41-st Rally Bulgaria starts in Borovets

Rally Bulgaria 2010

Rally Bulgaria is a top event with 40 years of history. From 1970 to 2001 the Rally HQ was located in the famous Black Sea resorts – Zlantni Piasatzi and Albena. In 2002 the competition moved its base in the central part of South Bulgaria and now takes place in the picturesque resort Borovets, located in the Rila Mountain.

The Rally has total length of 1068,30 km with 14 Special Stages (353,34 km) all in asphalt. Its route is very compact and selective and it passes trough the beautiful Bulgarian scenery.

Traditionally, the Rally has very large media coverage and over 200 journalists from Bulgaria and abroad were accredited to the media center. At the same time it received an active support both from the state and the local authorities. The competition was sponsored by big national and international companies.

The Headquarters is located in Rila Hotel in Borovets.

From 9th to 11th July 2010 Borovets will become the host of Rally Bulgaria and will await and welcome its guests for a first time as part of the WRC event. The shakedown will be held on 7th July 2010. The ceremonial start will be given in the evening of 8th July 2010.

The rally goes on for 3 days. There is one Service Park, located in Dolna Banya Airport, some 25 km east from the resort. Borovets is not far away from to the capital city of Sofia. It is accessible by plane (Sofia airport is 60 km away) and by road (150 km from Serbian and Greek borders).

Who's going to win?

As with any new rally, there’s no form book to count on. But Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb has to start as favourite. The French team has been out testing in Bulgaria ahead of the seventh round of this year’s series and, not having been beaten on world championship black top since 2004, Loeb’s going to take some getting past.

And if Ford manages to edge the Loeb C4, there’s still the sister car of Dani Sordo standing in its way. Sordo’s form on asphalt is exceptional. Whenever the Spaniard has brought a World Rally Car to the finish of an asphalt round of the series, it’s been on the podium. And, as if Citroen’s not strong enough, there’s the small matter of former Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen (Citroen Junior Team) to consider - and the Finn certainly knows a thing or two about getting the best out of four wheels on a sealed surface.

Ford’s attack will be led, once again, by Mikko Hirvonen, with his fellow Finn Jari-Matti Latvala backing him up in the second Focus. Stobart driver Matthew Wilson is joined in the Cumbrian team by double Junior champion P-G Andersson, who could spring a surprise or two in his WRC debut in a Ford.

The event is also a round of the Junior World Rally Championship, with Renault Clio driver Kevin Abbring benefiting from a solid outing on the recent Ypres Rally ahead of the next J-WRC round. Abbring will face stiff competition from Belgian Thierry Neuville (Citroen C2 S1600), who has set the Junior pace but failed to find the finish so far this season.

Information by Mr. G. Yanakiev at the Official website of Rally Bulgraia 2010 and MR.C. Harrold at RallyBuzz.com.

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