The magic of the World Rally Championship returns to Salou this weekend. After a year off, the Rally of Spain once again brings together the cream of the specialty on the roads of Tarragona, with an undisputed idol for the fans, Dani Sordo, who wants to win before his audience, and a legend, Sebastien Ogier, who wants to sentence his eighth title. They will be the two main poles of attention, but not the only ones.
Outside of the new regulations, the Catalan event, which celebrates its 30th anniversary at the World Cup, leaves its mixed format, with sections of dirt and asphalt, to focus on tar. There will only be asphalt sections on those roads that often look more like a circuit than a rally stage. The action starts on Thursday with the ‘shakedown’ and the start ceremony, but the highlight of the competition will take place between Friday and Sunday.
Saying that Deaf is a favorite is obvious. He has achieved eight podiums at home and has narrowed to victory countless times. He arrives full after his renewal with Hyundai, the team that achieved the double in the last asphalt event held in Ypres (Belgium), although its sections are not at all similar to those of Catalonia. But in front he will have the Toyota of Ogier and Elfyn Evans, who are playing the title, the other two i20s of Thierry Neuville (winner of the last edition) and Ott Tanak and even the Ford of Adrien Fourmaux as main contenders.
And after them we have Nil Solans, who debuts in the top category, topping the long list of Spaniards who also seek glory. Pepe López (who recovers Borja Rozada on his right) and Jan Solans pursue the victory in WRC3 and in total there will be 74 Spaniards between drivers and co-drivers, in a test that is scoring for the Peugeot Rally Cup and the Suzuki Cup in its first stage .
World of pilots
1. Sebastien Ogier, 190 points
2. Elfyn Evans, 166
3. Thierry Neuville, 130
4. Kalle Rovanpera, 129
5. Ott Tanak, 128
9. Dani Sordo, 43