The first two Sunday rounds of the 4 scheduled for Rally Italia Sardegna 2023 went on file with a double scratch signed by Ott Tanak. The M-Sport driver set the fastest time both in SS16, Arzachena – Braniatogghiu 1 of 15.22 kilometres, and in SS17, Sardegna 1 of 7.79 kilometres.
This result doesn’t change anything in the general standings, because Tanak returned to the race after being forced to retire yesterday due to an electrical failure after fording, which evidently caused damage to his Ford Puma.
The most important news of this start to the third and final stage of Rally Italia Sardegna concerns Dani Sordo’s Hyundai i20 N Rally1. The Spaniard is racing in the special without being able to attack the corners or the straights.
There has been a power problem on his i20 since SS16 and he is currently trying to limit the damage, aware that he cannot rely on the mid-day Service because he will not have it available today.
With 2 races to go, the Spaniard will have to manage an advantage of one minute and 22 seconds over the first of his pursuers, Adrien Fourmaux, intent on managing his advantage in the WRC2.
Thierry Neuville is managing his margin on Esapekka Lappi, although in SS16 he took the second time and, in SS17, he still did better than his teammate. The gap between the two has now risen to 43 seconds with 2 races left at the end of the island event.
All the other positions are frozen, although it should be noted the different approach that all the cars – especially the Toyotas, after yesterday’s damage – to the fords. All the pilots were much more cautious, looking for the best line and fording the large shear pools of water, so as to avoid submerging the nose and causing damage to the power unit.
In WRC2 Adrien Fourmaux is also managing his margin against his rivals. Andreas Mikkelsen managed to gnaw almost 7 seconds off him by winning SS17 in the category standings, but the Frenchman of M-Sport still has a 22″1 lead over his Norwegian rival. Teemu Suninen’s third position is increasingly secure: the Hyundai’s Finnish player has a margin of more than 1 minute on Kajetan Kajetanowicz who follows him.
Also noteworthy is the withdrawal of Emil Lindholm and Reeta Hamalainen. The reigning WRC2 champions did not start this morning due to a failure of one of the rear suspensions of the Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 entrusted by the TokSport team. The team noticed the problem in the end of day service yesterday evening and, although they did their utmost to resolve it, they failed to do so.
Rally Italia Sardegna – WRC 2023 – Classification after SS17
Pos. Pilota/navigatore Vettura Tempo/distacco Penalità 1 Neuville/Wydaeghe Hyundai 20 N Rally2 3h25’04”4 2 Lappi/Ferm Hyundai 20 N Rally2 +43″0 3 Rovanpera/Halttunen Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 +2’11″2 4 Evans/ Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 +5’36″8 5 Sordo/Carrera Hyundai 20 N Rally2 +7’22″4 +1’20” 6 Fourmaux/Coria Ford Fiesta Rally2 +8’44″6 7 Mikkelsen/Erissen Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 +9’06″7 8 Suninen/Markkula Hyundai i20 N Rally2 +11’17″6 9 Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak Skoda Fabia RS Rally2 +12’22″8 10 Rossel/Dunand Citroen C3 Rally2 +12’30″0