In this final post, we will review, the characteristics of Sunday’s Rally Catalunya 2019 stages and the significance of the aero in the results. The analysis is based on the excellent information provided by Antti’s website itgetsfasternow.com, and his very detailed route preview (to be found here).
This post corresponds to sections 6, 7 & 8 (tarmac stages). Special stage 17 is also the Power Stage of the event.
SS 14/16 Riudecanyes (16,35 km)
The stage starts on a wide but worn and bumpy road. It’s rather slow and twisty. After the donut’s roundabout, a medium wide road with fresh tarmac is joined. This road is even more twisty and technical than the first one. At 10.5 km there is a fast passage while driving through the village of Duesaigües. However, soon the pace becomes again twisty, but less technical than before. In summary, this is clearly the slowest tarmac stage of the rally.
Last year average speed; 94,7/95,8 km/h
Aero review: in spite of being the slowest tarmac stage of the event, there are still many fast and medium corners where aero will play an important role, both in the first kilometers (in a road with restricted access that might be dirt and damp) and in the fast but twisty descent towards Riudecanyes. And, not to forget, reduced drag will be also appreciated in some straights, such as the one under the bridge in Duesaigües, where the cars will face one of the few jumps of the event.
SS15/17 La Mussara (20,72 km)
The beginning has a Corsican pace with constant corners, never letting the drivers accelerate for a long time. A series of ten ascending hairpins begins at 3.4 km. After the hairpins, the road is still technical but gets gradually faster. Around 9 km the stage is very fast but still slightly bumpy. The road becomes smoother at a junction at 13 km. There is a super fast section with long straights and barely any corners which need lifting. Before the end, a few corners are slower but they’re long enough to keep the flow going, including a pair of square bends at 16.5 km and a long hairpin just a kilometer before the finish.
2014 (last time it was used) average speed: 110,3/110,8 km/h
Aero review: A pretty fast stage with two differentiated parts: the series of hairpins and the fast second half. Drivers will have to face up to 10 hairpins during the uphill run towards the abandoned village of La Mussara. Very important to have very good aero balance as well as good grip, through the generation of front and rear downforce, to face them at the maximum speed the confidence of drivers allow…even though it will probably be dump in the first pass.
The second half of the stage, with long straights and just a few corners, will represent a very good closing test for the aerodynamics of the cars, so it will be interesting to analyze the split times in that portion.
No rain expected. Sunny, while some chances of light fog early in the morning.
Useful information for spectators
And remember: tonight the time is delayed by one hour (from 3h to 2h), so more time to recover from a busy rally agenda, or one free hour to reach the morning stages sooner.