So far in GTPlanet’s World Tour of Dirt Rally, we’ve stopped in Wales, Monaco, Germany and Finland. The finale is upon us however and as such, we take a look at the snowy banks of Sweden and the gravely trails of Greece. Let’s do this – one last time.
Sweden – Algsjon Sprint (Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X)
Undoubtedly the most divisive championship in the game, Sweden takes the tight roads of Wales combining it with tons of snow. From my perspective it is definitely the most difficult host in the game thanks to the incredibly sensitive snowbanks that litter the track – whereas in the other countries you come to learn the tracks and their nuances, the margin of error is so small that it’s very easy to ruin run after run.
In the run above that takes place in Algsjon. I decided to go for the worst possible weather and time conditions to showcase how claustrophobic the environment can feel. Immediately you’ll notice how apprehensive I am on this run compared to the other videos, the best way to approach Sweden until you reach Loeb levels of skill is to divide each corner severity by 2. By doing this, you should be able to piece together a decent placing, as the main hurdle racers will face is trying to go too fast, in turn under-estimating the level of awareness needed to successfully navigate the snowy plains.
The Evo X struggles with the narrowness of the track and in the latter stages when it gets even more narrow. General rally pace takes a hit and it becomes more about making the car flow from corner-to-corner rather than accelerating.
For a true test of skill, try using the RWD Group B cars here. Speaking of which…
Greece – Pomona Ekrixi (Lancia Rally 037 Evo 2)
I’ve driven a good selection of cars across a good few of the classes in DiRT Rally so far, so what better way to close up the whole series than with a beast from the Group B RWD era. The Lancia Rally 037 is the equivalent to a fire-breathing 300BHP dragon – It’s huge and ridiculously fast (in the right hands, of course). Greece hosts a similar type of racing too: tracks tend to take longer to complete and are fast gravel traps that are a joy to drive on. Some of the best scenery in the game is on show here too. Vast mountains and endless fields backdrop the early morning sun, or the dusk of night.
Pomona is one of the better sprint circuits in the game. Rather than focus strictly on speed, or strictly on twisty mayhem – you strike a good balance that gives you room to max your speed limiter before cruelly taking it away in the latter-half of the circuit. The best part about this track though (and Greece in general) is the balancing of risk and reward. Whereas somewhere like Finland penalizes you brutally for testing yourself and Germany gives you too much to work with, Greece gives you just enough to push yourself to the edge. For the most part, a mishap won’t result in a rally ending crash. From the video above, you can see examples of this. For a lot of the run, I’m not in total control but given the track limits and the surface its possible to right yourself with careful reading of your car. Greece is a fun drive, when you want to test yourself: take some Group B RWD cars here and let loose.
That brings us to a close for this article series. I hope you have enjoyed reading about what DiRT Rally has to offer in terms of the tracks. Although a bit light in overall locations, its definitely an area of strength the game has when it comes to variation and you shouldn’t be short of challenge for a long time. Drive fast and don’t cut!