Sun 13:53 - Until then
Keep an eye on wrc.com for all the latest WRC news. Or head to WRC+ for our exclusive onboard comparison library, video highlights and to review today's live stages. Ciao for now.
Sun 13:52 - We will return
On 29 June to bring you news from the championship's eighth round: ORLEN 74th Rally Poland
Sun 13:51 - Finish control
And that's where we'll leave our live text service from Rally Italia Sardegna
Sun 13:50 - WRC Manufacturers' Standings
Sun 13:49 - WRC Drivers' Standings
Sun 13:48 - Italy J WRC FINAL
1.Solans 4h00m07.8s, 2.Ciamin +46.1s, 3.Tannert +3m20.8s, 4.Folb +4m41.2s, 5. Radstrom +6m57.1s
Sun 13:45 - Italy WRC 2 FINAL
1.Kopecky 3h36m30.0s, 2.Veiby +2m22.9s, 3.Katsuta +7m08.4s, 4.Rossel +10m51.4s, 6. Loubet +23m56.2s
Sun 13:43 - SS19: WRC 2 Katsuta
Third place in WRC 2 is the Japanese driver's first podium in the WRC. "I'm so happy we finished this tough rally. I want to say thank you so much to the team and my co-driver Marko. With this experience next time I will be much faster."
Sun 13:41 - SS19: WRC 2 Veiby
"I'm happy with this, it was a really strong drive. We managed the whole rally with no problems and that was always our plan. I feel I have made progress, improving all weekend."
Sun 13:40 - SS19: WRC 2 Kopecky
Camilli edged him in the battle of the R5s, but Jan takes 25 points for the win in WRC 2. He finishes 2m22sec clear of Veiby in second.
Sun 13:38 - SS19: Camilli
Delighted to finish in 10th place and leading R5 competitor. "I pushed hard and it's a very good result for us. It's the first time that we finish in front of the Skodas so I'm happy. I don't care that I didn't score [WRC 2] points here. The most important thing is to perform."
Sun 13:26 - Power Stage result
1: Lappi 5m10.5s (5 points) 2: Sordo +0.4s (4 points) 3: Ogier +1.3s (3 points) 4: Neuville +1.9s (2 points) 5: Latvala +2.3s (1 point)
Sun 13:22 - Italy FINAL
1.Tänak 3h25.15.1s, 2.Latvala +12.3s, 3.Neuville +1m07.7s, 4.Lappi +2m12.9s, 5.Ogier +3m25.3s
Sun 13:18 - Tanak's title?
He's up to third position in the drivers' championship. Does he consider himself a title contender? "For sure I will try. Now we are closer to Seb. I don't see why we shouldn't be." Game on!
Sun 13:16 - Ott Tanak
Eighth quickest on the Power Stage, he wins the rally by 12.3sec from Latvala. It's his first win in 73 starts. "What can I say - it feels good! A difficult weekend but the first half of this season has been great. The new car and a strong team-mate is making me push hard. I hope it's the first of many wins. It's coming together. It looks like we have a strong team all around and in the car too."
Sun 13:08 - Tanak wins!
He and co-driver Martin Jarveoja are out of the car and jumping on the roof!
Sun 13:07 - SS19: Tanak
Sun 13:07 - SS19: Latvala
Fifth-quickest on the Power Stage, so that's second place secured, but Latvala is kicking himself for repeating a mistake from the morning pass. "I lost it in the hairpin! It's always wrong in the hairpin because the car doesn't turn there. I'm really disappointed."
Sun 13:03 - SS19: Neuville
He's fourth quickest so far on stage - 1.9sec slower than Lappi - and that's third place secured. "We gave it everything here but the road was not perfect for our car, I couldn't raise the ride height. Overall it's a positive rally. It was unlucky we got a small [brake] issue with the car and perhaps lost the win this weekend. An amazing performance in the car and from the team."
Sun 12:58 - SS19: Lappi
Quickest so far in 5m10.5s. And it looks like fourth place for Lappi. Will he collect his fifth stage win of the rally here? "There are still more fast drivers to come, we will see, but I gave everything - absolutely. I learned a lot in Portugal and I learned more here. It's getting better step-by-step."
Sun 12:55 - SS19: Hänninen
He's through, but he loses fifth place to Ogier (by 13.2sec). A good result after his shunt into an armco barrier on Friday. "It's a shame to lose the place but we have to be happy to be here. That's a positive."
Sun 12:52 - SS19: Ogier
Second quickest here, nine-tenths slower than stage leader Sordo. He's battling for fifth place overall here after his puncture on Saturday. "Not the best weekend for the championship but what can we do? I tried here but there are lots of big rocks - it's a bit of a lottery. If Ott wins he deserves it - it would be great for the team."
Sun 12:49 - SS19: Ostberg
He loses 2m22s here, but he might hold seventh place if he can get the car home. "An earlier repair broke a few metres into the stage. I have some ideas of what to do. If I can't fix it I'll drive sideways to service."
Sun 12:45 - SS19: Ostberg
Disaster! His car is crabbing through the stage with broken rear suspension. His speed is barely 40kph. The right-rear wheel is moving all over the place.
Sun 12:44 - SS19: Mikkelsen
15.2sec off the lead pace here and it looks like eighth place for Andreas on his C3 debut. "We tried to go at good speed all morning so our tyres were probably worn. Okay, we managed to do what we came here to do. We got a lot of mileage and gathered a lot of data to work with. For now it's just one event for me [in the Citroen]. Let's see what the future brings."
Sun 12:40 - SS19: Sordo
Quickest so far in 5m10.9s. He won the morning pass when he was nine-tenths quicker. "Not so bad. A lot of ruts. It was fun." After his turbo problems on day one it looks like 13th place here for the early rally leader.
Sun 12:35 - SS19: Al Rajhi
Yazeed on course for 14th place overall and victory in the Trophy class for pre-2017 World Rally Cars." He completes 32.2sec slower than Breen. "We enjoyed and we win the category - that's most important." Top marks too for social media devotion, he manages to take a snapchat selfie video of his own stage-end interview.
Sun 12:30 - SS19: Breen
Two seconds quicker than Evans. Breen another driver looking for a good finish after a leg one retirement. "Tough going. Incredibly soft and sandy. It's a bucket and shovel you need in here, not a rally car. It's been a difficult weekend. We struggled for pace in some places and were good in others. We need to work on consistency."
Sun 12:27 - SS19: Evans
He sets a benchmark time of 5m18.3s. Good enough for points? He could do with a bonus after crashing out on Friday. "I fixed the throttle problem so there were no concerns there. We tried a bit for sure. It's difficult to know how the stage will evolve for the cars behind. Overall a tough weekend. We have to go home and reset."
Sun 12:18 - SS19: LIVE
Evans on stage.
Sun 12:16 - Power Stage running order
A few changes to suit the live broadcast schedule (on TV and WRC ). Here's how the World Rally Car runners will line up: 1. Evans, 2. Breen, 3. Al Rajhi, 4. Sordo, 5. Mikkelsen, 6. Østberg, 7. Ogier, 8. Hänninen, 9. Lappi. 10. Neuville. 11. Latvala, 12. Tänak. Four-minute intervals for these drivers.
Sun 12:00 - Watch SS19 LIVE
WRC+ users can watch the Power Stage via our live streaming service. The show starts in one minute.
Sun 11:57 - SS18: Update
Breen and the rest of the field will drive SS18 as a non-competitive road section and then head to the start of the Power Stage. They be awarded notional times for SS18.
Sun 11:34 - SS18: Stage stopped
Paddon's car is blocking the road. Breen and the drivers behind him are held at the start.
Sun 11:31 - SS18: Tanak
Safely through in the fourth-quickest time. He leads the rally by 23.4sec with just the Power Stage to go. Can you keep the position to the end? "Yeah for sure. No problem." And how is the car? "The dust is okay now, I can manage."
Sun 11:28 - Paddon update:
WRC TV crew reports that Paddon went off on a right hander. The car went onto two wheels and crashed heavily into a dry stone wall. Hayden and co-driver Seb are okay. Stage stopped.
Sun 11:26 - SS18: Latvala
Still frustrated by his earlier mistake but focused on the task in hand. "Now I drive with a good rhythm and try to save my tyres for the Power Stage."
Sun 11:24 - SS18: Paddon
WRC+ live tracking shows his Hyundai stopped at 1.5km. He's gone off.
Sun 11:23 - SS18: Neuville
He has two brand new tyres in the car ready for the Power Stage. A maximum push? "We will see."
Sun 11:20 - SS18: Lappi
Quickest so far. "Yes, a clean run. Saving my tyres on the braking. Yep, it's good."
Sun 11:19 - SS18: Hanninen
He feared for his power steering on the previous stage. Here he's lost 19sec to Ogier. The gap between them now 5.6sec. Can he keep Seb behind on the Power Stage? "We will see. We need to go." He drives off to investigate.
Sun 11:15 - SS18: Ogier
Quickest so far as he chases Hanninen's fifth place. The gap between them after the previous stage was 24.8sec. "We push a bit more because we know Juho may have a problem."
Sun 11:12 - SS18: Ostberg
"I'm trying to save the car. I have had a gearbox problem all day, but it's okay. I will use the gearbox properly on the final stage." Mads says second gear sounds noisy, so he has avoided using it so far today.
Sun 11:09 - SS18: Mikkelsen
36.7sec quicker than Sordo here. "I'm trying to explore more and find more speed as the feeling improves. I feel more comfortable here, the character of this stage makes it nice to explore on. The Power Stage is very different."
Sun 11:07 - SS18: Sordo
Reflecting on what might have been before his earlier problems. "I was in a good place at the beginning of the rally, even shakedown, but after the problems this rally has been more difficult. Opening the roads has cost me and I can do nothing. We will try and take points on the Power Stage and look forward to Poland. My tyres feel okay."
Sun 10:57 - Stage info: SS18
Cala Flumini, 14.06km. Cala Flumini begins on narrow hard-packed roads which are lined by stone walls. After a short asphalt stretch midway through, it turns towards the sea and becomes faster, before a tricky narrow section leading to the finish via a jump over a bridge.
