WRC, Lappi leads a truncated rally in Sardinia – Le Mag Sport Auto

This second day of Rally Italy-Sardinia was full of twists and turns. Three drivers battled for the lead in the race and at the end of the day it was Esapekka Lappi (Toyota) who was first. Still, the Finn has only a very small lead over his main rival. In WRC-2 Andreas Mikkelsen is a solid leader for Nikolay Gryazin.

WRC: a morning full of surprises in Sardinia.

The dust came to mark the ghosts in the first special of the day. Except for Kalle Rovanperä (first on the road), almost everyone was bothered by the dust that hung over the road. Nevertheless, Elfyn Evans (Toyota) set the best time for a very fit Pierre-Louis Loubet (Ford). Tänak (Hyundai) is third with 4s1 and Lappi (Toyota) is fifth with 7s8 just behind Rovanperä. Evans then takes charge of the rally.

In the next special, Esapekka Lappi struck hard and set the fastest time with a lead of 3s4 over Breen (Ford) and 5s3 over Tänak. The Finn thus takes the lead in the race for 1s9 for Tänak and 3s for Evans.

Bee Rally Italy-Sardinia its specificity lies in the fact that the second pass is coupled immediately and does not wait for the afternoon loop. In the morning’s third special, the second pass through Terranova, Dani Sordo (Hyundai) returns to the foreground and draws the scratch for Tänak and Neuville. Ott Tänak took the lead again in the rally, nine tenths ahead of Lappi.

Then, in the last special of the morning, Dani Sordo confirms, wins again and rejoins the race for the podium. By setting the fastest time with three seconds ahead of Breen, five on Loubet, six on Tänak and almost nine on Lappi, Sordo closes the gap in the top5. This SS5 is marked by the retirement of Elfyn Evans before the start after an engine failure at the finish of the previous special. Thierry Neuville, for his part, was unlucky and saw the mechanics of his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 betray him again.

In the afternoon Tänak is in the lead with a lead of 3s7 over Lappi and 8s9 over Loubet. Craig Breen is fourth with 10s1 and Sordo rises to fifth with 14s6 behind the leader.

A shortened afternoon and race for victory!

The second loop promised to be very exciting, but ended up being very short. Indeed, SS8 was postponed and then canceled after the fire of Frenchman Laurent Battut’s Hyundai i20 R5. Then SS9 (last special of the day) was also postponed before it was cancelled. There it is the timing and difficulty of transporting the entire rally caravan on time that is the cause of the cancellation.

Earlier, Ott Tänak took a hit in SS6 by setting the fastest time with a 2s7 lead over Esapekka Lappi. Third in the special, Craig Breen passed Loubet overall and climbed just six tenths on the provisional podium.

In SS7, Thierry Neuville is taking advantage of his “everything for everything” strategy and expects to put in an excellent scratch time. But that’s without counting on it Esepakka Lappic it does it much better! The Toyota driver sets a new best time with a lead of 3s7 over Dani Sordo, 6s1 over Adrien Fourmaux (who is recovering) and 6s3 over Neuville! Tänak is in sixth place 7s1 behind Lappi. The Finn is only seven tenths back in the rally! Loubet is also back on the podium for four tenths!

WRC-2: Mikkelsen on top, Suninen bad luck.

On the side of the WRC-2, Andreas Mikkelsen (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) made an excellent start to the race. The reigning world champion took control of the category from the first special of the day. Since then, he has managed to create a small lead over his pursuers, especially since there were two crucial retirements in SS7! First of all, Yohan Rossel (Citroën C3 Rally2) went off the road at the second corner of the special. The Frenchman, championship leader, was 6s5 behind Mikkelsen before his accident. Then, after the finish of SS7, it was Teemu Suninen (Hyundai i20 N Rally2) who was forced to stop after a broken suspension. After his exit from the PowerStage in Portugal, Suninen continues with another disappointment.

Tonight we see Andreas Mikkelsen leading the rally in WRC-2. The Norwegian has a 15s8 lead over the Russian Nikolay Gryazin (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo). The podium is completed by Jan Solans (Citroën C3 Rally2) who regains third place from Suninen. Marco Bulacia (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo) is fourth with 2s2 ahead of Chris Ingram (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo).

See you tomorrow for the rest Rally Italy-Sardinia† On the program, eight specials without assistance! A day that promises to be complicated and where abandonment is likely to be high. For Rovanperä, who will start fourth on the road, the battle for victory looks complicated with over a minute to recover from his teammate Esapekka Lappi!

Article published on June 3, 2022.