Sun 15:00 - But fear not
We'll be back in six weeks as the championship heads to Scandanavia and Neste Rally Finland!
Sun 14:58 - Bye for now
We'll be ending Live Text from Rally Italia Sardegna now.
Sun 14:41 - Maunfacturers' standings
Hyundai has extended its advantage at the top of the manufacturers' standings: 1. Hyundai - 212 points 2. M-Sport Ford - 184 points 3. Toyota - 161 points 4. Citroën - 129 points
Sun 13:44 - Provisional drivers' standings
Drivers' standings after Rally Italia Sardegna: 1. Neuville - 149 points 2. Ogier - 122 points 3. Tänak - 79 points 4. Lappi - 70 points 5. Sordo - 60 points
Sun 13:38 - WRC 2 standings after SS20
1. Kopecký 3h 42m 33.3sec 2. Veiby +3m 02.6sec 3. Ciamin +3m 18.7sec 4. Andolfi +6m 32.2sec 5. Pieniazek +7m 11.3sec
Sun 13:36 - Provisional WRC results
The results remain provisional after a bizarre incident at the finish of the penultimate stage when Ogier hurriedly departed in his Ford Fiesta without collecting his time card. It was later delivered to him by Ott Tänak and news is awaited on whether Ogier will receive a penalty.
Sun 13:28 - Ogier
"I tried everything I could today. I was always losing a few tenths here and there. The last stage was very rough and I made two mistakes which cost me a few tenths. It is still good points for the championship. We lost the battle but we haven't lost the war. There are still six rounds to go, it isn't time to panic. Thierry was lucky with the rain but there will be another rally where he loses time as the road opener." He's still unsure what happened with the time card after SS19
Sun 13:26 - SS20: WRC 2
We've still got WRC 2 cars coming through the end of the stage and Ole Christian Veiby has prvovisionally taken yet another stage win. He's 4.4sec up on Kopecký and 13.2sec up on Ciamin
Sun 13:21 - Provisional WRC standings after SS20
1. Neuville 3h 29m 18.7sec 2. Ogier +0.7sec 3. Lappi +1m 56.3sec 4. Paddon +2m 55.2sec 5. Østberg +3m 10.9sec
Sun 13:19 - Live TV Power Stage results
1. Neuville (5 points) 2. Ogier (4 points) 3. Tänak (3 points) 4. Mikkelsen (2 points) 5. Evans (1 point)
Sun 13:16 - SS20: Neuville
"We gave it everything and it was a great fight. Such a small difference at the end. Thank you to the team!" Neuville pays respect to Ogier as the M-Sport Ford man gets out of his Fiesta.
Sun 13:15 - SS20: Neuville
Neuville leaps onto the roof his Hyundai i20! He's ecastic and the team back in the service park are elated
Sun 13:14 - SS20: Ogier
He's crunching over the rocks and is really going for it. He was 2.2sec down at the final split and he's through the flying finish 1.4sec down! Neuville has claimed the rally win by 0.7sec!
Sun 13:12 - SS20: Ogier
But he's 0.2sec down at the middle timing line, this is going to be incredibly close.
Sun 13:11 - SS20: Ogier
Ogier is 0.7sec up at the first split!
Sun 13:11 - SS20: Neuville
He's 3.4sec up at the middle split and 2.4sec up at the final timing split. Neuville crosses the line 1.5sec up on Tänak - will that be enough to secure the win? He says: "I had to try. I gave it everything. I want to say thank you to the team for all their work this weekend."
Sun 13:06 - SS20: Neuville
Thierry Neuville is onto the stage now and he's 0.8sec up on Tänak at the opening split!
Sun 13:06 - SS20: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi is the first of our top three onto the stage. He was looking good to take the top spot but he's lost 3.2sec at the last split and reaches stage end 3.4sec down on Tänak. He says: "It feels really good after the challenges of the beginning of the year. I could have been on the podium earlier but for a few mistakes."
Sun 13:01 - SS20: Paddon
Hayden can't break into the bonus points positions on the Live TV Power Stage, he's 8.7sec down on Tänak but is fourth overall at the end of the rally. "Obviously we wanted more, but things didn't click this weekend. But we wanted a clean rally this weekend and we got that. It's the first time in three years that I've finished this rally. I'm hopeful Thierry can win."