Sun 10:56 - SS18: LIVE
Sordo began on schedule at 1054hrs. A reminder of the stage details coming up.
Sun 10:23 - Next stage: 1054hrs
That's Sordo's start time for the repeat of Cala Flumini. We'll take a live text break until then.
Sun 10:21 - SS17: J WRC Solans
The Junior category leader completes, and it's a stressful experience in a two-wheel drive Fiesta. "It's crazy in here with a front-wheel drive - it's impossible. So many rocks. I'm driving very slowly. The worst stage of the season so far."
Sun 10:19 - Italy WRC 2 after SS17
1.Kopecky 3h21m29.8s, 2.Veiby +2m02.0s, 3.Katsuta +6m50.9s, 4.Rossel +10m11.5s, 5.Loubet +23m40.4s
Sun 10:09 - SS17: WRC 2 Rossel
"I have a big problem with the transmission."
Sun 10:06 - SS17: WRC 2 Katsuta
"This stage very rough. Deep ruts in almost every corner. The end is almost destroyed. I have never driven a stage like it."
Sun 10:05 - SS17: WRC 2 Veiby
Second in WRC 2, two minutes behind Kopecky. "The road is really beaten up already. Today is all about cruising through."
Sun 10:03 - SS17: WRC 2 Kopecky
The WRC 2 leader through cleanly, although he has lost the position of lead R5 car to Camilli. "It would be nice to beat him but he is pushing to the limit I think and I need the points."
Sun 09:53 - SS17: Prokop
The Czech driver loses 1m27sec here. What's wrong? "We lost the rear diff on the previous stage, so front-wheel drive only. This is not our rally. Now we will try to go to the finish."
Sun 09:49 - SS17: Evans
"The throttle was sticking on at the start. It's like the pedal is getting jammed somewhere. I need to go and have a look."
Sun 09:47 - Italy after SS17
1.Tänak 3h11.00.7s, 2.Latvala +25.5s, 3.Neuville +1m05.2s, 4.Lappi +2m29.9s, 5.Hänninen +3m14.2s
Sun 09:46 - Italy after SS16
1.Tänak 3h05.42.0s, 2.Latvala +18.8s, 3.Neuville +1m06.4s, 4.Lappi +2m25.5s, 5.Hänninen +2m57.1s
Sun 09:42 - SS17: Paddon
"A nice Sunday drive. We're enjoying today and looking forward to Poland."
Sun 09:41 - SS17: Tanak
He's through but Tanak's car is full of dust. There is a hole somewhere. “I have no visibility in the car. There’s massive, mega, mega dust in the car. I overshot a junction in the first stage because I couldn’t see anything. It’s OK. I will try to fix it now, I haven’t found the hole yet.” His rally lead over Latvala is up to 25.5sec.
Sun 09:38 - SS17: Latvala
His challenge falters with a stop in a left-hander. "I stalled. Then I pushed the stop button instead of the start button. It cost me about five seconds. Okay, that's the way it is. I gave it my best. I can relax now."
Sun 09:35 - SS17: Neuville
Second quickest so far. "The road is getting some very deep ruts. We'll have to raise the ride height. I have two fresh tyres for the Power Stage."
Sun 09:33 - SS17: Lappi
"We have found the right set up now and the car is really easy to handle. I struggled here last year [in an R5 car] especially on the second pass." Should we bet €5 on a Lappi Power Stage win? "No, €20."
Sun 09:29 - SS17: Hanninen
On course for the best finish of his WRC career - but there is a worry. "I'm beginning to feel the same steering problem we had yesterday. Some big ruts are coming here."
Sun 09:25 - SS17: Ogier
Another gentle run, with tyre preservation for the Power Stage the priority. "For sure there is not to much else to hope for us. I think Dani is pushing. This stage was very loose."
Sun 09:23 - SS17: Ostberg
No dramas for Ostberg. He completes 18.7sec slower than Sordo.
Sun 09:20 - SS17: Sordo and Mikkelsen
Cleanly through. Sordo quickest by 20.1sec.
Sun 09:19 - Watch SS17 LIVE
Are you a fan of Sassari - Argentiera? Of course you are. WRC+ users can watch the action LIVE now and later today as the Power Stage. Head to plus.wrc.com to find out more.
Sun 09:19 - Stage info: SS17
Sassari - Argentiera 1, 6.96km. This spectacular test was first driven in 2016. It has a new beginning this year before reverting to its familiar route. It drops steeply downhill for the final 1.2km on sand alongside the sea, providing stunning views. It’s dusty throughout with tricky hairpins and hidden stones.
Sun 09:16 - SS17: LIVE
We'll cross straight over to the next stage now. Sordo began on schedule at 0908hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Sun 09:15 - SS16: Breen
Third quickest. "Yeah okay. When the car is nice, we can do good things. Quite happy with the time."
Sun 09:13 - SS16: Paddon
Back today after crashing out of the lead yesterday. Quickest so far. He sounds refreshed and ready to go. "What happened, happened. Today is about gaining experience and learning." A big push on the Power Stage? "Looking at our championship, Power Stage points aren't going to make a lot of difference,"
Sun 09:11 - SS16: Tanak
5.5sec SLOWER than Latvala and his lead is trimmed to 18.8sec with three stages to go. Problem? We don't know because Ott doesn't stop to chat. He drives straight off to the next stage.
Sun 09:09 - SS16: Latvala
Jari-Matti needs to overturn Tanak's 24.3sec lead if he's to win today. This stage is a crucial indicator of his chances. And it's a good start. He 9.7sec quicker than Neuville, and up on Tanak's split times. "A good stage, clean, I kept it on the line."
Sun 09:05 - SS16: Neuville
We at the sharp end now, and the first of the podium contenders. Thierry began the day trailing the lead by 37.9sec. He goes quickest so far in here, 1sec up on Mikkelsen.
Sun 09:02 - SS16: Lappi
Well cushioned in fourth place, potentially his best ever WRC finish, Lappi is another driver who is unwilling to risk anything here. "It was okay, very slow." He is 9.5sec off Mikkelsen's pace.
Sun 08:59 - SS16: Hanninen
9.8sec slower than Mikkelsen. No big fight for Juho today, he says he is content in fifth place.
Sun 08:54 - SS16: Ogier
4.4sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "It was okay. For us today is just about driving through, waiting for a final push on the Power Stage."
Sun 08:51 - SS16: Ostberg
Mads completes 6.3sec slower than Mikkelsen.
Sun 08:48 - SS16: Mikkelsen
28 seconds quicker than Sordo. "It's been getting better and better in the car since yesterday afternoon. I'd say this was a good stage. Happy with that."
Sun 08:46 - SS16: Sordo
Safely though in 9m37.9s. He says the stage is very slippery. He's taking no risks and looking after his tyres before a points push on the Power Stage.
Sun 08:43 - Stage info: SS16
Cala Flumini, 14.06km. Cala Flumini again opens Sunday’s action having twice formed the Power Stage. It begins on narrow hard-packed roads which are lined by stone walls. After a short asphalt stretch midway through, it turns towards the sea and becomes faster, before a tricky narrow section leading to the finish via a jump over a bridge.
Sun 08:42 - SS16: LIVE
Sordo began on schedule at 0833hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Sun 08:42 - Tyre choices
Confirmation from Michelin on the numbers and compounds (hard or soft) their drivers have chosen for the loop. Breen/Mikkelsen/Sordo/Ogier/Tanak/Hanninen/Latvala/Lappi: 5S. Neuville: 6S. Paddon: 2H+3S
Sun 08:42 - Sunday's start order
Reverse rally classification order again today, and that keeps Sordo the road opener. Here's how the World Rally Car runners will line up: 1. Sordo, 2. Mikkelsen, 3. Østberg, 4. Ogier, 5. Hänninen, 6. Lappi, 7. Neuville, 8. Latvala, 9. Tänak, 10. Paddon, 11. Breen, 12. Evans
Sun 08:41 - Weather
Another a beautiful morning in Alghero. Clear blue skies and and it's shaping up to be the hottest day of rally so far. The current temperature of 23˚C is expected to rocket to 33˚C this afternoon. Light winds. No chance of rain.
Sun 08:41 - Sunday's itinerary
Sunday’s leg is the shortest of the weekend and is based on the coast north of Alghero. Competitors face two identical loops of two stages covering 42.04km, all run without a service, with bonus points available to the fastest five drivers in the last live TV Power Stage.
Sun 08:41 - Coming up
Another full schedule of gravel competition on the Mediterranean island.
Sun 08:41 - We're LIVE
On wrc.com and the WRC App to bring you all the news from today's final stages.
Sun 08:41 - Good morning texters
And welcome, one last time, to our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna.
Sat 18:48 - Until then
Keep an eye on wrc.com for all the latest WRC news from Sardinia. Or head to WRC+ for exclusive onboards, video highlights and to review today's live stage (SS13). Ciao for now.
Sat 18:45 - We will return
On Sunday to bring you all the news from the rally's final day. We'll be here from 0833hrs (local) when the opening stage gets underway.
Sat 18:43 - Leaders through
And that's where we'll leave our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna tonight
Sat 18:36 - SS15: J WRC Solans
The Junior category leader completes Saturday's stages 26.7 seconds clear of closest rival Nicolas Ciamin. "I'm trying to avoid the big stones but it's impossible to miss them all. Okay, now we are leading, let's see if we can carry on like this tomorrow."
Sat 18:27 - Italy WRC 2 after SS15
1.Kopecky 3h06m30.2s, 2.Veiby +1m31.3s, 3.Katsuta +5m58.3s, 4.Rossel +8m52.2s, 5.Loubet +23m23.2s
Sat 18:25 - SS15: WRC 2 Loubet
He completes to secure overnight fifth place in WRC 2. "I have done the whole loop with no brakes at the rear."
Sat 18:11 - SS15: WRC 2 Rossel
"In the stages the car feels good, but the times are not. I'm here to build experience."
