Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai I20 Coupé WRC) had a great return to the WRC, taking advantage of their position on the road quite well to reach the end of the first day of the Sardinian Rally ahead of the race, with 17.4 seconds ahead of Teemu Suninen / Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) who benefited more or less from the same recipe: a good position on the road. Of course, both had to ‘walk’ to be where they are, but what they did was done well.
The fight for the championship ‘is played’ right behind. With nothing to lose, and after a difficult morning, ‘in arms’, with a poor car set-up, Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai I20 Coupé WRC) recovered in the afternoon and went from fifth to third, although they stayed a little further away than they were at the end of the morning, as they are 35.2s away from the Spanish. That’s because they let the car go down one of the sections, losing a handful of seconds. Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) lost their position to Neuville after a difficult afternoon. The Frenchman revealed at the end that they already knew they were going to lose due to their position on the road, and this was confirmed. In fact, at the end of each section, Ogier always remembers that fact: order on the road. Still, it’s 0.8s from Neuville, so the fight is completely open as the day will be long tomorrow.
Who lost a little contact were Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC), but with the advantage they have in the championship, taking a risk is not prudent now. The two at the front do not ‘count’ for the championship ‘accounts’, but their main problem may come from the fact that Neuville and Ogier get ahead and Sordo and Suninen are in the middle, in front of them. That is why it does not suit you at all. But there is a long rally to go even though 15.9s for Ogier starts to be a lot.
Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai I20 Coupé WRC) finished the day in eighth with almost two minutes, so a good result is out of the question and the title question regarding its possible renewal should be fixed in this race.
Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) dropped to ninth place after problems with the Yaris’ direction.
Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais (Hyundai I20 Coupé WRC) gave a touch this afternoon and saw Gus Greensmith / Elliott Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) escape a little. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (Ford Fiesta WRC) left early in the morning.
In the WRC-2, Pontus Tidemand remains impeccable and dominates with about thirty seconds ahead for Adrien Fourmaux, who today suffered two punctures, but did not change wheels, preferring to rotate slowly until the end of the section. In WRC-3, Oliver Solberg remains in the lead but Yohan Rossel is only six seconds behind. Nicolas Ciamin also hasn’t said his last word yet and has 23 seconds to recover.
Online Classification – CLICK HERE