Next: Round 7: Rally Bulgaria July 9-11
Making its debut as a round of the World Rally Championship this year is Rally Bulgaria; the oldest and most prestigious round of the country's national series.
First run in 1970, Rally Bulgaria was the sole WRC candidate rally in 2009 and will take the step up to the world stage after a successful period as a round of the FIA European Rally Championship.
Official Website: rallybulgaria.com/
This might be the event’s first time in the WRC, but it’s the 41st running of Bulgaria’s biggest international rally - which was a full round of the European Rally Championship from 1988, and a WRC Candidate Rally for the last two seasons.
Formerly running out of the Black Sea resort of Zlantni Piasatzi, the organisers of the event shifted 500 kilometres west to Borovets in 2002, enabling them to drastically shorten the liaison sections between Service Park and stages. The upshot of this is one of the most compact - and highest - routes in the WRC.
There might only be seven stages run twice, but of those seven, the shortest is 17.73 kilometres (Sunday’s Slavovitsa - the last stage of the event) and the longest, the event opener is a whopping 31.77 kilometres and called Batak Lake. But, once again, it’s a reservoir not a lake - they might look the same, but don’t be fooled.
The stages themselves will be a mix of Catalan-style sealed surface, good quality quick stuff, but the majority will be more akin to the technical, twisty and, in places bumpy, roads we’re used to seeing on Alpine routes. These roads are covered in snow and ice from late autumn to late spring, so don’t go expecting billiard table stages for three days.
Read More Click: wrc.com/jsp/index=Countdown+to+Rally+Bulgaria