Sat 18:09 - SS15: WRC 2 Katsuta
"Some engine trouble this morning then a puncture near the end of stage 12. Otherwise quite a good day." He ends the day third in WRC 2.
Sat 18:07 - SS15: WRC 2 Veiby
Second overnight in WRC 2. "Very happy. I have driven according to the plan."
Sat 18:03 - SS15: WRC 2 Kopecky
More than a minute ahead in WRC 2, Kopecky moves ahead of Camilli here in the overall standings. "A great day for us. We have changed the set-up a bit. I have pushed more, but still on the safe side."
Sat 18:02 - SS15: Camilli
The Frenchman angry at being caught in Raoux's dust. Camilli is locked in an tense R5 class battle with WRC 2 leader Kopecky.
Sat 17:59 - SS15: Raoux
He loses three minutes here. What happened? "I spun in a straight road. It cost me a lot of time. It was difficult to turn the car around."
Sat 17:56 - Italy after SS15
1.Tänak 2h56.37.3s, 2.Latvala +24.3s, 3.Neuville +1m02.2s, 4.Lappi +2m10.8s, 5.Hänninen +2m42.1s
Sat 17:54 - SS15: Al Rajhi
More than 11 minutes clear in the lead of the Trophy category for pre-2017 World Rally Cars. "We did the day well and we enjoyed - that's the most important thing!"
Sat 17:51 - SS15: Prokop
"The last two stages we have finished with punctures - they have given me a lot of trouble today. I think I could get a puncture just driving on sand. Okay, not lucky in this point, but otherwise the driving has been nice today."
Sat 17:49 - SS15: Evans
"This was an important rally for DMACK to gather tyre info on these rough stages."
Sat 17:44 - SS15: Breen
One minute off the pace here and sounding utterly fed up. "I spun and stalled, had to reverse. A lot of hard work."
Sat 17:38 - SS15: Neuville
Second quickest to stage leader Lappi here. "The tyres are completely gone. Very slippery. I got a huge surprise on the first corner!" Tomorrow we will try for the Power Stage points. It's a shame because without our [brake] problems we would be leading the rally."
Sat 17:36 - SS15: Tanak
He completes 4.3sec quicker than Latvala and his overnight rally lead is up to 24.3sec. "This afternoon was surprisingly good. It has been good to drive up to now with a safe margin. Now we can push more. Tomorrow I don't see any reason my Latvala should be any quicker." Game on!
Sat 17:31 - SS15: Latvala
"We are in a good position but the tyres are finished and my brakes are too hot so it was difficult at the end here. It's still a fight [with Tanak] so let's see what happens later with our stage time [when he felt he was held up in Ostberg's dust on SS12 dust]
Sat 17:27 - SS15: Ostberg
25sec off the pace here. "We have a problem with the front suspension arm or something. The car is pulling to one direction all the time under braking. I had to slow the car during the stage because it was dangerous."
Sat 17:23 - SS15: Hanninen
54sec off the pace here - 21sec of which he lost early on. His car is missing its rear bumper. What happened? "I spun near the start, then I lost the power steering towards the end. We need to go and have a look."
Sat 17:18 - SS15: Ogier
"We came across the rear bumper of Lappi's car in the middle of the road. I had to slow. It's been a hard weekend so far."
Sat 17:14 - SS15: Lappi
"I gave it a push - as much as I could - until I lost my brakes. It's more about clean driving. I feel we are making progress all the time more or less. It's all good experience."
Sat 17:11 - SS15: Mikkelsen
He completes 44sec slower than Sordo. And there's a good reason why. "The front differential is broken. It's like a rear-wheel drive car - it feels very nervous. That aside, we've made some positive steps today," he says.
Sat 17:08 - SS15: Spits watch
Some worrying-looking splits for Mikkelsen and Hanninen. Mikkelsen 32sec slower than Sordo at 22km. Hanninen 21.9sec slower at the 4.8km split!
Sat 17:06 - SS15: Sordo
"The feeling is quite slippery - even on the second pass. The car feels nice to drive though. I will try to do my job and collect some points. A difficult weekend, the speed was there but we have had some problems."
Sat 17:04 - SS15: LIVE
The final stage of the day well underway. Sordo is approaching the finish.
Sat 17:03 - SS14: Breen
Ongoing handling concerns for Craig in the C3. "It's the same. When we have the correct roads the car is awesome but the window is so fine..."
Sat 16:58 - SS14: Neuville
"A good stage for me. I enjoy. I used my shakedown tyres on this loop to save some new ones for the Power Stage tomorrow."
Sat 16:54 - SS14: Tanak
Quickest so far and his rally lead is up to 20sec. "I tried to have a clean run. It's so tough to save your tyres when it's rough like this. We try to do the same in Monte Lerno."
Sat 16:51 - SS14: Latvala
Fastest so far. "It was good but I have to be careful with my tyres. It's hard on them. I hope they are okay for Monte Lerno." Tanak is quicker on the split times. "Yes, Ott is running very, very fast. He wants the victory, but let's see - you have to finish the rally first."
Sat 16:46 - SS14: Ostberg
Second quickest so far. 6.1sec slower than Ogier. "Yeah okay." He's not giving much away here.
Sat 16:42 - SS14: Hanninen
"Okay. A big surprise that it's still so slippery. Otherwise no problem."
Sat 16:38 - SS14: Ogier
Quickest so far. His previous stage understeer problem seems to be cured. "This stage was okay for us, I tried to push. The feeling was not too bad."
Sat 16:35 - SS14: Lappi
"Not good, the brakes are too hot. I tried to be gentle for the tyres but it's still too much for the brakes. We'll just try and survive to the finish."
Sat 16:32 - SS14: Mikkelsen
"A bit strange compared to the last stage. Not so nice. We made some minor changes but they have taken us a step backwards again. Maybe fitting new tyres at the rear has upset the balance."
Sat 16:27 - SS14: Sordo
"A nice one but a bit slippery. I punctured in the stage before and we don't have another spare tyre, so no risks. It will be hard to do this loop on four tyres but I will try."
Sat 16:10 - Paddon update
It's game over for today. Confirmation from Hyundai reads 'Damage on the car not possible to repair. Team on the way to recover the car."
Sat 16:08 - SS14: LIVE
Sordo's start time 1607hrs
Sat 16:03 - Italy after SS13
1.Tänak 2h22.11.5s, 2.Latvala +16.5s, 3.Neuville +1m03.2s, 4.Paddon +1m10.8s, 5.Hänninen +1m30.4s. Paddon crashes
Sat 16:00 - SS13: Paddon
"Amateur mistake" he shouts as he crosses the line. He's lost 1m 20sec - and the rally lead. "An absolutely stupid mistake. I turned in too early and clipped a bank. It's broken a drive shaft I think. I've let everybody down. It's ridiculous." He leaves the finish in fourth place, but with a serious amount of work to do and two more stages to get through. Tanak takes the lead.
Sat 15:55 - Paddon update
He is continuing at some pace but his car has right-rear damage. The wheel is hanging off, the suspension is broken and there are flames in the wheelarch.
Sat 15:52 - SS13: Paddon in trouble!
He's hit something early in the stage. He's lost 25sec in the first split!
Sat 15:51 - SS13: Neuville
His earlier brake problem cured, Neuville slots second quickest so far, 1.9sec slower than Tanak. "It was going well. The mechanics have done a good job. We would have been in the lead otherwise."
Sat 15:48 - SS13: Tanak
Fastest through, 2.7sec up on Latvala. "It feels much better. I have only one spare, which is a bit of a gamble but the feeling is much better. I tried to take care of my tyres."
Sat 15:44 - SS13: Latvala
A new quickest time: 3.1sec up on his Toyota team-mate Lappi. "We have improved the car a lot," he says. "But I'm a little bit here and there. I have to keep up the concentration - it's very easy to make a mistake."
Sat 15:39 - SS13: Ostberg
Second quickest so far, one-tenth off Lappi's stage leading time. "Much better. We made some changes to the car in service - suspension, springs, ride height - and it is giving me much more confidence."
Sat 15:35 - Tyre choices
Confirmation from Michelin on the numbers and compounds (hard or soft) their drivers have chosen for the afternoon loop. The only question is now many spares to take. Mikkelsen/Neuville/Paddon/Ogier: 6H. Breen/Tanak/Sordo/Lappi/Hanninen/Latvala: 5H
Sat 15:34 - SS13: Hanninen
"These will be two difficult stages for the tyres so we must manage them."
Sat 15:31 - SS13: Ogier
1.7sec slower than Tanak and Seb looks stony-faced. "There's something wrong in the car - massive understeer."
Sat 15:26 - SS13: Lappi
Quickest so far. "We've had a couple of good stages. Maybe this was a wrong call with my tyres. Let's see."
Sat 15:22 - SS13: Mikkelsen
4.4sec quicker than Sordo. "We did some good steps in service. Small steps in different areas. It's getting better and better but still I found it difficult in the Mickey Mouse section here."
Sat 15:18 - SS13: Sordo update
Looks like he didn't get away with the bank touch after all - his left-rear tyre is pushed off the rim. "I punctured after 1km - I don't know how."
Sat 15:12 - SS13: Dust update
Clouds billowing from the back of Sordo's car as usual - but a light breeze and four-minute intervals should prevent this causing problems for those following.
Sat 15:08 - SS13: LIVE
Sordo underway! We're following him on WRC and have just watched him drift wide and touch a bank with the left rear. He seems to have got away with it.
Sat 14:57 - SS13: Start intervals
The first ten cars will start SS13 at four-minute intervals.
Sat 11:59 - Next stage: 1508hrs
That's Sordo's start time for the repeat of Coluna - Loelle. And that's a stage that WRC+ users can watch via our live streaming service. We'll take a live text break until then.
Sat 11:25 - Mads owns Micky's
Confirmation that Mads Østberg was the longest of the World Rally Jumpers at Micky's Jump in Monte Lerno. On the first pass through - as SS12 - Mads jumped 22m. Tänak was next with 21m.
