Rally Sardinia has a lot of jumps for the drivers to consider, but the most noteworthy of them is named Micky. Source: Hyundai Motorsport
Rally Sardinia has a lot of jumps for the drivers to consider, but the most noteworthy of them is named Micky. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

The two famous jumps of the Sardinia Rally: one for the fans, one for the drivers

Motorsports OlyBet 30.05.2024

Rally Sardinia, taking place this week, is known for its fast, dusty, narrow gravel roads where drivers don’t have much room for error. However, the race on the second-largest island in the Mediterranean is also known for its jumps.

Of course, they are distributed on every kilometer, which is why many drivers end up on the side of the road with a broken vehicle every year. But we have in mind the two biggest ones above all. The first of them, Micky’s jump at the Monte Lerno test, is purely for fans. If you don’t believe us, listen to the 2019 World Rally Champion Ott Tänak.

“This is a special jump. When you drive on it, you see nothing – only the sky! As a result, you must drive 100% according to the pace notes, because otherwise, you have no idea where to turn next,” he described.

And then added: “I would say that in general, rally cars these days are already built so well and strong that most of the jumps can be flown flat out, but this is one where you can’t because then it’s hard to get back to the ground.”

Steep up, even steeper down

Micky’s jump is made special by its angle of ascent, which is relatively steep. However, the steeper angle of descent makes it even tougher. “What happens on that jump is that it just throws you in the air, which is why the car wants to land on the nose,” said current Toyota team chief Jari-Matti Latvala.

In 2006, Chris Atkinson aptly demonstrated what kind of air flight it could be when he almost flew into a rock wall after the jump.

And it’s not only a matter of jumping too. Unfortunately for drivers, the flight is immediately followed by a fast left turn, which is quite a challenge to take right after landing. Both in terms of reaction and physicality – quite a challenge to turn the steering wheel when the G-forces want the opposite.

So how should this obstacle be tackled? Latvala explains: “First, you have to adjust your racing line. If you start from the middle, you can drift a little to the right, so ideally you want to hold a little to the left when you go into the jump, especially since the next turn is also to the left. You also must brake before the jump and maybe even downshift two gears, but just before the crest, press the gas pedal down again. If you don’t, the push will be even greater, and you’ll land firmly on your nose.”

Pressure from the fans

But all this is of course easier said than done, as 2020 WRC2 World Champion Mads Östberg has also said. “I’ve ridden this jump I don’t know how many times, but every time I get there [on a recce] I’m confused about in what gear or speed to take it. I do try to make notes of the pace notes, but they are different every year.

You just must feel the speed and enjoy the jump, because you know that hundreds of fans are watching on the spot. You don’t want to perform poorly – you want to give them a show, so you push a little harder.”

A viewing recommendation from Colin McMaster, one of the most famous photographers of the WRC series: After 600 meters, Micky’s jump is followed by a cascade of successive turns, which can be viewed with Lake Lerno in the background. So, if someone wants a magical experience from the rally, watch out for the jump in the first pass of the Monte Lerno test, and on the next, the corner sections running between the rocks.

The second famous jump of Rally Sardinia is more difficult for fans to reach, even though it is in Alghero, the island’s fifth largest city. Namely, the competition centre is located there, which is why you can’t wander around on the quay. However, those who happen to be in the right place at the right time can see the winner of the Rally Sardinia jump into the Mediterranean Sea head or feet in front.

Thank you, Petter Solberg

That’s right, the second famous jump of Rally Sardinia is THIS harbour jump when the winner gets wet. Petter Solberg laid the foundation for the corresponding tradition in 2004 – when the rally ended in Porto Cervo. However, when the Norwegian finished second 12 months later, he forced Sebastian Loeb to do the same.

Arriving in Alghero, Sebastien Ogier, who won there in 2013, revived the quay jump. But the Frenchman naturally drew inspiration from Solberg.

Last year, Thierry Neuville could not jump into the water due to the circumstances – the organizers forbade it because the port area was being cleaned of garbage throughout the summer – but this year the pollution has been removed and the pier is open again. So, it’s worth watching the WRC live as the winner jumps into the Mediterranean and the rest of the team jumps after him.

Leaving the road conditions and jumps aside, there is a third thing that Sardinia is (in)famous for – the temperature. Under the blazing sun, the temperature there often rises above 30 degrees, which in a rally car gets even higher, sometimes reaching 50-60. In short – a proper sauna.

For those who might be interested in what it feels like to be in a car like that for 12 hours a day, a friendly suggestion – don’t try to find out. “I enjoy going to the sauna, but I prefer to do it without clothes on and in with the opportunity of cooling-off pauses,” Tänak, a two-time winner of the Rally of Sardinia, characterized this experience two years ago.

Tänak aims for a third victory

However, as for what the 2019 champion said ahead of this year’s rally, it can be summed up in the following words: he was optimistic and anxious.

“A good and solid weekend in Portugal is behind us. We want to start building on that result and it’s a bit easier now that we’ve also found the speed. Big challenges await us in Sardinia, as the road can become slippery and it is difficult to find the necessary holding. In addition, the high temperature makes the situation even more demanding,” said Tänak. He also added that the driver’s ability to save tires in harsh conditions will also be decisive.

“Having repeated stages with the same tires makes choosing a strong set more difficult. We need a lot more traction with the setup, especially in a situation where we are among the first to start. All in all, Rally Sardinia is a race where driving is significantly more interesting, and I have always preferred it. We were already close to winning in Portugal until a flat tire ruined our chances. So, we plan to be better in Sardinia,” concluded Tänak.

The Rally of Sardinia will kick off on Friday lunchtime at 14:33, and 48 hours later, when 16 stages with a total length of 266.12 km have been left behind, it will be known who will make the victory jump into the Mediterranean Sea.


This piece of content has been lovingly crafted by the hard-working sports people of OlyBet. Hope you like it!


Related posts

Related articles