Sun 12:55 - SS20: Østberg
Two Citroëns finish Rally Italia Sardegna as the Norwegian is 9.2sec down across the line. "Yeah we are at the end of the rally. I am quite happy with a lot of the things we did over the weekend. Not comfortable at all today though."
Sun 12:51 - SS20: Breen
The Citroën driver kicks up the dust as he gets onto the beach and breaks the timing beam at the finish 6.4sec off the pace. "No this isn't the best we could have got out. It is difficult, I want to be a winner, I want to be at the front. I need to work on why I can't get it together across the weekend. Just a bit more patience."
Sun 12:45 - SS20: Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala is faster than Tänak through the first two splits but he's got stuck going round a left-hander! He's 4.0sec down on Tänak. A dejected Jari-Matti at stop control: "I stalled the engine, I went too quick into a left-hand corner. The ruts were quite deep and I stalled."
Sun 12:41 - SS20: Tänak
Ott Tänak was slower until the final split but he digs deep and finds some extra speed at the end - he's fastest by 0.8sec. "If we can put these hard moments behind us then we will get stronger. For the moment I have good faith in our team and you can see that we are fast."
Sun 12:37 - SS20: Suninen
The second M-Sport Ford Fiesta of Teemu Suninen breaks through the dust and he sets a time 4.4sec off the pace. He says: "I have been struggling in the slow sections and in Finland we have none of those so I'm aiming to be battling for the podium. I hope Seb can win because it is nice to work with him and it is good for the team."
Sun 12:32 - SS20: Evans
Elfyn is down on the splits and he thunders through the flying finish 1.8sec down. "Just struggled to get out in some places. Overall it has been a pretty frustrating weekend it must be said. The mistake on Friday morning has made it a tough weekend to be honest."
Sun 12:29 - SS20: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen really has the bit between his teeth on this stage, his benchmark time is a 4m55.4sec - the winning time from this morning. He comments: "The driving was not so bad, but the lines were terrible. I had to make my own lines in many of the corners, where the WRC cars will be able to have a better exit."
Sun 12:25 - SS20: Kopecký
Meanwhile at the other end of the stage, the Skoda Motorsport driver is through to stop control and he's won his third rally in three starts this year! He adds: "The feeling is really nice because the Czech fans are everywhere here. The weekend didn't start completely perfect but we've been fast the rest of the weekend and there were no mistakes."
Sun 12:23 - SS20: Mikkelsen
Andreas Mikkelsen is the first of the WRC cars to tackle the final stage. He's been saving his tyres all morning so let's see what he can do.
Sun 12:18 - SS20: Kopecký
Our WRC 2 leader is the first onto the Live TV Power Stage.
Sun 12:17 - SS19: Ogier
Colin Clark catches up with Sébastien in regroup and asks if there was a reason they pulled away so quickly from stop control on SS19. He says: “We just needed time to work on the car’s set-up before the Power Stage. I haven’t heard about anything regarding the time card.” He doesn’t divulge what those set-up changes were.
Sun 12:16 - A reminder of the Power Stage:
Sassari - Argentiera 2, 6.96km This spectacular test was first driven in 2016. After a bumpy but fast opening, 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 12:14 - SS19: Pieniazek
Loubet's time loss has allowed Pieniazek to climb up to fifth in WRC 2. He completes the penultimate stage 9.5sec down
Sun 12:10 - Live TV Power Stage start order
1. Kopecký 2. Mikkelsen 3. Evans 4. Suninen 5. Tänak 6. Latvala 7. Breen 8. Østberg 9. Paddon 10. Lappi 11. Neuville 12. Ogier 13. Prokop 14. Ciamin
Sun 12:07 - SS19: Loubet and Andolfi
Issues for Loubet it seems, he's 2m 02.1sec off the pace across the flying finish. Local star Andolfi also finishes now, he's 11.6sec slower than Veiby and almost certainly finishing fourth barring any late issues.
Sun 12:03 - SS19: Veiby
Ole Christian's done it! He's up to second in WRC 2. He's fastest through the stage and is 2.9sec ahead of Ciamin with one stage to go
Sun 12:00 - SS19: Ciamin
The Hyundai driver has reached stage end 3.2sec down on Kopecký but will it be enough to hold off Veiby?