Sat 10:58 - Up next: service
Crews are en route to Alghero for a regroup and then today's midpoint 30-minute service. First car into service at 1211hrs. You can watch teams re-prep the cars via our live stream cameras. You'll find a link in the LIVE CENTRE
Sat 10:55 - Italy WRC 2 after SS12
1.Kopecky 2h21m22.8s, 2.Veiby +57.4s, 3.Katsuta +4m37.8s, 4.Rossel +7m05.4s, 5.Loubet +15m49.8s
Sat 10:54 - SS12: J WRC Folb
The Frenchman's lead challenge crumbles. 36sec adrift ovenight, he's now 1m10sec away. "A lot of mistakes and I don't have the feeling with the car. I don't know why. Maybe the set-up. Maybe my driving?"
Sat 10:49 - SS12: J WRC Solans
The Spaniard maintains a comfortable lead in the Junior category - despite a slight hiccup here. "This stage was not good for us - I went left in a right junction. We lost 10 seconds. The car is fine. We are trying to take care in the rocky places."
Sat 10:37 - SS12: WRC 2 Veiby
He completes immediately after Raoux's Citroen. "For sure I caught a lot of dust near the end. I lost some time there. Otherwise it's been a good day, improving all the time."
Sat 10:35 - SS12: Raoux
The WRC Trophy driver loses 7m here. What happened? "I had a puncture - the rear left. It was difficult to change the wheel."
Sat 10:34 - SS12: WRC 2 Kopecky
The WRC 2 leader gives away a few seconds unnecessarily. "Twelve kilometres before the finish I was sure I had a puncture at the rear. I slowed right down and then realised I didn't!"
Sat 10:31 - Italy after SS12
1.Paddon 2h14.10.1s, 2.Tänak +9.4s, 3.Latvala +23.2s, 4.Neuville +1m10.7s, 5.Hänninen +1m30.7s. Ogier, Mikkelsen, Ostberg puncture
Sat 10:23 - SS12: In summary
Monte Lerno has shaken up the top five. Here's a summary of the winners and losers. UP: Tanak (P3 to P2) Latvala (P4 to P3) Hanninen (P7 to P5). DOWN: Neuville (P2 to P4). Further down the order Ogier, Mikkelsen and Ostberg lost time changing wheels.
Sat 10:20 - SS12: Prokop
Reports that he had to stop and change a tyre in the previous stage. He picked up another puncture in here.
Sat 10:15 - SS12: Breen
Ongoing technical problems for Craig. "What we felt on the previous stage was just the start of the problem. The car was doing all sorts of things in here. Something transmission related I think. I drove this one at more or less road speed."
Sat 10:11 - SS12: Paddon
Second quickest and Paddon's rally lead is now 9.4sec from Tanak. "The first half felt really good. Later our tyre choice was maybe too aggressive. The car nearly put us in the trees a couple of times. We had to take it back a notch."
Sat 10:08 - SS12: Neuville
He completes and he's lost 1min7sec to stage leader Tanak. The car looks okay outside. Inside there is a very angry Belgian. "We had no brakes from the start. I lost them 200 metres from the end of the previous stage. I don't know what to do."
Sat 10:05 - SS12: Tanak
Quickest so far and that's Tanak up to second place. "Generally no dramas but we are losing the brakes and I don't know why. I'm sorry to hear about Neuville. Okay, this is Sardinia, there is always stuff happening all around."
Sat 10:03 - SS12: Latvala
Jari-Matti arrives right behind Mads and is absolutely furious about catching his dust. He parks right next to Mads' Fiesta and throws open his Toyota's door. "If I don't get the time back here, when I am in his dust and fighting so hard, I will stop this sport."
Sat 10:00 - SS12: Ostberg
"We had a puncture at the front very early. We had to stop and change it. I have no idea." Ostberg is distracted by the arrival of a very cross looking Latvala.
Sat 09:57 - SS12: Neuville
Split times showing serious time loss. He's 23sec down on Sordo at 11km!
Sat 09:56 - SS12: Hanninen
Problems for Mikkelsen and Ogier ahead mean Juho could make up places here. "Some dust in the last part of the stage but otherwise no issue."
Sat 09:54 - SS12: Ogier
"A front-left puncture, right at the start. We tried to carry on but there was no chance. I felt a heavy impact on the previous stage but on this stage I didn't feel I touched anything."
Sat 09:51 - SS12: Ostberg
WRC+ live tracking shows his car stopped at 12km.
Sat 09:51 - SS12: Lappi
Two-tenths slower than Sordo and the Finn admits he was bothered by the dust cloud from Mikkelsen's car ahead. "Yeah, it distracted me. Frustrating, but it's part of the game. It's like this."
Sat 09:48 - SS12: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen completes with the loss of more than two minutes. "We stopped to change a puncture on the rear-right. I felt it after 5km. Strange because I didn't hit anything."
Sat 09:47 - SS12: Ogier
Big time loss showing at the 16km split. He's 1m44s slower than Sordo. WRC live tracking showed he stopped briefly at 15km.
Sat 09:44 - SS12: Sordo
He's through and a lot calmer now that his car's paddle-shift is fixed. "I was a bit angry after the previous stage, now it is working well. The car is easy to drive here."
Sat 09:38 - SS12: Mikkkelsen
Stopped in stage at the 12.9km point. Moving again now.
Sat 09:37 - SS11: Prokop
Stopped in stage for three minutes.
Sat 09:37 - Stage info: SS12
Monte Lerno, 28.11km. Monte Lerno is all about the famous Micky’s Jump at 4.61km, one of the WRC’s iconic locations at which cars fly high as the road literally drops away beneath them. Before that, drivers negotiate a tricky corner alongside a lake where Lorenzo Bertelli rolled 12 months ago. The roads are mainly wide, although the final few kilometres contain narrow, bumpy and rough parts. Likely to be one of the key stages.
Sat 09:36 - SS12: LIVE
The stages coming thick and fast this morning. Sordo began on schedule at 0923hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Sat 09:34 - SS11: Breen
"Diabolical. Absolutely diabolical. We stalled in one hairpin. Sometimes we have a very good car, sometimes not so much."
Sat 09:31 - SS11: Paddon
4.2sec slower than Neuville here and Paddon's lead is trimmed to 8.9sec."I struggled in this one. We swapped the tyres around and were shocked by the balance of the car. At the moment there's no pressure. There's a long way to go. Okay, Thierry did a good time in there - it's game on!"
Sat 09:27 - SS11: Neuville
Another quickest time. "A good run for me but the car felt soft and was moving about a lot."
Sat 09:24 - SS11: Tanak
Quickest so far and 4.7sec quicker than Latvala. "Really slippery in places, very low grip, but yeah, it seems to be okay - we'll take it. Everything is about the [road] cleaning in Sardinia."
Sat 09:23 - SS11: Latvala
Quickest so far, but Jari-Matti is not sure it will be enough to catch Tanak. "I wasn't preserving my tyres in here, not holding back at all. The gaps are too narrow - there's no chance to be playing a bit with the speed. Tanak is driving amazingly fast but I have to say the road is cleaning a bit."
Sat 09:18 - SS11: Ostberg
"Not so bad, difficult to find the right rhythm but I tried my best."
Sat 09:17 - SS11: Hanninen
3.2sec off Ogier's pace here and Juho slips from sixth to seventh place. "Okay, really nice, but not easy to keep the rhythm - some places lots of grip, others not so much."
Sat 09:12 - SS11: Ogier
Quickest so far. "Okay, happy with my drive, but I really struggle with traction. Maybe we have to try some different settings this afternoon."
Sat 09:11 - SS11: Lappi
Quickest so far but Esapekka says that is not the priority. "Not too good to be honest. It's so slippery and I'm not feeling confident. I don't want to do anything silly. Better to be on the safe side that try to be fast."
Sat 09:08 - SS11: Mikkelsen
Still trying to get the C3 to work to his liking. "We made some changes before the stage but they have gone in a negative direction, so I need to try something else. It will get better and better. When I start to feel comfortable for sure the pace will be there, no problem."
Sat 09:05 - SS11: Sordo
"A bad stage because the paddleshift is not working. The upshifts are okay but the downshift doesn't work. I told my engineers about this yesterday. Now it's not working again. Very distracting."
Sat 08:58 - SS11: Lappi
A very quick opening split - 3sec quicker than Sordo to 6km - but he nearly overcooks it shortly after. WRC TV crew reports he almost went off the road at 7km.
Sat 08:47 - SS11: LIVE
Sordo started at 0844hrs. Rally itinerary is running with a three minute delay.
Sat 08:44 - Start intervals
After some inconsistencies in SS10, we have confirmation of three-minute intervals for World Rally Car crews for the rest of the day.
Sat 08:34 - Stage info: SS11
Monti di Ala’, 28.52km. Monti di Ala’ mixes old and new sections, with several parts driven in the opposite direction to 2016. Much of the test lies within a wind farm and roads twist across a hillside via fast corners, although there is a series of hairpins just after the midpoint. The surface is a blend of sandy gravel, rocks and, surprisingly, even a muddy section after 10km.
Sat 08:34 - SS11: Get set
WRC+ Live tracking shows the lead cars gathering the pre-start control. Sordo's start time: 0841hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Sat 08:23 - Italy after SS10
1.Paddon 1h39.03.4s, 2.Neuville +13.1s, 3.Tänak +13.7s, 4.Latvala +13.8s, 5.Østberg +29.5s.
Sat 08:19 - SS10: Paddon
The rally leader smashes the competition, winning the stage by four seconds! "Okay, it's very dusty, but it's the same for everybody. You have to use it as an opportunity to get an advantage. It feels uncomfortable but I just pushed on. I enjoyed it actually. Sometimes that's how this sport it."
Sat 08:15 - SS10: Neuville
Third quickest and Neuville is furious about the start intervals and the dust. "You could see that this was going to happen. At the start we could see maybe 80 metres. It's dangerous. That's the only thing you can say."
