The Rally seen live, a completely different story

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The best places to see up close

Support your pets closely and encourage them it is the creed of every good rally lover; especially if this coincides with a nice barbecue with friends. Within the circuits related to 19 special stages there are some point of view really cult where being there is mandatory. Escorted by Ford Performance drivers aboard two Explorer plug-ins, we visited them. Two of these are worth all the hardships that “humans” have to endure to be able to reach them on competition days. During rallies, the roads leading to the special stages must be cleared. So the rally enthusiast (late comer) is forced to leave his car very far from the most beautiful places where he can take pictures and cheer. One of these is the Micky’s Jump in the locality of Pattada. Here I’ve seen things you humans can’t even imagine. I’ve seen shirtless men in the midday sun without sunscreen. And this, you will say, is quite typical of the male gender. But I have also seen camper disproportionate in size parked among the rocks. They are probably still maneuvering to get out. I was satisfied with the only scent of the dishes of those who feasted on board old vans transformed into bungalow. Not to mention the number of tents in Berber style. Resident people, probably from the previous year’s rally.

The wall of Micky’s Jump

But here’s a brief digression on Micky’s Jump, the symbolic place of Rally Italia Sardegna (RIS). The referee with the huge straw hat you see in the reel told me about it. In this cusp right next to a turret of the Forest Guard (put your soul in peace, only the locals) on Monte Lerno the pilots thank their audience with outstanding jumps. Someone from time to time exaggerates leaving us the engine and shock absorbers. Several attribute the name of this jump to Miki Biason, already a legend for his endless victories in the world of rallying. But the “leap of Michael“conceived in 2005 has a different origin. It is the recognition that the public has given to Michele Carta, Head of the Forestry Authority for having transformed that passage (once) without a particular movement into the distinctive feature of the whole Rally of Sardinia. The first crew to give this jump an identity was Mark Higgins and Trevor Agnew on Ford Focus RS WRC. The other point with an infinity photo opportunity and the Porto Palmas fireproof runway. In addition to having a dream beach, it has a series of hills from which it is possible to admire the entire route taken by the cars up to the straight that runs along the sea with a series of very interesting jumps. Be careful, however, to dodge the stones thrown at unbelievable speed by the 4×4 drive of the rally cars.

Porto Palmas, seen from the beach

The hospitality of the locals

If in the Sardinian hinterland, near Monte Lerno, the people are friendly and experiences the rally as a party (in the end a arrosticino they also offered it to us) the islanders of the north-west coast of Sardinia live “The non-local rally enthusiast” like a nuisance. And it’s not a question of being Sardinian or not. Who does not have a residence a Palmadula, a hamlet of Sassari with about 1000 inhabitants to whom those hectares of competition land belong, is considered a nuisance. “Boss, you who come from outside, know that I have been here since 7 this morning and so see to move that I take care of the view” is the kindest expression received from a guy who claimed to photograph all the cars in the race. For the record, I was at least three meters from him. The daughter who, seeing me incredulous, repeated the enigmatic words of her father to me.

The arrival of the special stage

VIP at your fingertips

I saw children aged 6/9 ask for an autograph to their favorites. I have seen elders do the same. Drivers and managers who, after the special stages, take the time to stop and chat with the public, take some selfies and ask for their impressions. The beauty of the rally is the village, where the three main teams M-Sport Ford, Toyota And Hyundai they live for the entire duration of the stage together with the unofficial teams. A place dedicated to celebration, party and work because here the mechanics work all night to fix the cars. And the public can watch. A motorsport version ofumarelthe elderly who look at construction sites or public works.

Time for autographs

The typical features of the place

To attend the special stages of the Rally Italia di Sardegna you need to move a lot. There are those who do it by helicopter, like the guests of Hyundai and Toyota and those in the car. The journey is much more complex and takes longer, but it allows you to discover corners of Sardinia that are not perceptible from above. One of these is the cork forest in which they had just cut the cork from the surface of the logs. An epiphany for those who, like me, are used to thinking of cork only as a cork from a bottle of sparkling wine. Not to mention the after rally at the La Lepanto restaurant in Alghero. Except for a clumsy waiter (capable of overturning, on Ford’s unfortunate manager, the entire tray of crudités with ice), very good dishes came out of the kitchen: nothing elaborate, but the mullet bottargaL’lobster and the seadas they were really delicious.

The 2nd place awards ceremony for Craig Breen and Paul Nagle on Puma by M-Sport

Accessories to bring to watch a rally

It is essential to carry yourself a lot of water, better if fresh. At the beginning of June, it was 40 degrees on Monte Lerno in the early afternoon. After hydration, the lungs need to be safeguarded. The mask is too much, but one bandana to put on the nose and mouth the passage of the cars is optimal. Alternatively, there are caps, designed for fishing, which have protection for the neck and also protect the face, leaving only the eyes out. Alternatively a good one sunscreen with protection factor 50. Following a power bank to keep your cell phone charged at all times. In the mountains the signal is poor and the phone consumes more battery in the search for the correct band. Furthermore, the phone switched on while waiting to capture the perfect jump of the racing cars consumes a lot of energy. Would I do this experience again? Yes, especially in Sardinia, where before going to bed you can lull yourself into its warm waters!

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Source: Vanity Fair

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