WRC - 2019 FIA World Rally Championship Rally de España - Preview | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WRC - 2019 FIA World Rally Championship Rally de España - Preview

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18.10.19

The penultimate round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship season, Rally de España (October 25-27) provides a unique challenge as the only mixed-surface event on the calendar. 

The first day of the Salou-based rally will be mostly held on gravel roads before the mechanics take centre-stage during a longer than usual evening service, as they will race to convert the cars to asphalt specification for the remaining two days. Following this overnight change, the drivers will have to quickly adapt to the fast and sweeping sealed surface, which is often compared to a race circuit in its characteristics.

After his victory on Rally GB, Toyota’s Ott Tänak comes to Spain with a 28-point lead over his nearest rival in the drivers’ standings, Citroën driver Sébastien Ogier. The Estonian is just a step away from glory as a win in Spain would give him a maiden World Champion title. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville also remains in contention, however the Belgian holds a deficit of 41 points to Tänak. The fight is much closer in the manufacturers’ championship, where Hyundai leads Toyota by just eight points.

2018 Rally de España winner Sébastien Loeb returns to WRC action for his first start since Portugal at the beginning of June, alongside Spanish favourite Dani Sordo, who completes the Hyundai line-up at his home event. Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta drives a fourth Toyota Yaris WRC, entered by Tommi Mäkinen Racing, for the second time following his convincing debut in Germany.

The newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanperä heads the FIA WRC 2 Pro field, with his Škoda team-mate Jan Kopecký, M-Sport driver Gus Greensmith and Citroën’s Mads Østberg now fighting for the runner-up position.

The top seven drivers in the FIA WRC 2 standings will all be in action as part of  a strong 19-car field, with Pierre-Louis Loubet defending his lead against rivals Benito Guerra, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Nikolay Gryazin. Spain’s rising star Jan Solans will step up to WRC 2 on his home rally, only a couple of weeks after his triumph in the FIA Junior WRC Championship, and will compete against his brother Nils, the 2017 FIA Junior WRC champion.

THE 2019 ROUTE

Since 2002 the event has been based in the Costa Dorada resort of Salou, 110 kilometres south of Barcelona, where the ceremonial start will take place on Thursday evening. Friday’s gravel leg consists of two loops of three stages including the longest of the event, the 38.85 kilometre “La Fatarella –Vilalba” speed test with several asphalt sections. After the full switch to asphalt, Saturday takes the crews to the north for a repeated loop of three stages, before an evening stage on the Salou seafront. Sunday features two stages run twice, including “La Mussara”, which is visited for the first time since 2014 and will serve as the rally-ending Power Stage.

RALLY DATA
 

Total distance1.288.85 km
Stage distance:325.56 km (25.26%)
Number of stages:17



MEDIA ACCREDITATION

The Accreditation Desk is located at PortAventura World, Convention Centre (Av. Alcalde Pere Molas Km. 2, 43480 Vila-Seca – Salou).

The opening hours are: 

Tuesday 22 October: 14:00 - 20:00
Wednesday 23 October:08:00 - 20:00
Thursday 24 October: 08:00 - 20:00
Friday 25 October:07:30 - 14:00


2019 RALLY DE ESPAÑA TIMETABLE & MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES ORGANISED BY THE FIA

 

Wednesday 23 October 
Mandatory media safety briefing, Photographers’ Room, Media Center17:00 hrs
  
Thursday 24 October 
Mandatory Shakedown for P1 & P2P, Salou area09:00 - 10:30 hrs
Shakedown for all Priority drivers (P1, P2P, P2), Salou area10:45 – 12:45 hrs
Shakedown (others), Salou area13:00 - 14:30 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’ Top 3 Shakedown, Michelin stage, PortAventura SP13:15 hrs
FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, HQ Convention Centre14:00 hrs
Starting with P2P & P2 drivers (10’) 
Followed by P1 drivers (10’) 
Autograph signing session for P1 crews, Salou, Passeig Jaume 118:00 - 18:30 hrs
Family photo with authorities & P1 crews, Salou, Passeig Jaume 118:40 hrs
Ceremonial start, Podium, Salou, Passeig Jaume 119:00 hrs
  
Friday 25 October 
Start of Section 1, PortAventura SP08:00 hrs
First car arrives for regroup, media zone & service, PortAventura SP13:08 hrs
First car arrives for regroup, media zone & final service, PortAventura SP19:41 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’ post-Leg 1, Michelin stage, PortAventura SPDuring the 45’ service
  
Saturday 26 October 
Start of Section 3, PortAventura SP07:30 hrs
First car arrives for regroup, media zone & service, PortAventura SP12:00 hrs
First car arrives to regroup after SS12, Salou17:12 hrs
First car arrives for media zone, regroup & final service, PortAventura SP17:50 hrs
‘Meet the Crews’ post-Leg 2, Michelin stage, PortAventura SPDuring the 45’ service
  
Sunday 27 October 
Start of Section 6, PortAventura SP07:30 hrs
First car arrives for regroup, media zone & service, PortAventura SP09:38 hrs
First car arrives for Regroup after SS16, Les Borges del Camp11:25 hrs
Rally Finish, TC17D before Podium Salou, Passeig Jaume 114:01 hrs
Podium Ceremony & Price Giving, Podium Salou, Passeig Jaume 1From 15:00 hrs
FIA Press Conference, Press Room, Media Center, HQ Convention Centre16:00 hrs



FIA PRESS CONFERENCE ATTENDANCE
 

Thursday 24 OctoberFIA WRC
 Ott TÄNAK (EST), Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team
 Sébastian OGIER (FRA), Citroën Total World Rally Team
 Dani SORDO (ESP), Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team
 Elfyn EVANS (GBR), M-Sport Ford World Rally Team
 FIA WRC 2 Pro
 Gus GREENSMITH (GBR), M-Sport Ford 
 Mads ØSTBERG (NOR), Citroën Total
 FIA WRC 2
 Pierre-Louis LOUBET (FRA)
 Jan SOLANS (ESP)
  
Sunday 27 OctoberWinning FIA WRC 2 Pro Championship crew
 Winning FIA WRC 2 Championship crew
 Top three crews in the overall classification
 Representative of the winning manufacturer



2019 RALLY DE ESPAÑA, MANUFACTURER ENTRIES
 

Hyundai Shell Mobis WRTThierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (#11)
 Dani Sordo / Carlos Del Barrio (#6)
 Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena (#19)
  
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRTOtt Tänak / Martin Järveoja (#8)
 Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall (#5)
 Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (#10)
  
Citroën Total WRTSébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (#1)
 Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (#4)
  
M-Sport Ford WRTTeemu Suninen / Jarmo Lehtinen (#3)
 Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (#33)


 

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS

The provisional classifications for all the WRC Championships is available on the following link:
https://www.fia.com/events/world-rally-championship/season-2019/standings

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