Alghero (Italy), October 10 2020. Everything will be decided tomorrow, Sunday, October 11, at Rally Italia Sardegna. It was a Saturday full of emotion the second day of the sixth round of the World Rally Championship on the 101.69 kilometers of today’s stages that has been run on the gravel and tricky roads of the event promoted by Automobile Club d’Italia partnered by Regione Sardegna.
Dani Sordo and Carlos Del Barrio stretched their lead on Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC. After winning 4 out of 6 stages on Friday, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT Spanish crew was fastest in SS7, second of the day, and they ended Saturday’s leg 27.4 seconds ahead of Sebastien Ogier and Julienne Ingrassia on Toyota Yaris WRC. Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT French crew won 4 out of 6 Saturday’s stages (including the two runs on the very demanding Monte Lerno test) and in the very last one of the day snatched second position from Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), who won SS10 and now they follow in third position 28.9 seconds adrift of Sordo but only 1.5 seconds behind Ogier.
WRC leader Elfyn Evans, co-driven by Martin Scott, follows in fourth position on Toyota Yaris WRC with an overall gap of 58.4 seconds, while M-Sport Ford WRT crew formed by Teemu Suninen and Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC) dropped from second to fifth position after some handbrake issues experienced during the morning stages. The Finn pair, still in fight with Evans for the fourth position, ended the day more than one minute ahead of Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC).
Pontus Tidemand (Skoda Fabia Evo), Jari Huttunen (Hyundai NG i20) and Tom Kristensson are leading WRC2, WRC3 and FIA Junior WRC respectively, while the first Italian driver in the overall classification is Umberto Scandola (Hyundai NG i20), in 14th position. Unfortunately, Oliver Solberg (Skoda Fabia Evo) was forced to retire in the very last stage of the day. 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, crashed in the “Tergu-Osilo 2” speed test only two kilometers before the finish line.
Based in the city of Alghero, North-West of Sardinia, the 6th round of the WRC will start the third leg of the event on Sunday morning at 7:15h to run the final four special stages. Two loops on “Cala Flumini” (14.06km; 8:15h and 11:10h) and on “Sassari-Argentiera” (6.89km; 9:08h and 12:18h) for a total of 41.90 kilometres with finish line in Alghero at 13:35h and podium ceremony at 15:00h. Second pass on the Sassari-Argentiera speed test will be the Power Stage of the rally.
Top-10 after SS12. 1. Sordo – Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) 2h14’35”5; 2. Ogier – Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) +24”4; 3. Neuville – Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) a +28”9; 4. Evans – Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +58”4; 5. Suninen – Lehtinen (Fiesta WRC Ford) +1’06”9; 6. Tanak – Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupè WRC) +2’25”3; 7. Loubet – Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC) +3’37”0; 8. Huttunen – Lukka (Hyundai NG i20) +3’21”7; 9. Kajetanowicz – Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Evo) +7’09”2; 10. Tidemand – Barth (Skoda Fabia Evo) +7’48”1.