand 21

Most WRC2 stages led in 2016

1 Lappi 44

2 Suninen 38

= Evans 38

3 Tidemand 25

Most Junior WRC fastest stage times in 2016

1 Tempestini 36

2 Veiby 19

3 Terry Folb 9

Most Junior WRC stages led in 2016

1 Tempestini 43

2 Veiby 26

3 Martin Koci 10

Most WRC3 fastest stage times in 2016

1 Michel Fabre 51

2 Tempestini 34

3 Veiby 27

Most WRC3 stages led in 2016

1 Fabre 59

2 Tempestini 40

3 Veiby 39

Eight drivers have led WRC rounds; twelve have led WRC2, six have led Junior WRC and ten have led WRC3 rounds.


WRC standings

1 Ogier 195pts

2 Mikkelsen 127pts

3 Neuville 112pts


WRC2 standings

1 Evans 120pts

2 Suninen 93pts

3 Lappi 82pts


Junior WRC standings

1 Tempestini 105pts

2 Veiby 62pts

3 Folb 58pts


WRC3 standings

1 Tempestini 105pts

2 Fabre 79pts

3 Veiby 73pts


Rally RACC Catalunya -Costa Daurada media contact:
Lluïsa Torras

Lluisa.torras@racc.es

+34 618 739 739


Stuart Loudon media contact:

Sandra Evans

Sandra@wordspr.com

+ 44 7887 693993


Stuart Loudon is a semi-professional co-driver who has started 87 rallies, 19 of which are rounds of the World Rally Championship and one of which was with an Ashes-winning English cricketer. He makes biscuits in the family business when he’s not working towards his dream of becoming a factory co-driver in the WRC.


Stuart Loudon and Words PR work their socks off to make sure every last dot and detail of the document is 100 per cent accurate – but we can’t be responsible for any changes to the itinerary or stage distances.

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Friday night in Salou is one of the highlights of the season as the world’s best drivers and co-drivers hand their too-tall gravel-rashed rally car over to the world’s best mechanics. And 75 minutes later, they’re handed back a hunkered-down Tar-snorting racer. Just in time for the weekend…
Stuart Loudon
John MacCrone and I are out for our second win in three years on one of the rally world’s best-kept secrets. We’re in a Ford Fiesta R5 and start on Friday night, stop around midnight, then re-start Saturday morning and go through until the early hours of Sunday. It’s fantastic competition on some incredible roads on an island just off the west coast of Scotland.
Stuart Loudon