Rally Turkey

Surface: Gravel

The World Rally Championship makes its first official visit to Turkey this year and so nobody knows what exactly what to expect. Turkish sports fans are known throughout the world for their rabid support, too, so the atmosphere should be more than intense!

As for the rally itself, it will present a number of challenges. Everybody knows there will be rough gravel sections on parched half-made roads, the type that make Turkey an idyllic holiday destination. These are the roads that characterise the rally, and can reduce less-rugged machines to parked-up wrecks, although they are significantly smoother than those on the rubble-strewn Acropolis and Safari Rallies.

The event will also venture deep into the Anatolian mountains, though, which could bring the drivers into contact with snow and ice. Such a broad range of conditions requires the team's weathermen and tyre crews to be more than on the ball.

It's a surprisingly compact rally, when the varied conditions are considered, and has only one service point at Antalya, so it's a well-worked rally from a spectator's point of view.

The Xsara should excel on the proper road sections, and the team is working on its gravel set-up all the time. With former World Rally Champion Colin McRae behind the wheel, alongside Carlos Sainz, there is always a chance.