Sun 11:55 - SS19: Mikkelsen
Meanwhile, Mikkelsen is on full tyre-save mode. He's 1m 11.0sec down as he looks to have a charging run on the Live TV Power Stage.
Sun 11:55 - SS19: Ogier
Time card update: We're hearing Tänak picked up Ogier's time card and has passed it on to the Frenchman. More on that as we get it.
Sun 11:51 - SS19: Suninen
Teemu has completed the stage, it looks like he's on tyre-saving mode - 16.1sec off the leading pace
Sun 11:50 - WRC standings after SS19
1. Ogier 3h 24m 25.0sec 2. Neuville +0.8sec 3. Lappi +1m 52.1sec 4. Paddon +2m 45.6sec 5. Østberg +3m 00.9sec
Sun 11:49 - SS19: Tänak
Right, time to get the heart rate back down now as cars continue to come through the flying finish. Ott Tänak is 4.0sec down.
Sun 11:47 - SS19: Ogier
Wait a minute, a marshal at stage end is holding Ogier's time card. He's going to have to go back and get that - he can't check in to the next stage without it.
Sun 11:46 - SS19: Ogier
The tension is building, Seb crosses the flying finish and he's 0.5sec slower! The gap is down to 0.8sec! Oh my word this Live TV Power Stage is going to be a nail biter. He has a smile on his face as he pulls into stop control but he pulls away before Colin Clark can speak to him
Sun 11:43 - SS19: Neuville
He pulls into stop control and he's fastest by 8.3sec at the finish. At 9.3km he's 0.4sec up on Ogier, this is going to be extremely close! "I make two mistakes. I overshoot the ruts and I was once a bit close to the wall so I lose a bit of speed. We are going to go for it to the end."
Sun 11:40 - SS19: Neuville
Here's the main battle then! He's 4.9sec up on Latvala at the 9.3km split and he's level on pace with Ogier at 4.99km!
Sun 11:38 - SS19: Latvala
He's giving it 110% on this stage, he lowers the fastest stage time by 9.8sec
Sun 11:37 - SS19: Lappi
A clean run for Lappi through the stage, he's only 0.3sec down on Paddon. "Everything is under control in my opinion.Yeah it's okay, I don't know what to say to be honest!"
Sun 11:34 - SS19: Paddon
Hayden Paddon is fastest through the stage by 3.0sec and fourth place is all but assured barring any issues on the Live TV Power Stage. He says: "It is a reasonably safe margin. Just have to stay focused and have a clean run through the last one. Just looked after the tyres so we have something left for the Power Stage."
Sun 11:32 - SS19: Østberg
He's not saving tyres! He's only 1.1sec slower than Breen as he reaches the flying finish. It doesn't look good enough to close the gap to Paddon though, the Kiwi is more than 3sec up on the splits. "Yeah a lot of positives. Hayden was going really well today and we struggle a bit. We just have to manage the rally now and get through. The conditions are tricky out there now so we just have to be careful and get it to the end."
Sun 11:28 - SS19: Breen
Craig Breen is 21.0sec faster than Evans at the finish. "I'm sure everybody will save their tyres on here, but I'm aiming to enjoy the stage as much as possible."
Sun 11:26 - SS19: Evans
Elfyn finishes things off now, he's at the end of stage 19. He tells Colin Clark: "It is very different than first thing this morning. Very abrasive now. Tyre wear shouldn't be a problem. For sure the guys who are pushing may not have as much tread for the Power Stage.
Sun 11:20 - SS19: Breen
Craig is getting his penultimate stage underway now. At the 2.46km split he's 4.0sec up
Sun 11:15 - SS19: Evans
Before that battle recommences though, Elfyn Evans gets the second run of Cala Flumini underway after a slight delay. Dan Barritt already calling out a flurry of pace notes
Sun 11:10 - Let battle commence
Here we go then, two stages and 1.3sec - that's all that separates Theirry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier on Rally Italia Sardegna
Sun 11:00 - The calm before the storm
Julien Ingrassia and Sébastien Ogier are going over their notes one last time in regroup before they head back onto the Cala Flumini test (you may need to click the image to view full-size)
Sun 10:37 - WRC 2 standings after SS18
1. Kopecký 3h 27m 57.9sec 2. Ciamin +3m 06.7sec 3. Veiby +3m 11.3sec 4. Andolfi +6m 21.4sec 5. Loubet +6m 41.4sec
Sun 10:35 - SS18: Pieniazek
The Pole completes the stage 6.2sec slower than Veiby, and he's only 19.7sec behind Loubet overall now. Could he claim fifth by the end of the rally?
