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2012 WRC Calendar
25th November 2011, 1:36 at 1:36 am #130529
So, the calendar for the 2012 seson have been released, and it’s a good one. For one, Rallye Monte Carlo is back:
Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo (January 17-22)
Rally Sweden (Februry 9-12)
Rally Mexico (March 8-11)
Rally de Portugal (March 29-April 1)
Rally Argentina (April 27-29)
Acropolis Rally (May 25-27)
Rally New Zealand (June 22-24)
Rally Finland (August 2-5)
Rallye Deutschland (August 24-26)
Wales Rally GB (September 13-16)
Rallye de France Alsace (October 4-7)
Targa Florio Rally (October 18-21)
Rally of Spain (Novembe 1-4)
Here are the major changes:
- Rallye Monte Carlo is back in
- Rally Jordan has been dropped (but Rally Abu Dhabi has not been added as expected)
- Rally GB has been brought forward to September, making Rally Catalunya the finale
- Rally Italy moves from Sardegna to Sicily
- Rally New Zealand and Rally Australia have been swapped
- It remains unconfirmed, but it is believed that Rally Argentina will actually cross into Brazil25th November 2011, 3:42 at 3:42 am #185260
So glad Monte Carlo is back, and that’s odd about Abu Dhabi. Was actually looking forward to seeing how that one would turn out.25th November 2011, 3:50 at 3:50 am #185261
I believe Rally Abu Dhabi still has candidate status in 2012 (most events are run as candidates for two years before joining the WRC). It can join the calendar in 2013.24th December 2011, 1:06 at 1:06 am #185262
Rally Argentina will become the longest event in the modern era of the sport, with over 500km (300mi) of competitive stages planned:
Although the original concept of an “endurance” rally starting in Buenos Aires and featuring stages in Uruguay and Chile has been abandoned.27th December 2011, 22:12 at 10:12 pm #185263
Wow, an early start. Thanks for the dates @prisoner-monkeys I shall use them on the schedule I put together at some point.
I would really like to get to a rally some day and I was thinking next year. However, I doubt I can squeeze it all in, unless I attend my home rally.27th December 2011, 23:08 at 11:08 pm #185264
Monte Carlo is traditionally run in January to take full advantage of the snows, making the rally that much harder.
I’ve actually been to a rally – the 2005 Rally Australia – and it was a fantastic experience, but if you are going to go, you really need to plan your trip out. Large parts of the old Rally Australia route were planned out with spectators in mind (and without compromising the challenge of the stages), but even then, we had to get up at six in the morning just to get out to the stages in time, and we usually didn’t get back until ten or eleven at night.
I’m guessing that you’re either a Kiwi or a Briton, which means your home rally is either Rally New Zealand or the Wales Rally GB. I haven’t been to either, but my uncle has, and he says that both are excellent. Just be aware that if you’re in New Zealand, there is not a whole lot of spectator support the way there is in Australia; you’ll generally have to make your own way out. And if you’re in Wales, be prepared to stand in the middle of a freezing cold Welsh forest at four in the morning.
If you can’t make a WRC event, try the IRC. You can find the dates here:
Although there are only two (and a half; Cyprus is a mixed event) gravel rallies. Everything else is asphalt. Judging by what limited coverage of the series I got last year, the Prime Yalta Rally in Crimea looks pretty good.27th December 2011, 23:31 at 11:31 pm #185265
Thanks @prisoner-monkeys I’m in the UK and Wales certainly did look less than tropical!
That’s my main concern with heading to a rally. Making sure I get value-for-money out of the trip, due to having to move between courses and them also being accessible from accommodation and such. I guess that’s half the fun though…28th December 2011, 0:15 at 12:15 am #185266
The route is usually published in advance, and the Wales Rally GB is known for spectator-friendly stages. Stages like Sweet Lamb often have sections that are purpose-built for spectators, it’s kind of a natural amphitheatre. But if you know where the rally will be and when (and the route is usually published well in advance), you can often plan your route in advance. Just be warned that Rally GB has a remote start – although based in Cardiff, this year’s event started at the Great Orme, which is about as far away as you can get from Cardiff whilst still being in Wales. Standing in the middle of a freezing Welsh forest in the dead of night, unable to see anything for the thick blanket of fog that covers everything for the chance to be splattered by cold mud as a rally car tears past (and you will often have no idea who it was) might not sound like much fun, but it’s all part of the appeal and it’s pretty much the same everywhere (Rally Australia was a case of marinating in your own sweat and being harrassed by blowflies in between being regularly coated with a thick layer of red dust). Try and find Petter Solberg’s fans if you can – they’re a lot of fun, even if they’re too drunk to pay attention to the rally.
If you can’t do Wales, the Rally France-Alsace might be a better option. It’s based out of Strasbourg, and it’s centrally-located. So too the Rally of Germany, out of Trier. They might be tarmac events, but don’t let that stop you; they are wildly different. France is run on narrow, fast municipal roads, often broken up by slower sections through villages. Germany, on the other hand, weaves through vineyards and often uses old German Army proving grounds where they used to test tanks, so the roads are lined with cubic-metre blocks of reinforced concrete and the surface is mostly broken tarmac over low-grade road base.
Failing that, try the Rally of Ireland on the IRC. The IRC might be for S2000-class cars, but they’re pretty nippy even if they don’t have same throaty roar of a WRC-spec car. It’s much earlier in the year, so it might be the best option if you only have a spare weekend somewhere.1st January 2012, 21:38 at 9:38 pm #185267
Thanks again. The weather would certainly not put me off. I’m going to attend the F1 Belgian GP this year so no amount of bad weather can put me off. Like you say, that’s part of the charm.
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