Another gravel race awaits Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini and their Ford Focus RS of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team, Rally Turkey, 8th round of the FIA World Rally Championship Only two weeks after leaving Greece and a ...
Another gravel race awaits Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini and their Ford Focus RS of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team, Rally Turkey, 8th round of the FIA World Rally Championship
Only two weeks after leaving Greece and a difficult and hard Rally Acropolis, the drivers of the World Championship head to Kemer to tackle Rally Turkey, eighth round of the 2008 season.
Placing on file the Greek race, so tricky and full of problems, the Italian crew is now ready to face another gravel rally, not less difficult but with fastest special stages and a less uneven route then the last one. The experience done so far and the good pace achieved, shown also by winning four special stages in Greece, give good hopes to the Italian standard-bearers.
Rally Turkey is back in the World Championship after one year absence and close the loop of three races in the Mediterranean area.
Gigi Galli took part in this race only twice, in 2004 when he finished 10th overall and in 2005 when, after leading during the first part of the race, he finished in a good 8th place.
The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team has nominated GigiGalli/Giovanni Bernacchini and Henning Solberg/Cato Menkerud to score points in the Manufacturers Championship.
"I have good memories of the rally in Turkey as it was the first time I ever led a WRC event back in 2005. The road conditions are generally quite good and not as rough as the last rally in Greece which I think is a welcome change for everyone. My confidence is high after the last two gravel rallies. We have learnt a lot and it feels good to have set fastest stage times on both Sardinia and Greece and I know that the feeling with the car is very good now. The Pirelli tyres have proved they can cope with the rough conditions and my pace is getting much better; now we just need some luck on this rally."
The route is almost the same of 2006, last time this event was part of the WRC, with few changes in some of the special stages. All three legs are located on the Anatolian mountains with steep and winding stages and generally quite fast. The clay ground, especially during the second pass tends to break up and pull out loose sharp rocks. The weather should be hot and dry this time of the year, but if it rains the clay ground will become quickly muddy and rutted.
Temperatures in Kemer, where the Rally HQ is located, should be around 30C, but the speed test are on the mountains and some of them climb as high as 1800 meters above sea level, so temperatures should be lower and therefore less demanding on drivers, cars and engines.
The race will start on Thursday June 12th with the Ceremonial Start from Akdeniz University, followed by a Super Special 2,6 km long in Antalya, that will be repeated as closing stage of the second leg on Saturday. The first day is the longest one with 154 timed kilometers, while the shortest day will be the third and final one, but with two passes on SS Olympos 31,20 km the longest of the whole event.
A total length of 1263,74 km with 360,12 timed kilometers divided into 19 special stages.