Rally Italia Sardegna: Ogier concludes day one on top

"We gained a lot of ground in the course of the day thanks to our good times, and tomorrow we will again try to gather pace and not leave the teams in front of us in peace. The icing on the cake was the two final stages today – the best I've had since I've been driving the Polo.”

Further back, Andreas Mikkelsen is sixth in the third works Polo R WRC, followed by Martin Prokop, Michal Kosciuszko and Elfyn Evans, the latter making his debut this weekend in a World Rally Car.

“We've had a lot of new things to deal with today – new car, new co-driver, new rally – so pretty much everything was new!" Evans joked. "It was a big challenge, but a great opportunity and throughout the day with learnt a lot about the car and a lot about each other.

“I'm really looking forward to tomorrow now. We'll just try to stick with what we've got now. We definitely don't want to go backwards, but if we can keep improving step by step that would be good. Our main focus was always just to finish the rally, and that won't change tomorrow – hopefully we can continue to improve along the way.

“There isn't a big gap up to eighth, but we promised ourselves before we got here that we weren't going to look at times. We'll just concentrate on doing our own thing, try to improve further and just see what that brings.”

Former F1 winner Robert Kubica completes the top ten, and is seemingly poised to repeat what he did in Greece, by winning the WRC2 class again. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is second in WRC2, 1min 11.8sec back, while Stephane Consani heads WRC3.

“The most difficult thing was to manage the dust,” Kubica noted. “The FIA want to improve safety and yet they send us out with one minute between drivers. I lost a lot of time in these dangerous conditions, but apart from that, it went pretty well.”

In terms of retirements, Sardinia has claimed three major casualties, with Mads Ostberg joining Evgeny Novikov and Per-Gunnar Andersson on the sidelines this evening after he rolled his Qatar M-Sport WRT-run Fiesta RS WRC in SS8. Novikov had crashed out in SS2, while Andersson was sidelined by driveshaft issues on the middle loop.

Rally Italia Sardegna now concludes on Saturday, with four different stages on the bill, all to be run twice.

SS9, the 19.27 kilometre Monte Olia 1, is due to start at 08.06 hours local time [07.06 hours UK time].

Rally Italia Sardgena: Overall standings after Stage 8 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1hour 40mins 47.3secs M
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +46.6s M
3. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +49.7s M
4. Dani Sordo Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +1m 19.4s M
5. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +1m 44.0s M
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +1m 55.4s M
7. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 50.4s M
8. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 25.6s M
9. Elfyn Evans Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 34.5s M
10. Robert Kubica Citroen DS3 RRC +8m 35.3s WRC2


11. Khalid Al-Qassimi Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +8m 40.2s M
12. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +9m 47.1s WRC2
13. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RRC +10m 46.7s WRC2
14. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +12m 17.9s WRC2
15. Armin Kremer Subaru Impreza WRX +12m 43.1s WRC2

WRC2 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):

1. Robert Kubica Citroen DS3 RRC 1hour 49mins 22.6secs WRC2
2. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +1m 11.8s WRC2
3. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RRC +2m 11.4s WRC2

WRC3 standings after Stage 8 (Top 3):

1. Stephane Consani Citroen DS3 R3T 1hour 55mins 57.0s WRC3
2. Christian Riedemann Citroen DS3 R3T +16.1s WRC3
3. Sebastien Chardonnet Citroen DS3 R3T +26.2s WRC3

Notable retirements:

SS2. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Rolled M
SS6. Per-Gunnar Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC Mechanical
SS8. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Rolled M

*denotes due to re-start under the Rally 2 regulations

all times unofficial

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #8, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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