WRC Rally Italia Day 1 Highlights


At the end of the opening afternoon of Rally Italia Sardegna, the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Sébastien Loeb heads the leaderboard with team-mate Mikko Hirvonen hot on his heels and just 1.1 seconds adrift. Flying the flag for Ford, Petter Solberg sits in third position after just two stages.

Running as a four-day event this year, Rally Italia Sardegna got underway this afternoon with two runs through the 28.14 kilometre Terranova stage. In the first stage, Loeb - running fifth on the road - took the plaudits and inched out a 1.4 second advantage over Hirvonen. However, in the second run, as darkness began to fall, Hirvonen claimed the stage victory to close the gap to his team-mate. Behind them, Solberg had a trouble-free run and is 13.9 seconds adrift of the lead.

Thierry Neuville is fourth while Mads Østberg holds fifth after hitting a stone in the first stage and damaging the steering arm. Jari-Matti Latvala - who elected to run first on the road today - is sixth after breaking a wheel in the second running of the stage, leaving him 42.1 seconds adrift at this early point in the event.

Friday’s first full day of competition includes two new stages near Sassari - Castelsardo and Tergu-Osilo - the second being a classic Sardinian stage. In total, the crews tackle six tests and 117.36 competitive kilometres with only a 15 minute remote service in Sassari.

WRC Rally Italia Sardegna – Day 1 Provisional Results

1. Sébastien Loeb/Daniel Elena (Citroën DS3 WRC) 37min 59.1sec
2. Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1.1
3. Petter Solberg/Chris Patterson (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +13.9
4. Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (Citroën DS3 WRC) +26.2
5. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +33.5
6. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +42.1
7. Evgeny Novikov/Ilka Minor (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +51.2
8. Chris Atkinson/Stephane Prévot (MINI Cooper Works WRC) +1:28.9
9. Ott Tänak/Kuldar Sikk (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:31.4
10. Martin Prokop/Zdenek Hruza (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +1:48.2


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