Ford privateer Martin Prokop sprung a surprise and took the lead on Rally Italia Sardegna this evening after topping the times in the short 2.50km Citta Di Cagliari super special test.

Prokop, who has scored points in every event so far this season, peaking in Argentina with a fourth place in his Jipocar Czech National Team-run Fiesta RS WRC car, completed the test in 2 minutes 23.7 seconds, leaving him 1.7 seconds up on Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot, Andreas Mikkelsen, while Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville tied for third, although Tanak did report handbrake issues at the stage end.

Drivers tackled the test two-by-two, with Prokop easily winning his duel against Robert Kubica, after the Pole spun in a hairpin.

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Behind, Mads Ostberg holds fifth, ahead of two-time WRC champion and current Championship leader Sebastien Ogier, who is joint sixth with Jari-Matti Latvala. Hayden Paddon and Kris Meeke tie for ninth, the former clipping a bale, while WRC2 runner Esapekka Lappi rounds out the top ten.

Dani Sordo did post the second best time, but subsequently dropped back after he was hit with a 10 second penalty for jumping the start

The action now continues on Friday with nine stages on the bill and a total competitive distance of 133.50 km.

SS2, the 26.31 km Grighine Sud 1 test, is scheduled to start at 08.20 hours local time. Full itinerary for round six in WRC 2015 available - HERE.

2015 Rally Italia Sardegna: Overall standings after Stage 1 (Top 10):

1. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2m 23.7s M
2. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +0m 01.7s M
3. Ott Tanak M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 02.9s M
= Thierry Neuville Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 02.9s M
5. Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 3.3s M
6. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 3.4s M
= Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +0m 3.4s M
8. Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N i20 WRC +0m 4.7s M
= Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS 3 WRC +0m 4.7s M
10. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 +0m 5.1s WRC2

Other(s):

11. Elfyn Evans M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 5.2s M
14. Lorenzo Bertelli Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 7.8s M
15. Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta RS WRC +0m 8.4s
20. Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport i20 WRC +0m 11.3s M

WRC2 standings after Stage 1 (Top 3):

1. Esapekka Lappi Skoda Fabia R5 2m 28.8s WRC2
2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 02.2s WRC2
3. Yuriy Protasov Ford Fiesta RRC +0m 02.5s WRC2

Notable retirements:

None.

M denotes Manufacturer entry

all times unofficial