Catalunya : Preview
Registered in the European Championship under the name Rallye de Catalunya Costa Brava, this Spanish round appeared on the World Rally calendar at the beginning of the 1990s.
Just like the other WRC events, the Catalan meeting had to reduce its
perimeter in recent years to fall in line with FIA regulations.
The Spanish mountain roads near the Mediterranean coastline are wide and it is possible to 'cut' corners to gain some time. This puts a bit of dirt on the surface so the road usually gets more slippery after the passage of each car.
The rally offers a wide variety of asphalt textures. These changes occur in the same stages and constitute part of the difficulty.
The 2004 edition of the Rally Catalunya took place around the city of Vic which is 80 km north-west of Lloret de Mar, the start-finish point of each leg. The temperature is typically comfortable in the afternoon but it is usually colder and humid in the morning. Rain is always a strong possibility...
In 2005, the race moved south to the Tarragona region. Despite the different stages, the characteristics of the event are still mostly the same. The teams must anticipate the changing weather conditions in order to make the right tyre choices. This will have a tremendous impact of the cars' performance, just like it is usually the case in Corsica.
The Spanish round is often dominated by asphalt specialists but on such a race, the smallest mistake can have huge consequences, which can lead to unexpected results.
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