Rally Italia Sardegna: Day 2
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing climbs to first and second in Sardinia
The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team has moved up into first and second overall at Rally Italia Sardegna with one day to go after a fast and trouble-free performance on Saturday. Sébastien Ogier leads his team-mate Elfyn Evans by 38.9 seconds at the top of the order with four stages remaining.
After a brilliant drive on Friday while running first on the road as championship leader, Ogier capitalised upon his improved road position on Saturday morning, taking second place with a stage win on the day’s second test. At this point he was around 40 seconds from the lead, but another fastest time in SS12 was rewarded with the rally lead after the driver ahead hit trouble. Ogier went on to take a further three stage wins during the afternoon.
Starting the day in fourth overall, Evans immediately showed improved speed and went on to take two stage wins. While avoiding mistakes he kept the pressure on those in front and was ultimately promoted to second position. Across the day he also increased his advantage over the driver behind to 22.7s.
There are three Toyota Yaris WRCs in the top four positions, with TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta currently on course to match the best-ever result of fourth overall that he achieved on the previous round in Portugal.
Having been halted by a technical issue on Friday, Kalle Rovanperä restarted this morning and showed good pace considering his unfavourable position running second on the road. He will target bonus points in the Power Stage tomorrow.
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“Today there has been a lot of drama but we have come through it in the leading two positions, which is amazing for us. That six of the 10 World Rally Cars have retired so far tells us how demanding an event this is: It’s not all about speed, it’s also about reliability and consistency. That said, today we could see that our performance has been really good as well. Seb has been doing a really good job and so has Elfyn, who found his confidence again this morning. We also have Takamoto in a great position again in fourth. Tomorrow we need to keep our focus on what we have been doing, and if we do that we could have a very good result at the end.”
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 1)
“So far it’s been a perfect weekend for us. We were really strong yesterday and then today we did everything we had to do. We had good consistent pace this morning and a bit of a different tyre choice, which I think paid off. The chance to take the lead was not solely in my hands, but we took it, and then we had a strong afternoon where we could increase the gap. Now we can try to drive even more safely tomorrow. We have some more new stages tomorrow, so we’ll have to stay focused until the end and finish the job.”
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“Today has been a good step forward from where we were yesterday. We really had to work hard to overcome the difficulties that we had, and now we’ve managed to find a place where I’m very very happy in the car. The stages have been difficult and our rivals have had some incidents, and our better pace has meant we’ve moved up to second place. Tomorrow we will still need to be on our best: It will be challenging with the new stages but I’m looking forward to it.”
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“It’s always good to get straight back into the car like we did this morning, and it was good learning for us to experience the conditions as the second car on the road. The morning was actually quite nice: It was a bit damp, so there was not so much road cleaning and I really enjoyed it. The afternoon was more difficult, with tricky stages and a lot of cleaning. Tomorrow we will be aiming for the Power Stage and trying to score some points there. It’s a new stage and a tricky stage, but let’s see what we can do.”
End of day two (Saturday):
1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) 2h50m33.1s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC) +38.9s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1m01.6s
4 Takamoto Katsuta/Dan Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC) +4m01.2s
5 Jari Huttunen/Mikko Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5) +8m09.6s
6 Mads Østberg/Torstein Eriksen (Citroën C3 Rally2) +8m12.3s
7 Yohan Rossel/Alexandre Coria (Citroën C3 Rally2) +8m57.5s
8 Pepe López/Diego Vallejo (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +9m35.3s
9 Jan Solans/Rodrigo Sanjuan de Eusebio (Citroën C3 Rally2) +9m45.0s
10 Marco Bulacia/Marcelo Der Ohannesian (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) +10m13.1s
30 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) +51m36.5s
(Results as of 19:30 on Saturday, for the latest results please visit www.wrc.com)
The final day of the rally has a different look this year, situated in the very north of Sardinia. The Arzachena – Braniatogghiu stage last run in 2009 and the all-new Aglientu – Santa Teresa will both be run twice, with the second pass of the latter test serving as the rally-ending Power Stage.
Press kit and Event pictures will be uploaded here
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