The famous Kitzbühel downhill on the Terranova special stage is back to the 2023 itinerary

Another magical location of the Rally Italia Sardegna is back, after nine years, in the legendary route of the 20th edition.

23.02.2023 - Not only the 50-kilometer Monte Lerno and the return of Tantariles. The first leg of Rally Italia Sardegna 2023 - Friday, 2 June - is destined to enter the annals also for the Terranova stage that will return to offer the historic Kitzbühel downhill. Another great surprise in the itinerary of the event organized by Automobile Club d’Italia with the support of the Regione Sardegna.

This section is reminiscent in its shape of the steep downhill ski slope Streif, a famous slope of the Ski World Cup from which it takes its name, and has undoubtedly been one of the most appreciated passages since the Rally Italia moved to the Island of the Four Moors.

The Kitzbühel downhill, unlike other sections such as Monte Lerno, has not always been run since the Terranova stage has been proposed in several versions over the years, and the Rally Italia Sardegna has not included it in the route since 2014. The stage in its 2023 design starts not far from the SS389 between Monti and Alà dei Sardi and arrives at the descent after a false flat section. The downhill section begins after a left turn near some scenic rocks where fans usually gather, coloring this passage like a small arena. The descent is dizzying on a terrain that combines gravel and stones and therefore is very technical.

"This is a stage of great charm," Race Director Lucio de Mori commented, "which was originally designed together with the then head of the Forest Site and his men. The path tracing work has almost always been shared with the personnel of the State Forests and Forest Site, who, given their great experience of the territory, have also proposed ideas that have often found implementation in the design of the stages. Moreover, it has always been customary to name the stages with the names of the Sites or the Forests, and Terranova is a perfect example."

The special stage will be included in the route for the twelfth time, one of the most long-lasting in the history of the Rally Italia Sardegna. In the first period, it was run continuously from 2005 to 2014, with the only exception of the 2009 edition. In 2014, it was divided into two sections - the North and the South - for a total of 32.4 km, which remains the longest version. It returned to the route in 2021 and will also confirm its tradition this year, taking place in the first part of the rally, as it has happened most of the time.

Currently, Sébastien Loeb holds five victories in this stage, and his record certainly cannot be equaled soon, as the current WRC drivers do not come close to it. Three victories have been claimed by Jari-Matti Latvala and Marcus Grönholm, two for Juho Hanninen, Sébastien Ogier, and Ott Tänak, one for Dani Sordo, Jan Kopecký, Petter Solberg, Mikko Hirvonen, Thierry Neuville, and Elfyn Evans.

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