Sat 08:12 - SS10: Tanak
Two-tenths slower than Latvala. "It's not clear why the organisers gave three-minute intervals yesterday and two-minute intervals today."
Sat 08:11 - SS10: Latvala
Quickest so far. "It started well. The dust made things difficult but overall I'm happy with how it went. Not easy facing a wall of dust - you have to trust your pace notes completely."
Sat 08:08 - SS10: Ostberg
"Tricky in here with the dust and some big rocks in the road. No way to avoid all of them, I had to slow down many times."
Sat 08:07 - SS10: Hanninen
Frustrated by the inconsistent start intervals - and the wall of dust he faced with a two-minute gap. "The organisers should wake up."
Sat 08:05 - SS10: Start intervals
The first four cars have gone at three-minute intervals. Those following are at two-minute intervals. Strange.
Sat 08:04 - SS10: Ogier
3.2sec of Sordo's pace. "A difficult start. It's hard to see in the dust. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy the next one."
Sat 08:02 - SS10: Lappi
"We are still learning all the time so it's okay to be early on the road. A huge amount of dust - in the beginning especially you can't see anything. It's the same for everybody - except the first car."
Sat 08:00 - SS10: Mikkelsen
14.8sec slower than Sordo. The Norwegian says set up changes have made the car more to his liking. He also reports visibility problems. "Very, very dusty in there. In many places I almost had to stop completely." The timing system shows a 10sec penalty for being one minute late.
Sat 07:55 - SS10: Sordo
Through in a benchmark 8m09.1s. "I tried to enjoy the stage, it's really fast. Obviously a little bit more difficult for me. I'm just trying to enjoy it."
Sat 07:50 - Stage info: SS10
Coiluna - Loelle, 14.95km. A classic test on sandy roads. After passing a small lake near the start, it becomes fast as it winds through tree-lined valleys, with plenty of loose rocks on the road. After the big Rino’s Jump at 2.68km, drivers enter a tricky section with hidden rocks and bumps. The stage features a loop of Buddusò motocross track before the fan-favourite Nuraghe Loelle hairpin just before the finish.
Sat 07:49 - SS10: LIVE
Sordo began on schedule at 0745hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Sat 07:47 - WRC Live
Our radio service is LIVE with Becs Williams in the studio and Colin Clark and Emyr Penlan reporting from the stage ends. You'll find a link the LIVE CENTRE on the homepage.
Sat 07:47 - Tyre choices
Confirmation from Michelin on the numbers and compounds (hard or soft) their drivers have chosen for the morning loop. Mikkelsen/Sordo: 5S. Breen/Paddon/Ogier/Hanninen/Lappi/Latvala: 2H+3S. Ostberg/Neuville/Tanak: 3H+2S
Sat 07:46 - Saturday's start order
Reverse rally classification order today, which gives Sordo the dubious honour of opening the stages. Here's how the World Rally Car runners will line up: 1. Sordo, 2. Mikkelsen, 3. Lappi, 4. Ogier, 5. Hänninen, 6. Østberg, 7. Latvala, 8. Tänak, 9. Neuville, 10. Paddon, 11. Breen, 12. Evans
Sat 07:46 - Time zones
All times quoted here are local. And in Sardinia that's (UTC +2hr)
Sat 07:46 - Weather
Another a beautiful morning in Alghero. A few clouds about but lots of sun too. The current temperature of 18˚C is expected to rocket to 35˚C this afternoon. No wind and no rain in prospect.
Sat 07:45 - Saturday's itinerary
The longest of the weekend. After a 0500hrs departure from Alghero, competitors face two identical loops of three stages covering 143.16km, placing high demands on tyre wear. Each loop ends with the Monte Lerno stage and the famous Micky’s Jump.
Sat 07:45 - Coming up today
Another full schedule of gravel competition on the Mediterranean island.
Sat 07:45 - We're LIVE
On wrc.com and the WRC App to bring you all the news from today's stages.
Sat 07:44 - Good morning texters
And welcome back to our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna.
Fri 20:03 - Until then
Keep an eye on wrc.com for all the latest WRC news from Sardinia. And don't forget WRC+ for our exclusive onboard library and video highlights. Ciao for now.
Fri 20:02 - We will return
When the action resumes on Saturday. We'll be here from 0745hrs (local) when the opening stage gets underway.
Fri 20:01 - Leaders through
And that's where we'll leave our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna tonight
Fri 19:59 - Italy WRC 2 after SS9
1.Kopecky 1h35m23.5s, 2.Veiby +52.7s, 3.Katsuta +2m24.9s, 4.Rossel +5m03.9s, 5.Arai +12m48.8s
Fri 19:58 - Italy after SS9
1.Paddon 1h31.02.6s, 2.Neuville +8.2s, 3.Tänak +9.5s, 4.Latvala +9.8s, 5.Østberg +14.7s. Hänninen off.
Fri 19:55 - SS9: WRC 2 Katsuta
Toyota's young development driver ends the day third in WRC 2. "Today was a tough day, the stages were very rough but we had no punctures and no problems, so we've had a good run. I need to be careful in the next couple of days - then maybe a good result."
Fri 19:44 - SS9: WRC 2 Kopecky
The category leader safely though with an overnight advantage of 52sec over Veiby. "The day was really great for us. Okay, I would like to battle with Camilli [ who is not registered for points here], but I must think about my championship."
Fri 19:41 - Hanninen update 2
Hanninen starts the car and sets off on the 50km plus journey to service in Alghero. The car is still spouting water as it pulls away.
Fri 19:37 - Hanninen update 1
Juho and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom have parked their Yaris close to the stage end and are making repairs. They have tried to repair a cracked cooling system pipe and have topped up the system using their drinking water. Lindstrom gives a quick explanation of what happened in stage: "Hit a bank."
Fri 19:27 - SS9: Lappi
The end of a terrific day for Lappi, who recorded his first stage win at WRC level - and then got another two. "The afternoon was good. The times are really good considering we have a stuck damper. Stage wins I didn't expect. Okay, it seems we can learn pretty quickly. But at this level it's not easy to fine tune and find more improvements."
Fri 19:24 - SS9: Ostberg
Ostberg ends the day in fifth place - and regretting his decision to take soft-compound tyres this afternoon. "A tricky afternoon. I tried to push back but it didn't work out. Of course it was a gamble but sometimes you need to do that. The soft tyres did work but they didn't give me the support. I just wore the tyres out basically."
Fri 19:20 - SS9: Mikkelsen
"A tough day in the new car but it has been great to get the mileage. I know which way to go forward. A lot of mistakes in the hairpins. Okay, we're learning."
Fri 19:19 - SS9: Hanninen
Last stage shocker! The Finn goes off in the final section, loses 38sec and drops from second to fifth place! His car reaches the finish with frontal damage and a crumpled bonnet. There is steam and water spitting from a pipe in the cooling system. He leaves the finish control without explaining what happened.
Fri 19:12 - SS9: Sordo
Quickest on stage but he ends the day more than 14min behind the leaders after his turbo let go earlier. "I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed the rally, unfortunately the problem in the morning cost me a lot of time."
Fri 19:08 - SS9: Paddon
The rally leader completes 4.6sec slower than Tanak. "It's been a very difficult afternoon. With the [damper] problem the car hasn't right. The priority today was getting a good road position for tomorrow. And that's mission accomplished. I love tomorrow's stages - they suit me and they suit the car. It would be rude if we didn't give it a try."
Fri 19:04 - SS9: Tanak
Quickest so far - and his strategy to carry two spare tyres pays off as he moves ahead of Latvala. "This was the only place where we were going to gain from two spares, so I tried to do my best. This afternoon has been really difficult, not a good feeling. Let's see what tomorrow brings."
Fri 19:01 - SS9: Latvala
Jari-Matti sounding upbeat about his chances on Saturday. "A reasonably good time. After an up and down morning I'm happy with the afternoon. We are well in the fight for Saturday."
Fri 18:57 - SS9: Neuville
Five-tenths slower that Ogier here. Will it be enough to move him up to second place? He doesn't sound hopeful. "I have no tyres left - from the beginning. We have a slow puncture on the front-left too. This time won't be the fastest..."
Fri 18:53 - SS9: Ogier
The end of a tough day for Seb. And seventh place overnight doesn't set him up for an easy ride on Saturday when the running order is reversed. "Tomorrow won't be much better because there won't be many cars in front of me. That's the WRC."
Fri 18:47 - SS8: WRC 2 Loubet
Stopped. His car is off the road 2km before the finish. Crew okay. He had been third in class.
Fri 18:37 - SS8: WRC 2 Kopecky
8.7sec quicker than Veiby here and Kopecky's class lead is up to 54.6sec. "The gap is fine. We are happy to be leading. Okay, some of the top WRC 2 drivers are not here but that is how it is. I'm happy. Still a long rally to go."
Fri 18:33 - SS8: WRC 2 Veiby
"I thought I had a front-left puncture. Perhaps it is just worn [it is]. I slowed a little towards the end. Otherwise everything is good. It's all going to plan."
Fri 18:30 - SS9: Get set...
...for Friday's final stage. WRC+ Live tracking shows the lead cars gathering the pre-start control. Ogier's start time: 1842hrs
Fri 18:28 - Italy after SS8
1.Paddon 1h22.01.2s, 2.Hänninen +7.9s, 3.Neuville +8.8s, 4.Latvala +11.0s, 5.Østberg +13.1s
Fri 18:23 - SS8: Lappi
"My front-left damper broke on the last stage, the tube inside is stuck, so I have to be careful now."
Fri 18:21 - SS8: Ostberg
14.5sec off the pace and Mads drops from third to fifth place. "I'm trying but I struggle with the balance of the car. I cannot keep the rears in the line. My tyre strategy hasn't worked out. I'm paying the price now."
Fri 18:17 - SS8: Mikkelsen
"After last year, we knew this one would be rough. In the narrow I'm struggling to get the feeling with the car. I stalled again in here - I'm not very good at using the clutch."
