WRC - Catalunya introduces night stages

The route for this year's Catalunya Rally has undergone a significant change with the introduction of three night stages to open the October event.

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In a further change, the penultimate round of this year's series will also shift its gravel stages from the first to the final day of the rally.

Following the success of a ceremonial start in Barcelona last season, the rally gets underway from outside the cathedral at 18:00 on Friday October 25, a day later than last season.

The crews will then contest three stages. The Querol and Montmell stages are on the road back from Barcelona to Salou. After a refuel, Riudecanyes starts at 22:46, with cars arriving in service at Port Aventura at 23:23. Those three stages total 38 miles of competition.

Saturday includes six stages, starting with the re-run of Riudecanyes. The longest stage of the rally El Priorat (26 miles - two shorter than last year) follows before the cars tackle Colldejou, the Santa Marina stage from 2012, but run in the opposite direction.

The afternoon brings a repeat of El Priorat and Colldejou before the new-for-2012 seafront stage in Salou. The teams are then given a 1h15m service to convert the cars from asphalt to gravel specification.

The gravel stages move to Sunday's final day for the first time, but the stages, Gandesa, Pesells and Terra Alta, have all been used before. Despite running in a shorter time, the event still packs in 221 competitive miles.

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