Year II

Year II

02/05/2011

Sébastien Loeb won the event last year as well as his seventh world championship title, the first clinched in his home region! This year, the French round of the World Rally Championship will again take place in Alsace.

The best drivers in the WRC, beginning with Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier, will do battle on asphalt, the traditional surface of Rally France held in Corsica from 1973-2008 and in Alsace since 2010.

The 2011 Rally France-Alsace is not only a round of the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, it is also part of the other five events on the SWRC calendars (competition reserved for drivers of cars homologated in Super 2000) and the WRC Academy, the international nursery for young talents created this year by the ‘Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’ (FIA) who will do battle at the wheel of Ford Fiesta R2s.

The route of Rally France-Alsace was used for the first time last year by the seven-time French world champion and his rivals. This year it has undergone a few major modifications, the result of the experience gained by the organizing team in the inaugural event.

The order of stages 1 and 2 is reversed compared to last year. On Friday 30th September, the crews will start the eleventh round of the 2011 World Rally Championship in the Bas-Rhin department before crossing the vine yards and heading for the Vosges mountains. They will cover a loop of four stages, twice. The general framework is almost identical to the one used in 2010, and it includes the famous timed stage called the Pays d’Ormont, whose length has been increased to 36 kilometers! The service park, still in the Zenith in Strasbourg, will allow the Rally France-Alsace caravan to catch its breath at midday.  The cars will also spend the night in the European capital.

Even if the four very selective stages in the second leg, also to be covered twice, are mostly identical to 2010, it is the one which has undergone the most significant changes. The lunch break will be in Colmar, the nerve centre of the second leg, and will provide time for some mechanical interventions in the service park, followed by a regrouping halt. The last stage of the day, measuring some three kilometers, has been laid out in the heart of Mulhouse. Its main aim is to provide thrills for the spectators.

Finally, there are two totally new stages in Sunday’s (2nd October) last leg. They are Gravière de Bischwiller (10,8 km) and Vignoble de Cleebourg (a village to the south of Wissembourg, 11 km) run on typical Alsatian roads.

Like last year, the end of Rally France-Alsace will take place in the streets of Haguenau, Sébastien Loeb’s former home town. This stage, specially designed for thrills, will be even more gripping than last year as it will also be the Power Stage introduced this year by the FIA, which awards additional points. The drivers filling the first three places will be given 3, 2, and 1 point respectively to be added to those scored in the rally.

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