Fri 18:15 - SS8: Hanninen
Slowest through so far, 20sec off Sordo's pace. Like Paddon, it's a safety strategy. "Nothing special. I backed off in the really rough sections - I was a bit nervous there."
Fri 18:11 - SS8: Sordo
A massive time from the Spaniard who has managed to get his turbo plumped-in properly. He is quickest by 8.2sec. "When the car is working everything is perfect. Changing the turbo in service was difficult - there's a lot to do." he says.
Fri 18:05 - SS8: Paddon
9.5sec off the pace here for strategic reasons. "The damper problem didn't affect me much here, I'm just trying to look after the tyres. The rally won't be won or lost today. I'm going to manage the situation and get the car back to service."
Fri 18:01 - SS8: Tanak
5.4sec off the pace here. His Fiesta's front-right tyre is pushed slightly off the rim. "A half-spin near the end. We're struggling with the car a bit."
Fri 17:58 - SS8: Latvala
One-tenth quicker than Neuville after a distracted drive. "I was troubled by the Rally Italy number plate on the bonnet flapping loose and the sun low in the sky," he explains.
Fri 17:55 - SS8: Neuville
6.1sec quicker than Ogier, and Neuville relates to Ogier's 'terrible' comment. "That's just what I said to [my co-driver] Nicholas! Really.really slippery. I tried to be be smooth but it was really hard."
Fri 17:51 - SS8: Ogier
He completes in 11m52.9s and looks rather frustrated. His end of stage quotes back that up. "Terrible. A nightmare. I have no grip. Quite boring."
Fri 17:13 - Next stage: 1737hrs
That's Ogier's adjusted start time for the repeat of Stage 8 - Tula
Fri 17:12 - Italy WRC 2 after SS7
1.Kopecky 1h13m42.9s, 2.Veiby +45.9s, 3.Loubet +1m31.3s, 4.Katsuta +1m53.3s, 5.Rossel +4m27.2s
Fri 17:00 - Italy after SS7
1.Paddon 1h10.05.3s, 2.Hänninen +4.5s, 3.Østberg +15.8s, =4.Tänak +17.9s, =4.Neuville +17.9s
Fri 16:54 - SS7: Lappi
Another great drive from the Finn who takes the stage win by 1.3sec from his team-mate Latvala. That's his third stage win in a row. "The set-up now is perfect," he acknowledges. "This morning we were trying some development dampers. We changed the set up in service and it's good."
Fri 16:47 - SS7: Ostberg
As the temperature nudges 31˚C, Mads is regretting his gamble on a mix of soft and hard compound tyres. All the other Michelin runners have hard compounds all round. "It's not going so well. Our mixed tyre choice was wrong. The softs were not working. I struggled."
Fri 16:44 - SS7: Sordo
He completes will the loss of more than seven minutes here. What's wrong? "Something on the turbo wasn't fixed very well in the service park. The intercooler is not working, so no power. I tried to fix it before the stage. I will try again to fix it now."
Fri 16:43 - SS7: Mikkelsen
"In the last stage I stalled three times and here I stalled twice. I'm really struggling in the hairpins. Perhaps I need to use the clutch more, I don't know."
Fri 16:38 - SS7: Hanninen
Third quickest here, and Juho nibbles a second out of the gap to Paddon ahead. The difference now 4.5sec. "Okay. A bit rougher than the first one and I'm not confident in the ruts. I'm happy with this time."
Fri 16:30 - SS7: Paddon
Note: there is a four-minute gap between Paddon and Tanak. He completes 2.7sec off the fastest time. "The first stage felt quite nice, we looked after the tyres. This one was really difficult on the hard tyres. The balance didn't feel good, I think we've broken the front-left damper."
Fri 16:25 - SS7: Tanak
Struggling with the balance of his Fiesta. "We are carrying two extra spares. Not so easy to drive with the extra weight."
Fri 16:23 - SS7: Latvala
He completes in the same time as Neuville but there are signs of trouble inside the Toyota. The dashboard is lit up with warning lights - and a message reads 'rear diff high'. "Nothing to worry about," Latvala says unconvincingly. "The stage was tricky. There is grip in the line but of it it's very slippery."
Fri 16:20 - SS7: Neuville
Double tyre trauma for Neuville's Hyundai. His rear-left tyre is missing a huge chunk of rubber from the sidewall and the rear-right is punctured. "I don't know where it happened but I pushed very hard."
Fri 16:17 - SS7: Ogier
He completes and jumps out of his car to have a look at his hard compound tyres. "Yeah, they're okay. For sure some more wear this afternoon - it's more hot and abrasive. Still some cleaning, but it is improved since this morning."
Fri 16:10 - SS6: Times update
Six cars through. Rally leader Paddon is quickest with Tanak (+0.5s) and Neuville (+1.0s) his closest challengers. Sordo completes with the loss of four minutes.
Fri 15:59 - SS6: Sordo
In trouble here. He is 44sec slower than Tanak at the 4km split. WRC TV crew reports his car is down on power and struggling up hill at 1.4km. Sordo's earlier engine problem was turbo related.
Fri 15:58 - SS6: Stage times
Four drivers though so far. Tanak is quickest, followed by Neuville (+0.5s) and Latvala (+0.6s).
Fri 15:54 - Driver quotes
We will next hear from the drivers after SS7.
Fri 15:47 - SS6: Splits watch
Neuville has picked up the pace. At 9.4km he is one-tenth QUICKER than Ogier.
Fri 15:44 - SS6: Splits watch
Neuville is 9.2sec SLOWER than Ogier at the opening 4.8km split.
Fri 15:39 - SS6: LIVE
Ogier started at 1335hrs. The rally itinerary is running 10 minutes late.
Fri 15:30 - Meeke over and out
In service Citroën discovered that the roll cage in Kris's car had been damaged in his crash. That's his rally over.
Fri 12:41 - Next stage: 1525hrs
A longer break than usual now to allow for 1) service, and 2) the 140km road trip from Alghero to the start of Terranova. Time for a gelato break. We'll resume our text coverage when the stage starts. Bye for now.
Fri 12:11 - Service: Meeke
He brings the battered C3 back to Alghero and a group of concerned-looking Citroën mechanics. "It happened just two or three kilometres into the stage. I was in fourth gear. The road was rough, I touched the right-rear on a bank and it just spat us over onto the roof. Simple as that. Up to that point everything felt good. I was settled, it felt okay, I wasn't trying to do anything silly. But yes, that's the way it is - not good enough. We'll see if we can get it back out. Not good."
Fri 12:01 - Service: Sordo
The Spaniard reaches Alghero in his sick Hyundai. He drives straight though the control and into the pre-service regroup. The engine sounds okay.
Fri 11:58 - Service: Paddon
"All going well. Nice and comfortable. It feels strange to be leading without winning a stage but that just shows how important consistency is here. We've just kept it clean - driving in the middle of the road. Today is not the day for pushing. We've come undone on Fridays too many times this year."
Fri 11:53 - Service: Hanninen
"It has been a good morning. The car worked very well - especially on the first two stages."
Fri 11:43 - Service: Tanak
"It didn't look so nice after the first two stages. I don't know how, but in the next two we were more competitive. I pushed a bit more. Maybe I was too cautious earlier."
Fri 11:42 - Service: Latvala
"A bit up and down for me. Sometimes you feel confident in the slippy parts, but if you take it carefully you lose a lot of time. You need to stay confident all the time."
Fri 11:39 - Service: Neuville
"Very good. I pushed hard. We tried to make a gap with Ogier and we were able to do it. One mistake where I missed a gate but overall a good morning. This afternoon we will push hard, we are less than 20 sec off the lead. A podium position tonight would be good."
Fri 11:36 - Service: Ogier
"We knew it [being first on the road] wouldn't be easy but that doesn't make it easy to accept. We lost a lot of time - I was hoping to lose less. Maybe on the first one I wasn't willing to take all the big risks. After that I pushed more but it was not enough to compensate. This afternoon I hope the conditions will be better. If we want to take any useful points this weekend we have to push."
Fri 11:33 - Up next: Service
Crews are arriving back in Alghero for the midday service.
Fri 11:32 - SS5: WRC 2 Pieniazek
He lost power steering at the start of the loop. "I'm completely exhausted," he says.
Fri 11:25 - SS5: WRC 2 Kopecky
He heads for service with a lead in WRC 2 of 24sec over Veiby. "We are trying to improve step-by-step. It's working well so far."
Fri 11:22 - SS5: WRC 2 Veiby
"It's not easy for me to push on these stages yet but I'm happy with my morning loop."
Fri 11:18 - Italy after SS5
1.Paddon 46m55.7s, 2.Hänninen +4.3s, 3.Østberg +4.4s, 4.Tänak +14.7s, 5.Neuville +19.6s. Meeke off
Fri 11:12 - SS5: Lappi
Now Lappi is fastest. That's his first stage win at WRC level and more remarkable considering he is still missing second gear! "Tell Tommi that five gears is enough!"
Fri 11:09 - SS5: Ostberg
Cleanly through - and quickest of the 10 cars through so far.
Fri 11:08 - SS5: Meeke
He completes but his Citroen looks in a terrible state. The right-hand side, roof, rear and bonnet are badly damaged. It looks like he's rolled - at least once. Kris does not give any comments at the finish control before leaving for service.
Fri 11:05 - SS5: Mikkelsen
"It's getting better and better. I'm adjusting my driving to the car and how to drive it. I have to change my driving style quite a lot."
Fri 11:02 - SS5: Hanninen
A good time, 1sec slower than Paddon, suggests he wasn't held up passing Meeke. "I don't know how he saw us behind but he pulled straight over - so thanks to him. The car has been really, really good this morning. Let's see what we can do now for the afternoon."
Fri 11:00 - SS5: Meeke update 3
Still moving but at reduced speed. Hanninen and Mikkelsen have passed him in stage.
Fri 10:56 - SS5: Paddon
Fastest time so far and after Meeke's problems it looks like Paddon will take the rally lead. "We are driving to a plan. Today is all about driving cleanly. It's very noisy in the car and difficult to concentrate on the pace notes."
