Top 15 classification after SS1 at Rally Italia Sardegna

Sebastien Ogier has returned to the top spot at Rally Italia Sardegna after winning the opening special stage by one-tenth of a second from Andreas Mikkelsen.

The M-Sport Ford driver will be eager to make amends from crashing out in Portugal last month having lost the World Rally Championship lead to rival Thierry Neuville.

Ogier heads up the early running after SS1 Ittiri Arena Show by 0.1s after beating Neuville in his heat, with Mikkelsen taking second place ahead of his Hyundai teammate who slots into third.

Elfyn Evans won his heat to secure fourth place on the combined times in his M-Sport Ford ahead of the final Hyundai Hayden Paddon who is replacing Dani Sordo for this event. Esapekka Lappi leads the Toyota charge in sixth place ahead of fellow Finn Teemu Suninen in the third M-Sport Ford.

Mads Ostberg leads the Citroen fight, after the French manufacturer terminated Kris Meeke’s contract after his crash in Portugal, with a time equal to Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala who set identical stage times in the same heat.

Toyota’s Ott Tanak, winner at this event 12 months ago, is down in tenth as 2.5s splits the top ten while Citroen’s Craig Breen is shares 13th place with WRC2 challenger Stephane Lefebvre after the Irish driver stalled on the opening stage. Jan Kopecky leads the WRC2 standings, 0.2s ahead of Lefebvre and Breen, and is 12th overall.

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