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Rally Spain 2010 - Fiesta España with a pinch of gravel

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Rally Spain 2010 - The preview
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D he Rally Spain represents the WRC cracks in this one Year before completely new tasks. All-rounders are in demand when the first special stage kilometers are on Friday with a pure gravel setup. An interesting mix awaits the pilots on the three tests that have to be completed twice on the first day of the evaluation. One stage consists entirely of gravel, on the other two the flooring changes cheerfully between asphalt and gravel.

'The format makes the event really interesting', says Ford gravel specialist Mikko Hirvonen happily. 'I'm happy with the mixed format. But I would have preferred it if we had completed the individual stages completely on one surface. A car with a gravel setup is very high and slides heavily on asphalt. You can't be as precise You have to find the limit quickly when making changes. '

Rally Spain only on asphalt from Saturday

Hirvonen and Co. will not find the usual Rally Spain again until Saturday and Sunday Conditions before: Wide asphalt roads then determine the picture and allow the speeds to increase significantly. Some people compare the Spanish slopes with motorways or even circular routes. 'I don't know the rally yet, but the route differs significantly from all the racetracks I've seen so far,' jokes ex-Formula 1 driver Kimi Räikkönen.

This is coming for the newly crowned world champion Sebastien Loeb new format at the wrong time. The Citroen driver, who has been unbeaten on asphalt for ages, suddenly has to play the street sweeper on the first day. 'If it stays dry, it will definitely cost us a lot of time,' said Loeb, pessimistic about the Rally Spain.

Loeb sees team-mate Sordo as the favorite

The Alsatian sees his Citroen team-mate and local hero Dani Sordo as the favorite: 'I think Dani is in the ideal position with fifth on the grid. He can end the first day with a lead of 20 or 30 seconds. In order to close such a gap on Dani on asphalt, you have to drive really fast. '

In the Ford warehouse, however, you are positive agreed. 'I didn't like the old stages on Friday anyway,' explains Jari-Matti Latvala with relief. 'They were very difficult and you had to cut corners a lot. The stages on Saturday and Sunday suit me a lot better.' Latvalais still fighting for the runner-up in the duel against Sebastien Ogier. With a lead of 22 points and only 50 points to be awarded in the last two races, the Frenchman has a clear advantage in the Citroen.

Solberg wants first victory at the Rally Spain

Latvala should better orientate yourself backwards. The cushion on Petter Solberg is only eleven points. The Norwegian has already demonstrated his good speed on asphalt several times this season. With its vast experience, 'Hollywood' is a hot favorite for the mix at the Rally Spain. Solberg himself sees it this way: 'I really want to win this event. With dry conditions on day one, I am also convinced that we can do it,' is the challenge to the competition.

The Citroen driver sees the Rally Spain as the best chance of the year to leave the established competition behind. 'We will really give everything that is possible. It is not easy for a small private team to fight with the big manufacturers. That is why I had to bring part of my private fortune in order to have a real chance against the others.' The fans can look forward to an exciting fight at the top.

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