WRC in one of the oldest lands of the Mediterranean

Sardinia, Sardegna in Italian, Sardigna or Sardinna in Sardinian, is a generally mountainous island with a few coastal plains. The island has a Mediterranean climate, whilst in the mountains it tends to be rather wetter and cooler than the lower coastal plains. With an area of 24,090 square kilometres, it is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily. It has a population of about 1,650,000 only and it is commonly said that there is a larger number of sheep than people. Geologically speaking, Sardinia is one of the oldest land forms in the Mediterranean Sea.


The island has been inhabited for many thousands of years. Around the beginning of the nuragic age, circa 1500 BC, the island was first called Hyknusa by the Phoenician mariners. Its Latinize Ichnusa is nowadays known as the most popular Sardinian beer brand. Sandalyon was another name according to a legend that the God threw a rock in the sea and trod it under the foot to build the first island. The name Sandalyon is said to be an origin of its current name, Sardinia. As told by legend, the land is very rocky. We could see cut stone ready to ship abroad.
         

This event, new hospitality equipment was introduced for the Suzuki World Rally Team. The hospitality bus painted in yellow came to the service park on Tuesday and the staff assembled frames, panels, and covers quickly. Full-range of souvenir goodies is now available from this round, too. The hospitality area is divided into two parts; team zone and the guest zone. While the rally cars were running in the SS, we watched the monitor showing the split time of each SS in the team zone in suspense.

The ceremonial start was held in Porto Cervo which is known as one of the best Mediterranean resort, at 8 o'clock in the evening. Walking down through hotels and villas to the harbour, we could see a lot of gorgeous yachts on the berth. Rally cars queuing in line along the harbour, crossed the start gate one by one. Each car and crew won applause from the spectators. Because of the summer time, the ceremony was able to complete during day light.
         


As Day 1 started, mechanics and engineers became really busy, especially during the services! When the rally car came back to the service park, the vehicle was lifted, checked, changed and thoroughly cleaned quickly. Engineers listened to driver and co-driver to quickly identify any technical problems and hints during the car's development. The entire operation must be finished accurately, by the predetermined number of mechanics, within the given time.

         


If you have plenty of time during the rally Days, why don't you walk across the service park? There are many interesting exhibitions and attractions. You could learn about Sardinian forest or the latest yachts in the service park of the Rally d'Italia Sardegna. Maybe you could meet a pretty dog in the paddock. This black dog, a Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastino Napoletano in Italian, has long history dating back to ancient Roma. In another corner Pirelli set their rally simulator, where lots of rally fans gathered. You can also get souvenirs of the rally there.


         


Hotel Cala di Volpe facing Costa Smeralda, where the final SS was located has for a long time been familiar amongst the millionaires and celebrities. In Japan, the hotel is famous as the locale where 'James Bond' stayed in '007 The Spy Who Loved Me'.
Of course, WRC team members cannot stay at such a splendid resort, but almost all accommodations available near the Olbia are resort hotels. Some of our staff stayed in Golfo Aranci, a small fishing village 15 kilometres away from the service park. We could reach the shore in a minute from the hotel and a fishing harbour in just 5 minutes. Boats powered by Suzuki motors were found there!


         


In the coastal areas of Sardinia, you can enjoy marvellous dishes of fish and shellfish. How about marinated octopus, sardines and mussels? Above all, Bottarga is one of the best-known specialties of Sardinia. Bottarga is the roe pouch of tuna or grey mullet. It is massaged by hand to eliminate air pockets, then dried and cured in sea salt for a few weeks. In Sardinian cuisine, Bottarga is often served with lemon juice as an appetizer or used in pasta dishes. As for dessert, fried ravioli wrapping Pecorino Sardo with honey is a typical dish in this island. Whilst in the morning, you can enjoy cappuccino and croissant for the breakfast in Italy.



 

 

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