Fri 10:54 - Meeke update 2
Fri 10:53 - Meeke update 1
He has gone off. His car is blocking the road close to the asphalt section.
Fri 10:51 - SS5: Meeke
WRC+ live tracking shows him stopped at the 4.6km point
Fri 10:49 - SS5: Sordo
He loses a minute and there's smoke pouring from the exhaust of his Hyundai! What happened? "I don't know - we have a problem with the engine. From the middle of the stage we have no power. Incredible, but that's life. I don't know what the problem is." He drives off.
Fri 10:43 - SS5: Tanak
"I thought there would be good grip but it's so loose and slippery. A good loop but very difficult."
Fri 10:41 - SS5: Latvala
Five-tenths slower than Neuville. "I didn't think about my tyres at all in there - I attacked as hard as I could. I wasn't confident in some of the corners near the beginning."
Fri 10:39 - SS5: Neuville
"Apart from one mistake it has been a good loop. I pushed like hell on this one and the stage before. I tried to increase the gap to Seb. I think he made a mistake choosing all-soft tyres."
Fri 10:36 - SS5: Ogier
He's through, and his tyres look good. "I pushed as hard as I could but with the grip I had I didn't wear the tyres. It has been a hard loop. I was hoping to lose less time, but there's not much I can do. Maybe on the first stage I was not on the limit but I was on the others."
Fri 10:27 - Stage info: SS5
Tergu - Osilo, 14.14km. The last test of the loop is wide and smooth on hard-packed bedrock, with plenty of loose stones. The first 1.3km is new for 2017. After a steady climb through the opening 5km, it crosses a main road and descends gently to the finish via several barriered bridges. It’s a great drivers’ stage where keeping to the driving line is key.
Fri 10:27 - SS5: LIVE
We're straight over to the final stage of the loop now. Ogier started at 1023hrs. Stage notes coming up.
Fri 10:25 - Italy after SS4
1.Meeke 37m44.9s, 2.Paddon 0.8s, 3.Hanninen 4.1s, 4.Østberg 5.6s, 5.Sordo 10.8s. Prokop / Evans stop
Fri 10:23 - SS4: WRC 2 Kopecky
The category leader though cleanly. "The car is working really well. The speed is not correct yet, but there is more to come."
Fri 10:20 - SS4: WRC 2 Veiby
"A quite okay stage. A good feeling."
Fri 10:16 - SS4: Al Rajhi
"I saw Prokop - he's off the road. I saw the 'okay' board. Very slippery in the last section here."
Fri 10:11 - SS4: Prokop
WRC+ live tracking shows him stopped in stage.
Fri 10:11 - SS4: Lappi
More than a minute off the pace because his Toyota is still without second gear. "This is the worst rally to miss it. It's so slow, not so easy. One more stage until we can get it fixed. I just have to keep it on the road. I'm pretty gutted."
Fri 10:05 - SS4: Ostberg
"Very slippery and sandy, and I couldn't feel any grip. I felt I had a good rhythm but I'm not sure. Not a good time."
Fri 10:02 - SS4: Mikkelsen
"I'm trying to build step-by-step. This car is different to drive compared to the Polo. I find it tricky in the narrow sections. It's getting there."
Fri 10:00 - SS4: Hanninen
11.9sec off Sordo's stage leading pace and Juho slips from first to third place. "Okay, slippery near the finish but otherwise nothing special."
Fri 09:56 - SS4: Meeke
"I drove carefully. Very rough and technical in here. The time is okay. I'm happy with my rhythm."
Fri 09:55 - SS4: Paddon
Fourth quickest so far. "Just trying to drive nice and clean. The exhaust has burned a hole in the car so there are fumes and dust getting inside. That's a bit of a distraction. We will get that fixed with cable ties and duct tape."
Fri 09:44 - SS4: Evans update
WRC TV crew reports he has gone off into trees. Crew okay. DMACK say Evans is "off the road and stuck, trying to get back on and assess any damage"
Fri 09:43 - SS4: Sordo
Quickest so far. "Very slippery everywhere."
Fri 09:43 - SS4: Evans
WRC+ Live tracking shows him stopped in stage.
Fri 09:41 - SS4: Tanak
"Generally a good stage. It's getting hotter now and the tyre were getting soft." Second quickest so far.
Fri 09:40 - SS4: Latvala
7.8sec slower than Neuville. "Not a good time. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but the time is not good. Maybe too careful with the tyres and that was confusing my mind."
Fri 09:35 - SS4: Neuville
4.7sec quicker than Ogier. "A good stage for us. I tried to push very hard - to the maximum. Hopefully it's enough. We try our best against Seb."
Fri 09:32 - SS4: Ogier
"The sweeping is as tough and Mexico and Australia."
Fri 09:14 - Breen update
He has retired. And this time it's official. Citroen confirm his car has a gearbox oil leak caused by a heavy landing.
Fri 08:59 - Stage info: SS4
Tula, 15.00km. Tula was introduced in 2016 and is unchanged this year. The surface is sandy in places and some roads have grass growing in the middle. It’s twisty in parts with some big compressions and jumps. It passes through a wind farm before finishing on a single width road through a series of hairpin bends.
Fri 08:58 - Up next: SS4
WRC+ Live tracking shows the lead cars approaching the pre-start control. Ogier's start time: 0918hrs. Stage notes coming up
Fri 08:54 - SS3: WRC 2 Kopecky
We are down to two-minute gaps for the WRC 2 crews, and Kopecky is struggling. "There is a lot of dust in the forest section. A two-minute gap for us is not enough."
Fri 08:51 - SS3: WRC 2 Veiby
Reports a missed junction in SS2. "The stages are quite rough already"
Fri 08:49 - SS3: Raoux
"Difficult conditions. I made a mistake on the first one, it's difficult to read the road."
Fri 08:48 - Breen update
He's still going. The oil leak was traced to the gearbox - not the engine. After topping up, he's off to SS4.
Fri 08:46 - SS3: Prokop
"Not good. I got a puncture 500 metres into the first stage. Now I'm struggling with the way the car feels on one hard and three soft compound tyres."
Fri 08:44 - Italy after SS3
1.Hänninen 25m45.9s, 2.Meeke +0.2s, 3.Paddon +4.4s, 4.Østberg +5.1s, 5.Breen +15.7s
Fri 08:41 - SS3: Lappi
25.8sec off the pace here and Lappi is shaking his head. "I lost second gear on the first stage - so that's it," he says. "I think we can get through but I cannot drive normally. Braking without second gear is not good, I spun once already. I need to keep calm until we can get to service."
Fri 08:36 - SS3: Ostberg
Third quickest. "Encouraging, yes but very difficult to find the rhythm - especially in the dust. In places it feels like we're catching the car ahead."
Fri 08:34 - SS3: Mikkelsen
20sec off the pace here as he gets acclimatized to the C3. "I'm not concerned. Just getting used to the car and learning it."
Fri 08:32 - SS3: Breen out
He tells a WRC TV crew that due to his mechanical problems he "is going nowhere"
Fri 08:30 - SS3: Hanninen
The Finn goes quickest by 3.2sec and springs into the rally lead. "It's not coming easily! Not easy to find the rhythm. The car is really good. I will keep going."
Fri 08:28 - SS3: Meeke
Fastest on the previous stage and it's another great time here - 3.7sec up on Paddon. "The stages are rougher than I anticipated. Hanging dust is a big problem. For sure we have a good road position, but it's not easy to drive when you can't see."
Fri 08:25 - SS3: Paddon
Quickest so far. "Very, very tricky with the dust. Okay, the road position is helping us a bit but the car feels comfortable and the time is good. It's like the old me is back again."
Fri 08:22 - SS3: Breen
Second quickest but there's a strong smell of burning oil coming from Craig's Citroen and he looks concerned. What's wrong? "I'll find out in a minute." Is it a problem? "Could be..." Craig drives away from the control to investigate.
Fri 08:18 - SS3: Evans
Second quickest to Latvala so far. "No prefect by any means, because of the dust and changeable grip. Okay but not great."
Fri 08:16 - SS2: Times update
Meeke is the stage winner, with Hänninen (+0.5s) and Paddon (+0.8s) completing the Terranova top three.
Fri 08:15 - SS3: Sordo
"It's cleaning a bit but not much. Slippery everywhere. A lot of dust in the stage too - so I lost some time there."
Fri 08:13 - SS3: Tanak
5.2sec down on Latvala and there is some foliage poking from the front of his Fiesta. Has he been off? "There was a bad jump and I took it a bit on the side. Messy stuff in places. In a few places I was not comfortable."
Fri 08:09 - SS3: Latvala
10.2sec quicker than Neuville, and Latvala sounds super confident. "This stage is the most difficult of the rally but if you are confident here you can make a big difference."
Fri 08:08 - SS3: Neuville
One-tenth quicker than Ogier but Neuville says he missed a junction. "I went in a little bit too fast and had to stop and reverse. I lost four or five seconds there. It's hard to stay committed on these stages, it's very easy to make a mistake."
Fri 08:04 - SS3: Ogier
Seb is first to reach the end of Monte Olia. Is he happy with his all-soft tyre choice? "Okay, a little gamble maybe, but the surface is so loose it's okay. No moments, I tried to push a bit more here."
Fri 08:02 - Stage info: SS3
Monte Olia, 19.05km. Like the nearby opener, Monte Olia is driven for the first time in three years. It’s a difficult test, with tricky downhill braking shortly before the midpoint and awkward crests located in the middle of corners in the second half. The surface is sandy in places but rocky in others.
Fri 07:58 - SS2: Times update
Now Paddon is fastest of the eight cars through. Breen ( 4.4s) and Sordo ( 6.6s) the closest challengers.
Fri 07:50 - SS2: Times update
Sordo the quickest of six cars through so far. Tanak (+0.4s) and Neuville (+0.8s) his closest rivals.
