Organisers have inserted several minor tweaks, but the only major change is the reversal of the famous Mino Clavero – Giulio Cesare speed test in Sunday’s final leg.
The rally is based around the lakeside resort of Villa Carlos Paz and a spectacular 1.90km super special street stage in the town opens the action on Thursday night.
Competitors journey south on Friday for a virtually unchanged itinerary comprising two loops of fast, sandy stages amid the Calamuchita Valley’s soft and rolling landscape.
The day opens with Las Bajadas – Villa del Dique (16.65km), followed by Amboy – Yacanto (29.85km) and Santa Rosa – San Agustin (23.44km). The loops are split by a two-at-a-time fan-favourite 6.04km test at a theme park on the edge of Carlos Paz.
Saturday heads north-west into the Punilla Valley’s vast pampas plains and hills for a similar format of two blocks of three stages.
It opens with Tanti – Mataderos (13.92km), which is followed by an extended Mataderos – Cuchilla Nevada (22.67km) and immediately into Cuchilla Nevada – Characato, at 33.65km the longest stage of the rally. A second run around the theme park divides the loops.
Sunday’s finale heads into the rocky and rugged Traslasierra mountains for one of the most eagerly-awaited days of the WRC season.
It starts with Copina – El Cóndor (16.43km), the rally’s signature stage which is again driven uphill this year. It provides stunning images as the road crosses iconic hanging bridges, before snaking high into the mountains between giant roadside rocks packed with fans.
The reversed 20.30km Mina Clavero – Giulio Cesare, famous for its moonlike landscape, precedes the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, where bonus points will be on offer to the fastest five drivers in a second climb of Copina – El Cóndor.
The 18 stages cover 347.50km in a total route of 1300.38km.