Sun 10:33 - SS18: Loubet and Andolfi
The battle between them is hotting up and on this stage Andolfi has pulled himself up to fourth in WRC 2, Loubet has fallen 20.0sec behind in the overall standings now.
Sun 10:27 - SS18: Veiby
Bit of front-end damage for the Fabia R5 driver but he is still flying. He comes through the flying finish 11.6sec up on Ciamin. Only 4.6sec for him to find now on the next two stages and second place will be his.
Sun 10:24 - SS18: Ciamin
Nicolas Ciamin is faster than Kopecký through the stage! 0.4sec up for him but the deficit is still more than three minutes. He says: "It is okay, this stage is quite difficult. There are already a lot of stones so I think on the second run it is going to be pretty rough. We would like to bring the car home in second but I think it is going to be very rough."
Sun 10:22 - WRC standings after SS18
1. Ogier 3h 15m 55.6sec 2. Neuville +1.3sec 3. Lappi +1m 34.2sec 4. Paddon +2m 28.0sec 5. Østberg +2m 39.2sec
Sun 10:21 - SS18: Prokop
Oh dear, drama for Prokop, he goes round a right-hand hairpin and ends up in the bushes. He's reversed himself out and got going again. He brings the Fiesta RS WRC through to the end of the stage now. "No nothing happened, we just got stuck on the bush and couldn't get it back. We turned a bit late and hit the crest before hairpin."
Sun 10:18 - SS18: Kopecký
The Skoda Motorsport driver completes the stage now, continuing with his comfortable lead in the WRC 2 class. "I don't think it is possible to fight with WRC cars in an R5. We are avoiding the big rocks as we're aiming to bring the car home."
Sun 10:15 - SS18: Mikkelsen
Andreas is on his team-mate's pace through the splits, he's only 2.4sec down at the flying finish as he makes sure the pace notes are in order for the Power Stage. "I'm trying to get a feeling of this one before the Power Stage. I've never pushed on this one before! We'll definitely push on the Power Stage, saving the tyres for that basically."
Sun 10:13 - SS18: Suninen
Suninen's through to the end as well now, 12.8sec down on Neuville but he's focusing on the Power Stage and avoiding any issues. He comments: "Plan is to get experience and it would be nice to get good times but it is difficult if we are driving a bit carefully on these narrow roads."
Sun 10:09 - SS18: Tänak
The Rally2 restarter is essentially recce-ing this stage as he looks for bonus points on the Live TV Power Stage at mid-day. He's 2.6sec down across the final timing beam. He adds: "I was okay, not full attack, not full risk. But we are trying our best and it looks like it is possible to pass Kopecký for eighth overall."
Sun 10:06 - SS18: Ogier
Seb's down on the split and he's down on the finish - he's 1.8sec slower than Neuville on the stage and the lead is down to 1.3sec! My word, the pressure is really on now for the next two stages. "It is tight! We will have to push to the end. This stage is all about fighting with the car, and for sure you can be a lot more aggressive. I will have to push on the next one."
Sun 10:04 - SS18: Neuville
The Belgian is flying, he's 8.9sec faster than Latvala - who wasn't taking it easy himself - how will Ogier's time compare? He's asked what the feeling is inside him after a dominant display: "I don't know! I just try to keep it on the road and push as much as I can without making mistakes. At this level everyone is pushing hard and fighting with Ogier is the most difficult!"
Sun 10:01 - SS18: Latvala
Oh what might have been for Jari-Matti, he's 3.7sec faster coming through to stage end. "Well it was very frustrating yesterday. I wanted a podium going into the summer break but sometimes plans do not go the way you want. The feeling in the car is good and if we can get some Power Stage points then that will be a benefit in the future."
