The passion gets you going first. Then the flares and bangers. The spotlights. The tyre smoke. The anti-lag and the wail of revs. Launch control and squealing tires. It’s great to be back at Rally Legend.
Its been over four years since my last visit to San Marino, and never in all my travels have I looked forward to an event quite like this one. I need this to be good. Like many others, I’ve felt the cruelness of rallying erode my love for it, but Thursday night’s Rally Legend prologue has lit a spark once more.
I arrived at Rally Legend Village late in the evening to find the surrounding hills already packed, tens of people deep in some areas.
Everyone’s here to have the whole spectrum of rallying distilled down into a single evening’s entertainment, and boy did it deliver.
Since my last visit, Rally Legend as a brand and an event has grown exponentially. The 2023 entry list is chock full of driving superstars, and most WRC teams now swing by the microstate to put on a show.
Hyundai have Dani Sordo throwing around an i20 Coupe WRC…
While Toyota Gazoo Racing team boss Jari-Matti Latvala will be wrestling the all-conquering GR Yaris Rally1 around the stages over the weekend.
Despite their numbers, you could never get bored of the finest array of 555 Subaru Imprezas ever assembled as they ripped around the opening Legends Race spectator stage.
And plenty of other Subarus peppered the entry list too.
Think of any WRC car, and most are here.
That includes all the Group A titans that made ’90s rallying so incredibly successful.
And even throw in a pair of EKS-built Audi A1 World Rallycross Championship Supercars for good measure.
Although only a fun ‘warm-up’ before three days of proper special stages, some were on a push, while others pushed beyond the limit.
Thursday night in San Marino reminded me why I love rallying, and this weekend is a chance to cement that feeling further. Make sure to check back in next week for a full review of Rally Legend 2023, as I’ve barely scratched the surface.