Puuppola, Finland,

Rally Italia Sardegna: Day 1

Sardinian adventure underway for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing

The three Toyota Yaris WRC drivers got Rally Italia Sardegna underway this evening with a short super special stage at Ittiri. Esapekka Lappi was sixth quickest overall, Jari-Matti Latvala was eighth and Ott Tänak 10th, with all three within 2.5 seconds of the rally lead going into the first full day tomorrow.

This morning, the team completed a positive shakedown over a 3.34-kilometre route close to the rally base in Alghero. Latvala set the fastest time of all on the shakedown, with Tänak and Lappi joint third quickest, both within a second of their team-mate.



Tom Fowler (Chief Engineer)

“Shakedown went positively this morning. All three drivers set some competitive times and most importantly they were happy with the setups on the cars. It was important for them to come out of the shakedown feeling confident and I think they're all now looking forward to the rally starting properly tomorrow morning. It was raining during shakedown and it looks as if we may get some damp conditions in the morning, before some more traditional Sardinia sun over the weekend. We were able to test a slightly softer wet gravel setup on the cars in shakedown, but the drivers also used their dry setups to make sure that everything was working. We will decide how we will set the cars up tomorrow morning depending on the latest weather information we have.”

Jari-Matti Latvala (Driver car 7)

“The first stage tonight passed OK without any major problems: there were just a couple of corners that were slightly more difficult than I had expected. I have been here in Sardinia many times and I always enjoy the rally. During shakedown this morning it was raining, and I don't think I've seen rain here for 10 years! Normally on this rally there is a large cleaning effect the further you are down the road order, but I won't have that advantage if there is heavy rain and the roads are wet tomorrow morning. The car is very fast and my feeling is good, so everything is ready for the start. I really want a clean event, and I'm sure if we can do that then a good result will come.”

Ott Tänak (Driver car 8)

“On the super special we struggled with a bit of understeer, but this stage was very different to how the rest of the rally will be and we know have good package. In shakedown the feeling was good: I'm really happy with the car, I have no complaints. We just checked that everything was working correctly and did a bit of fine tuning. Normally this is one of the hottest rallies, but this year it looks a bit different with some rain around at the moment, something we are not very used to here. I think this is actually positive for us though, and hopefully we still have some dampness on the road tomorrow. That would definitely help our performance. It's very important for the championship for us to have a good result here.”

Esapekka Lappi (Driver car 9)

“I tried to be very aggressive on the first stage. Normally I am not so good at these kind of super special stages, so I just tried to change my driving style a bit. I'm not sure whether it worked but tomorrow is where the rally really begins. Shakedown was really, really good in my opinion. I felt comfortable and confident, so it was enjoyable and I think I just continued where I left off in Portugal. The feeling was nice. I have always liked this rally and the target is to improve on last year by at least one position and to get on the podium.”


End of day one (Thursday):

1 Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) +2m02.7s

2 Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.1s

3 Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +0.7s

4 Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta WRC) +0.9s

5 Hayden Paddon/Seb Marshall (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1.6s

6 Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.7s

7 Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +1.8s

8 Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1.9s

9 Mads Ostberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroen C3 WRC) +1.9s

10 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +2.5s

(Results as of 20:30 on Thursday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)


What's next?

The first full day of the rally consists of eight stages, with two loops of four stages to the north east of Alghero. The first stage of the day, Tula, is also the longest at nearly 22 kilometres, with the first pass starting at 8:33 local time. The cars are due back in service at the end of the day shortly after 19:00.


Press release

URL: https://toyotagazooracing.com/release/2018/#


Press kit and Event pictures will be uploaded here

URL: https://www.tgr-dam.com


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