A THRILLING SELECTION OF TWISTY MOUNTAIN ROADS AWAIT COMPETITORS THIS WEEKEND AT THE FIRST ALL-ASPHALT RALLY OF THE SEASON, CORSICA LINEA – TOUR DE CORSE (28-31 MARCH).
As the fourth round of the year, the Tour de Corse presents another specialist challenge for WRC crews, and an itinerary that features many changes from 2018.
More than three-quarters of the three-day event’s stage distance is either new or returns after a number of years away. Just two tests are retained from last season, but these will run in shorter form.
Porto-Vecchio, which hosted the finish in 2016 and 2017, will provide the backdrop to the ceremonial start on Thursday evening, and Friday’s competitive action remains in the south of the island with a loop of three stages, totalling 60.91km.
These stages are tackled twice with no service, except a tyre fitting zone for fresh rubber at the midpoint. The loop consists of the new Bavella test (17.60km), a modified 25.94km version of Valinco – 15.66km shorter than the last time it was tackled in 2015 – and a new stage called Alta-Rocca (17.37km).
On Saturday, the action moves to more familiar territory in the north for another repeated loop of three stages, this time split by a service break at Bastia airport.
The loop begins with Cap Corse (25.62km) – a shortened and renamed version of last year’s Cagnano-Pino-Canari stage – and is followed by the Désert des Agriates (14.45km) test. Completing the loop is the new Castagniccia test – the longest of the rally at 47.18km.
Two stages comprise Sunday’s schedule, with Eaux de Zilia (31.85km) preceding the 19.34km Calvi Wolf Power Stage which ends just outside the centre of Calvi. The podium ceremony will take place in the town.
In total, the itinerary features 347.51 competitive kilometres, run across 14 special stages.