Alghero (Italy), October 9 2020. The 2020 edition of Rally Italia Sardegna started this morning going over the expectations of the eve with a first day of competition marked by great challenges among the major title contenders of the World Rally Championship. Dani Sordo is leading the event on Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC. The Spanish driver of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team, co-driven by Carlos Del Barrio, took the lead after the fourth special stage of the day and won four of them out of the six held between early morning and mid-afternoon thanks to a proper set up and a right tyre choice, even if “we could have done better”, as said by Sordo himself, who last year won on the island the Italian round of the WRC promoted by Automobile Club d’Italia for the first time.

Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen are second. The Finnish crew won the opening stage of the rally with the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC. At the end of the very last stage of the day Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) snatched the third podium position from Sebasien Ogier and Julienne Ingrassia, the French crew of the Toyota Gazoo Racing Team that behind the wheel of the Yaris WRC ended the day ahead of teammates Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin. The Championship leader was able to be fastest on SS3 and at the moment he is completing the top-5, while Ott Tanak (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) experienced suspension issues in the morning stages losing a lot of time and closing eight overall so far.

Swedish driver Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia Evo) is the WRC2 leader ahead of Adrien Fourmaux (Ford Fiesta MkII), who won three tests but is paying in term of time loss a front left tyre puncture after hitting a rock on SS5. In the WRC3 standings great surprise is the first place, tenth overall, of Oliver Solberg (Skoda Fabia Evo), Swedish youngster son of 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg, that will be testing the new Pirelli tyres for 2021 World Rally Championship on Sunday’s Power Stage co-driven by Andreas Mikkelsen. Another Swedish young driver, Tom Kristensson, is leading the FIA Junior WRC among the Ford Fiesta Rally4.

Based in the city of Alghero, North-West of Sardinia, the 6th round of the WRC will start the second leg of the event on Saturday morning at 5:15h to run other six special stages during the whole day. Two loops on the longest one at Monte Lerno (22.08km; 7:37h and 10:07) and on Coiluna-Loelle (15km; 8:38h and 11:08) before the mid-day service in Alghero at 13:43. As today, in the afternoon the stages of Sedini-Castelsardo (14.72 km) and Tergu-Osilo (12.81km) at 16:08h and 17:02 respectively to end the day.

Top-10 after SS6. 1. Sordo – Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) 1h12’40”9; 2. Suninen – Lehtinen (Fiesta WRC Ford) +17”4; 3. Neuville – Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) a +35”2; 4. Ogier – Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) a +36”0; 5. Evans – Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +51”9; 6. Greensmith – Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1’07”1; 7. Loubet – Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +1’33”5; 8. Tanak – Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupè WRC) +1’53”7; 9. Rovampera – Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2’32”3; 10. Solberg – Johnston (Skoda Fabia EVO) +3’01”2.