Fri 07:44 - SS2: Stage times
Three cars through. Neuville is quickest, with Latvala +2.3sec and Ogier +3.8sec. Neuville tells WRC TV there was so much hanging hust in the narrow sections that he almost went off.
Fri 07:37 - Driver quotes
We will catch up with the drivers after SS3.
Fri 07:36 - SS2: Dust report
Cars start at three-minute intervals today to try and let the dust settle in between. WRC TV crews in Terranova report lots of hanging dust - there is no breeze in stage.
Fri 07:33 - Tyre choices
News from Michelin on the numbers and compounds (hard or soft) their drivers have chosen for the morning loop. Ogier: 5S. Tanak: 6S. Meeke / Breen / Paddon: 3H+2S. Mikkelsen / Neuville / Sordo / Latvala / Hanninen / Lappi: 3S+2H. Ostberg: 4H+2S.
Fri 07:27 - SS2: LIVE
Ogier is underway. His start time was 0724hrs - so the schedule is six minutes late.
Fri 07:25 - Stage info: SS2
Terranova, 14.54km. Terranova returns for the first time since 2014, but in a revised format. It’s narrow and technical with a sandy surface that will cut up and become rough. After a short asphalt section at the start, the roads are quite wide initially, before narrowing approaching the 5km mark. The second half dives into the trees, with a fast and technical finale.
Fri 07:24 - SS2: Delay
Ogier was due to start the opening stage, Terranova, at 0718hrs. He has not. More news when we get it.
Fri 07:22 - WRC Live
Our radio service is LIVE with Becs Williams in the studio and Colin Clark and Emyr Penlan reporting from the stage ends. You'll find a link the LIVE CENTRE on the homepage.
Fri 07:22 - Friday's start order
We're in championship order today, which puts Ogier though the stages first. Here's how the World Rally Car runners will line up: 1. Ogier, 2. Neuville, 3. Latvala, 4. Tänak, 5. Sordo, 6. Evans, 7. Breen, 8. Paddon, 9. Meeke, 10. Hänninen, 11. Mikkelsen, 12. Østberg, 13. Lappi
Fri 07:22 - Time zones
A reminder that all times quoted here are local. And in Sardinia that's (UTC +2hr)
Fri 07:21 - Weather
It's a beautiful morning in Alghero. A few clouds about but lost of sun too. The current temperature of 18˚C is expected to rocket to 28˚C this afternoon. No wind and no rain in prospect.
Fri 07:21 - Friday's itinerary
From an overnight parc ferme in Olbia, crews will tackle a loop of four stages in the morning including the return of two classic rough and rocky tests - Terranova and Monte Olia. They will repeat the loop in the afternoon after a service halt in Alghero. The eight stages total 125.46km.
Fri 07:21 - Coming up today
After last's night's super special, the real rally action starts today, with a full schedule of gravel competition on the Mediterranean island.
Fri 07:20 - We're LIVE
Again on wrc.com and the WRC App to bring you all the news from the stages of the championship's seventh round.
Fri 07:20 - Good morning texters
And welcome back to our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna.
Thu 19:24 - Until then
Keep an eye on wrc.com for all the latest WRC news. And don't forget WRC+ for our exclusive onboard library and loads more video highlights. Bye for now.
Thu 19:23 - We will return
On Friday with updates from the first full day of competition. We'll be here from 0718hrs (local) when the opening stage gets underway.
Thu 19:22 - Leaders through
And that's where we'll leave our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna tonight
Thu 19:22 - Italy WRC 2 after SS1
1.Rossel 2m07.7s, 2.Veiby +0.2s, 3.Kopecky +0.6s, 4.Loubet +2.3s, 5.Andolfi +3.5s
Thu 19:20 - Italy after SS1
1.Neuville 2m01.8s, 2.Tanak +0.2s, 3.Sordo +0.4s, 4.Evans +0.5s, =5.Paddon/Ogier +0.9s
Thu 19:08 - SS1: Ogier vs Neuville
Neuville wins the heat, sets the fastest time and holds the overnight rally lead. That's a terrific start for last year's winner. "I enjoyed it quite a lot," he says. "The car was working well, but the stage was very abrasive and hard on the tyres. A great atmosphere though." Ogier ends the day in joint fifth place. "I didn't drive perfectly, but it was an okay stage," he says.
Thu 19:02 - SS1: Tanak vs Latvala
Tanak goes fastest in 2m02s. "Not so bad. I tried to push a bit. The wipers got stuck after the watersplash - we were lucky! A nice atmosphere here. Will I push for the win? I always do." Latvala is 1.6sec slower. "I'm a bit surprised. I thought I drove well but it appears not. Tomorrow I will try to keep calm and finds a good rhythm."
Thu 18:57 - SS1: Sordo vs Evans
Now Sordo goes quickest. He's one-tenth up on his Hyundai team-mate Paddon despite a hesitation after the watersplash when he didn't get his wipers going soon enough!
Thu 18:51 - SS1: Breen vs Paddon
Paddon wins the heat in 2m02.7s and he's quickest so far. "I'm sure the guys behind will be quicker. It felt a bit boring the car but the time was okay." Breen slots fifth fastest. "It felt quite okay. I enjoyed it. A big, big day ahead tomorrow." Craig has some Bonnie Tyler on his iPod for the long drive to Olbia!
Thu 18:45 - SS1: Hanninen vs Meeke
Third fastest overall for Meeke, who is desperate to get a trouble-free run this weekend. "I feel okay. A few rallies ago we dominated, now after a couple of bad results we have to reset and get a good clean run." Hanninen loses a small section of his rear wing after clouting a hay bale. "It was extremely slippery but luckily no big damage," he says.
Thu 18:42 - SS1: Mikkelsen vs Ostberg
Ostberg wins this all-Norwegian duel, one-tenth up on Citroen newcomer Mikkelsen. His time is quickest so far. Mikkelsen sounds happy enough after his first stage in the DS3. "On the first corner I lost the front, a lot of understeer, but otherwise it was okay. The real stuff starts tomorrow. It feels good to be back!"
Thu 18:37 - SS1: Prokop vs Lappi
No surprise that Lappi is the fastest man so far at the wheel of a 2017-spec Yaris. His new time to beat: 2m03.8s. "Nice to put on a show. It's so slippery out there - lots of sideways! It was pretty okay considering the grip," he says. Prokop's Fiesta is back to full strength after he collided with a massive rock at shakedown. "Yeah the car is fantastic now," he says.
Thu 18:32 - SS1: Al Rajhi vs Raoux
The first Trophy category heat goes to Al Rajhi in his 2016-spec Ford Fiesta WRC. He slots fifth quickest, 3.1sec off the pace of Rossel's DS3 R5.
Thu 18:26 - SS1: Veiby vs Kopecky
Veiby the winner here. The Norwegian's time second quickest so far. "This will be a challenging weekend for sure. We are here for the experience," he says.
Thu 18:23 - SS1: Rossel vs Loubet
Rossel sets a new stage leading time: 2m07.7s. "I love this stage - it's great for the fans."
Thu 18:17 - SS1: Pieniazek vs Arai
Pieniazek slots fourth quickest so far, "It was really very slippery in there - we are sweeping the road." Arai is 9.8sec slower and is struggling to see though a muddy windscreen. And that's just part of the problem. "We have no electronics, no power to the dash or the wipers," he explains.
Thu 18:13 - SS1: Andolfi vs Katsuta
Fabio Andolfi is the new man to beat after the opening WRC 2 duel. The Italian stops the clock in 2m11sec in his Hyundai i20 R5. "I'm hoping for a positive weekend and that the car is okay," he says.
Thu 18:05 - SS1: Live!
And the first pair are through. Pirotto wins the opening battle of the Abarths by 8.2sec.
Thu 17:58 - Stage info: SS1
Ittiri Arena Show, 2.00km. Sardinia’s opener is identical to the stage used in 2016, held at a former motocross track just outside the village of the same name. Two cars at a time compete around two laps of the track on wide roads which include a jump and a watersplash.
Thu 17:58 - SS1: Get set
WRC+ Live tracking shows the lead cars gathering the pre-start control. First cars on stage: 1800hrs. Stage notes coming up
Thu 17:57 - WRC Live
Our radio service is LIVE with Becs Williams in the studio and Colin Clark and Emyr Penlan reporting from the stage ends. You'll find a link the LIVE CENTRE on the homepage. Playing now: Debbie Gibson and Electric Youth. Things WILL get better.
Thu 17:55 - Tyre choices
News from Michelin on the numbers and compounds (hard or soft) their drivers have chosen for tonight's stage. Most agree that five soft tyres is the way to go. The exception is Citroën, whose drivers have 4S+1H.
Thu 17:55 - Thursday's start order
A special order tonight, headed by the Italian pairing of Samuele Pirotto and Andrea Coti Zelati driving a pair of Abarth 500 R3T's. That should whip the crowd into a frenzy. Eight WRC 2 crews will follow, then a trio of WRC Trophy drivers and then the World Rally Car crews.
Thu 17:54 - Time zones
A reminder that all times quoted here are local. And in Sardinia that's (UTC +2hr)
Thu 17:54 - Weather
It's been a beautifully hot and sunny day in Alghero. The temperature peaked at 25˚C this afternoon and it's still a warm 23˚C as we head towards sunset at 2056hrs. Light wind of 8mph. No rain in prospect.
Thu 17:53 - Thursday's itinerary
After a ceremonial start in Alghero from 1700hrs, crews will tackle the 2km-long 'Ittiri Arena Show' super special stage. The cars then cross the island, from the west to the east coast, and stop in the town of Olbia for the night. In numbers, we're talking just 2km of stage distance and 152.25km of liaison.
Thu 17:53 - Coming up tonight
The rally action kicks off with a single stage on Thursday evening before three full days of competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Thu 17:53 - We're LIVE
On wrc.com and the WRC App to bring you all the news from the stages as we reach the halfway point of the season
Thu 17:52 - Buonasera texters
And welcome to our live text coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna, round seven of the FIA World Rally Championship.