The highlight of the 51st Rallye Sanremo for the Intercontinental Rally Challenge's fans and competitors alike is likely to be the mighty 44 kilometres of the Cuori stage, taking place in the dead of night at the end of this Friday's opening action.
The crews start out from
the Piazza Colombo in Sanremo at 18:00 and take on three challenging stages: Picche, Fiori, and Quadri. Then all three stages will be amalgamated into one vast, daunting epic of performance and endurance: Cuori.
The 'super stage' was introduced for the rally's 50th anniversary last year.
"That will be a long and brutal stage, especially at night," said championship leader Kris Meeke's Irish co-driver, Paul Nagle.
The first of the 109 entries for the event is due to go into the Cuori stage at 22:43, with headlights blazing and concentration paramount.
For all the competitors and spectators, however, it's one more reason why the Rallye Sanremo, on the shores of the Italian Riviera, is one of the greatest challenges in world rallying.