As the 2011 World Rally Championship approaches the end of the season, the Petter Solberg World Rally Team is in Salou for round twelve of thirteen, RACC Rally Spain. The Service Park is based in the PortAventura Resort in Salou, 95kms South West of Barcelona, while the stages run to the west of the town in the surrounding countryside.
The Rally is a mix of surfaces with Shakedown and Friday’s opening stages running on gravel and tarmac followed by two days of asphalt only stages. This means that on Friday night the car set-up must be swapped from gravel to asphalt and the service has been extended from forty-five minutes to seventy-five minutes to allow for this challenge.
Only one of Friday’s three repeated stages is gravel only, the other two are mixed surface and the action begins with a fast new stage 25.74kms Pesells which has a compact gravel surface and will be repeated as the first stage of the afternoon following the lunchtime service. After Friday’s six stages, Saturday follows a similar format with the morning’s three stages repeated in the afternoon, separated by a lunchtime service. The morning and afternoon both begin with the longest stage of the rally, 45.97kms El Priorat followed by two new stages. A further six asphalt stages will run on Sunday, ending with the 4.32kms Power Stage, Coll de la Teixeta, which will be broadcast live on TV and offers additional Championship points for the three fastest drivers
"With the pace we have had on the past events, I am really excited about Rally of Spain," says Petter Solberg. "It has been so much fun being able to put up a really good fight with the other drivers, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. As the first day in Spain is gravel, we do have a good start position, which hopefully will benefit us. The next two days are tarmac only, and I think we showed in France that we could be really fast on tarmac."