WRC Rally Italia Day 2 Highlights


The second day of Rally Italia Sardegna has been one of attrition with no fewer than four of the leading crews forced into retirement.

Mikko Hirvonen has however managed to stay out of trouble to hold the lead, while Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tänak have powered up the leaderboard into second and third respectively.

Today’s first full day of competition included two new stages near Sassari - Castelsardo and Tergu-Osilo - the second being a classic Sardinian stage. In total, the crews tackled six tests and 117.36 competitive kilometres with only a 15 minute remote service in Sassari before returning to Olbia this evening.

The shock first retirement came from reigning FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb. While leading, the Frenchman went off the road and hit some rocks on the outside of a corner. With damaged steering, the multiple World Champion was unable to continue and won’t be re-starting tomorrow.

Thierry Neuville also dropped into a ditch in the same stage and while the Belgian was able to get the car back on its wheels and complete the stage, the team decided to withdraw him during the following road section to protect the engine after oil loss.

Jari-Matti Latvala was the next victim. The Finn initially slid wide and hit a rock in SS4 and damaged the radiator, but then lost concentration and hit a gate post, damaging the car too badly to continue. Team-mate Petter Solberg then damaged the front left suspension and he too was forced onto the side lines this afternoon. All three look set to re-start the third day.

Hirvonen now has more than a minute lead over Novikov, the Russian climbing from seventh to second after setting two fastest times. Tänak has run without problems and the Estonian has moved six places up the leaderboard this evening. Sébastien Ogier has set a remarkable pace in the Skoda Fabia S2000, the Frenchman fourth this evening with one fastest stage time to his credit.

Chris Atkinson has climbed to fifth and Andreas Mikkelsen, in the second Skoda, is sixth. Mads Østberg has dropped from fifth to seventh with a rear diff problem this afternoon.

Saturday is another long day for the crews with two identical loops of three stages covering 115.92 competitive kilometres.

WRC Rally Italia Sardegna – Day 2 Provisional Results

1. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroën DS3 WRC) 1hr 56min 25.5sec
2. Evgeny Novikov/Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:09.6
3. Ott Tänak/Kuldar Sikk (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:18.3
4. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Skoda Fabia S2000) +3:35.7
5. Chris Atkinson/Stephane Prévot (MINI Cooper Works WRC) +3:54.9
6. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene (Skoda Fabia S2000) +4:40.3
7. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:46.0
8. Martin Prokop/Zdenek Hruza (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +7:13.0
9. Karl Kruuda/Martin Jarveoja Ford Fiesta (S2000) +8:26.2
10. Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +10:15.7


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