I’ve just got off the plane from Gatwick having had a 4:00AM start (having only really slept for 2 hours), I’m already shattered and the event hasn’t even begun yet. Yet I can’t wait to get started out here at one of the prettiest FIA World Rally Championship rounds on the calendar, ladies and gentlemen welcome to the absolutely stunning island of Sardinia.
A lot of the time when we do these big WRC trips we don’t get any time to soak up the local sights and sounds but luckily for this one we had a day off so went exploring around one of the many national parks. Cappo Caccia is where we initially headed exploring the incredible cliff based stairs that follow the edge of the Mediterranean sea before we headed into the rally base for the weekend, Alghero.
I didn’t expect much of Alghero to be honest, most Rally HQs aren’t really anything that special. They’re 9 times out of 10 a car park in an industrial estate or even inside an exposition centre. Alghero was different though – the service was right on the marina in a Monaco-esque kind of placement. Wander past the service park and towards the centre of town and you’ll find that Alghero is steeped in history with medieval weaponry lining the sea wall.
Rally Italia Sardegna is known for being a ‘marathon’ rally, it may not be the Safari Rally of old but for these cars and drivers it’s certainly tough. But it’s not just tough for the drivers! Spectators following the rally are subject to the same hardships. Early wake ups and late returns home means that 5:55AM flight is still taking it’s toll even at the very end of the rally.
But would I change a single thing? No. Not in the slightest. Every time I come back from a FIA World Rally Championship round I proclaim “This is the best! Go there!” and I’m doing it again. Rally Italia Sardegna is the best WRC round I’ve ever attended – go there.
The next WRC round for me will be back to familiar ground at the ADAC Rallye Deutschland for some more Mosel Vineyard action. I can’t wait.