«The teams ask us to test in Tarragona»

Success in sports, as in almost any field, relies heavily on having a cemented foundation. That also happens in rallies, where having a solid and structured preparation is of vital importance if you want to succeed at the highest level. For this reason, throughout the year the different teams are put to the test in dozens of private tests such as those that took place these weeks on the roads of the province in the middle of the RallyRACC. For these tests to become a reality, the World Cup squads trust Carles Vilella, coordinator of the Xavier Puigcercós company, who is in charge of providing them with all their needs.

What is the process to organize a WRC test?

When teams need to test, they call us, ask us for what they need, and we find the best possible locations for them. Normally, the planning of the test days begins about six months before, when we begin to process permits, whether for dirt or asphalt.

What is your main job?

We take care of finding the stage, a hotel, ordering catering, the ambulance, portable toilets, marshals, radio stations and all the logistics involved in a week of training.

Do you dedicate yourself to it all year?

It has always been an extra to our permanent job because it is not enough to live. However, in the beginning there was no limit to the number of days of testing per year and we used to do 100 days in a season. It was outrageous, but over the years they have been restricting the days until today when they practically cannot test throughout the season.

What teams have you worked with?

I started in 1998 with Toyota when Sainz and Auriol were racing for them. Sainz signed for Ford and, from then until today, we manage the tests for that team. We have worked with all the World Cup teams except Hyundai, which is managed by another company, and Peugeot.

doWhy are the roads of Tarragona chosen??

It is done this way because the rally is held here and the teams want to test in places that are as close as possible to where the rally takes place for reasons of altitude, temperature, asphalt... The WRC teams ask us to train in Tarragona because they know the area and they know these stretches work for them.

Who do they ask for permission to close the roads??

In the case of asphalt sections, the owner of the road is usually the Diputació de Tarragona, which is, in short, to whom the request is made. You also need the approval of the Town Hall of the town in question and the Mossos. If after all the efforts the reports are favorable, the test can be carried out.

Why is there so much secrecy around testing??

Mainly because the team asks you to be discreet and not to circulate images of the car and, on the other hand, for our peace of mind it is easier to work if there are few people on the stages.

How much does it cost to organize these trainings?

The economic value of a test is difficult to calculate because there are many values ​​that come into play. Managing a week of testing costs between €30,000 and €40,000. We must add the expense of the team in bringing all the material, repairs and maintenance of the rally car, tires...

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