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IRC: Preview - Rally Russia

The Intercontinental Rally Challenge heads behind the former iron curtain this week for round six of the series, the Rally Russia.

Following the complex and narrow asphalt roads of Ypres, Russia provides a complete contrast with its wide and flowing gravel stages, which some drivers have compared to the classic speed tests of Finland.

This comes as no surprise given that the rally is based in Vyborg, which is less than 100 kilometres from the Finnish border.

The stages in Russia are mostly made up of compacted gravel roads, which can be as smooth as a motorway in the right conditions.

However, the surface can cut up after several cars have been through, exposing sharp rocks that are capable of causing punctures. These are often in evidence through the corners, where the competitors try to save time by cutting the ideal line in order to find the quickest trajectory.

Whereas Finland is well known for its rollercoaster crests, the roads in Russia tend to be flatter but no less spectacular.

The weather in Russia at this time of year is usually warm, but sudden rainstorms are far from unknown - and these can turn the rally on its head in an instant.

This unique mix of stages and weather, coupled with the risk of punctures, makes tyre choice even more complex than usual. But it is an event that tends to favour the usual gravel specialists: in particular the Finns, who are virtually playing at home. For the past two years, the winner of the Rally Russia has been from Finland.

Since joining the IRC two years ago, the Rally Russia has gradually expanded, and this year it is up to 15 stages and 223.45 competitive kilometres.

The start of the event takes place on the evening of Thursday 9 July from the podium in Vyborg, with an opening leg of four stages that ends late at night. For the first time night stages are set to be a feature of Rally Russia, adding yet another challenging element to what is already an extremely technical event.




Related Pictures

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Juho Hanninen
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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