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  Home > Rallies > Sardinia
Gravel in Italy
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San Remo Rally was situated in densely populated Liguarian coast with cities like Turin, Genoa and Milan in very close proximity with plenty of italian motorsport fans ready to hit the stages as soon as rally started. Over the years spectator congestation got worse as route was concentrated on smaller geographical area to comply with cloverleaf format required by the FIA. In the end that spelled the end for San Remo Rally when decision to move rally from San Remo to Sardinia was made by the FIA.

For decades, Costa Smeralda Rally has been one of the leading European Championship rallies and it was on these foundations that new WRC round was to be built upon. Curiously, if San Remo was geographically very close to Monte Carlo Rally, Costa Smeralda is next to Tour de Corse as it is based on northern tip of isle of Sardinia, just south of Corsica.

Rally itself is run over typical mediterranean gravel stages, not excessively rough but quite demanding and narrow. Stage surface is sandy and at times very soft with big stones right on the edge of the road, making precise driving very important. Not as slow as Cyprus but drivers ask for faster stages but unfortunately stages from Costa Smeralda Rally were not used, at least in 2004 edition.

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Official rally website

Previous winners
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 2004:   Solberg, Petter   Subaru Impreza WRC2004   81.02 km/h 
 2005:   Loeb, Sebastien   Citroen Xsara WRC   85.18 km/h 
 2006:   Loeb, Sebastien   Citroen Xsara WRC   88.33 km/h 
 2007:   Gronholm, Marcus   Ford Focus RS WRC 06   89.95 km/h 
 2008:   Loeb, Sebastien   Citroen C4 WRC   87.17 km/h 
 2009:   Latvala, Jari-Matti   Ford Focus RS WRC 09   86.45 km/h 
 2011:   Loeb, Sebastien   Citroen DS3 WRC   90.31 km/h 
 2012:   Hirvonen, Mikko   Citroen DS3 WRC   90.05 km/h 
 2013:   Ogier, Sebastien   Volkswagen Polo R WRC   89.99 km/h 
 2014:   Ogier, Sebastien   Volkswagen Polo R WRC   90.24 km/h 
 2015:   Ogier, Sebastien   Volkswagen Polo R WRC   89.05 km/h 
 2016:   Neuville, Thierry   Hyundai New Generation i20 WRC   90.33 km/h 
 2017:   Tanak, Ott   Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2017   91.40 km/h 
rocky stages
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
No room for error here: narrow roads with big stones very close to the road call for precise driving. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
sandy stages
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Landing after a jump, Solberg demonstrates soft sandy nature of the sardinian stages. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
typical mediterranean terrain
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Terrain is typical mediterranean mountains, rocky and barren. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Driver wins
  Loeb, Sebastien (4)
  Ogier, Sebastien (3)
  Gronholm, Marcus (1)
  Hirvonen, Mikko (1)
  Latvala, Jari-Matti (1)
  Neuville, Thierry (1)
  Solberg, Petter (1)
  Tanak, Ott (1)
Manufacturer wins
  Citroen (5)
  Ford (3)
  Volkswagen (3)
  Hyundai (1)
  Subaru (1)
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