Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini ready for the desert stages of Rally Jordan, 5th round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship, in their Ford Focus RS WRC of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team After the mountains and the rain of Argentina,...
Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini ready for the desert stages of Rally Jordan, 5th round of the 2008 FIA World Rally Championship, in their Ford Focus RS WRC of the Stobart VK M-Sport Ford team
After the mountains and the rain of Argentina, the WRC drivers move to a completely different race, Rally Jordan entered the FIA World Rally Championship this year for the first time and therefore it'll be brand new for most of the drivers.
The rally Is based along the coast of the Dead Sea and one of the peculiarities of this event is that is going to be run 420 meters below sea level, the lowest part of the earth surface. In Mexico and Argentina cars suffered a lack of power because of the thin air at high altitude, here is going to be exactly the opposite.
All special stages are located west and north of the country, in the Jordan desert. The Government supported this event, so organizers were able to build new gravel roads.
The Rally Head Quarter is located approximately 60 km from the capital city Amman and the route of the rally will pass through historical and biblical sites, like Mount Nebo from the top of which Moses looked over the Promised Land. Drivers will tackle 359,26 timed kilometers, divided in 22 special stages, with a total rally route of 983,44 km. Sunday's last leg is the longest of the event, and includes two passes over the twisty and demanding stage called Jordan River, 41,45 km, along the Jordan - Palestine border.
No rain is previewed, so the route is going to be dusty with temperatures as high as 30-35C.
Pirelli, official tyres supplier of the FIA World Rally Championship, will provide Scorpion gravel tyres with hard compound. No anti-deflation mousse is allowed, so the Scorpion tyres will have reinforced sidewalls, that will give better protection against punctures. No additional cuts are allowed on the tyre and each crew will carry two spare tyres.
The Stobart VK M-Sport Ford designated Gigi Galli and his co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini together with team mates Henning Solberg / Cato Menkerud to score points for the team.
"Rally Jordan enters the World Rally Championship this year for the first time so it is going to be brand new for most of the drivers" said Gigi Galli." We haven't been to the race or to this country so we are particularly curious to discover it. Part of the route is below sea level which is going to be quite strange! I hope not to have trouble here and be able to have a good race and maintain a good pace. We did not have the best events in the last two rallies but I am really starting to get used to the new Focus now and I can't wait to see what we can do in Jordan."
"This is going to be a unique event which could benefit the Stobart team being new to the WRC calendar." Said Stobart team principal Malcolm Wilson "Conditions will be demanding in the heat and the long stage on Sunday will be a true test of concentration and fitness. All three Stobart drivers have shown impressive speed on gravel this year and Gigi's speed in Mexico was right up with the top guys until his retirement. A new rally brings with it new challenges and the main aim will be for each crew to finish with maximum experience of the new event with strong points for the team."