Sun 09:57 - SS18: Lappi
Esapekka can't match Evans' stage time at the 4.24km split - he's 3.2sec off but recovers to just 0.9sec down at the flying finish. "The first pass is nice on this stage, the second maybe not so enjoyable. The view is so nice, it is good to have the end of the rally over here."
Sun 09:55 - SS18: Paddon
Paddon's extended his advantage over Mads, he is 0.2sec slower than Evans' stage time but 2.1sec quicker than Østberg. The difference is 11.2sec now. "Just managing the gap now. 10sec is reasonably comfortable in these stages. You'd like to drive faster, but points are more important."
Sun 09:52 - SS18: Østberg
Mads is still battling for that fourth place with Paddon, but at the opening split he's 0.8sec slower than the Kiwi. He comes through to stop control 2.3sec off the pace. "It felt a lot better now, but I don't know why Elfyn is so fast from first on the road. Maybe there is suncream on the stage, we are at the beach!"
Sun 09:49 - SS18: Breen
Overshoot for Breen! He tries to go into a left-hander but he slides right and loses time. He's through to stage end 13.9sec down: "I had a spin quite close to the end. There was a bump in the middle of the corner, maybe I was going a little too fast. And then I had to do a three-point turn."
Sun 09:46 - SS18: Evans
He's through to the end of stage in 5m 08.0sec, setting a target for the rest. "It was quite good fun, but quite different from what I remember from last year. Quite loose this year. It will be interesting to see how it develops later."
Sun 09:44 - SS18: Breen
Craig Breen is on the stage as well at the opening split he's 1.9sec slower than Elyn
Sun 09:39 - SS18: Evans
Just a slight delay for the Fiesta driver, but he powers onto the stage a minute later than original scheduled.
Sun 09:36 - SS17: Loubet and Andolfi
Pierre-Louis Loubet and Fabio Andolfi complete the top five and they've both reached stop control. Loubet is 36.0sec down and Andolfi is 8.3sec slower.
Sun 09:34 - Stage info: SS18
Sassari - Argentiera 1, 6.96km This spectacular test was first driven in 2016. After a bumpy but fast opening, 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 09:33 - SS17: Veiby
However, Ole Christian is picking up from where he left off yesterday and he storms through stage end - 12.0sec up on Ciamin. He's only 16.2sec behind the Frenchman now as he continues to battle for second.
Sun 09:31 - SS17: Ciamin
Back to the WRC 2 field and Nicolas Ciamin is showing great pace through the stage - he's 2.3sec faster than Kopecký
Sun 09:29 - SS17: Prokop
The Czech driver completes the stage in his previous generation Ford Fiesta RS WRC and he's 46.7sec slower than Neuville
Sun 09:27 - SS17: Kopecký
The first WRC 2 car to come through is Jan Kopecký and his benchmark is a 9m 30.2sec
Sun 09:25 - SS17: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen makes it through as the last manufacturer WRC entry, he's saving tyres for the power stage and completes SS17 1m 07.2sec down.
Sun 09:21 - SS17: Suninen
Teemu's lost a bit of time through the stage in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta - 22.1sec slower than Neuville at stage end
Sun 09:19 - SS17: Tänak
The Estonian reaches stage end 6.5sec down on Neuville's surely stage winning time.
Sun 09:16 - SS17: Ogier
Seb flies through the finish and he is slower by 0.8sec. His lead is just 3.1sec now with three stages to go. "It is okay, it is very narrow so it is hard to push harder."
Sun 09:13 - SS17: Neuville
The Hyundai driver reaches stop control and he's 14.9sec faster than Latvala - can Ogier match that? Neuville tells Colin Clark: "I don't know if it's enough. It was a good one I promise! It wil be tight. Two small mistakes at a junction where I missed the ruts and ended up in a bit of loose so I lost a bit of time."
Sun 09:11 - SS17: Latvala
Jari-Matti, meanwhile, comes through to the end and he's 1.1sec up on Paddon.
Sun 09:10 - SS17: Neuville
Neuville is flying through this stage! He's 5.7sec up on Paddon at 4.99km but Ogier is 0.3sec faster than the Belgian at the same point - this is going to be close!
Sun 09:08 - SS17: Lappi
Lappi completes the stage 13.1sec down on Paddon, it seems as though he's playing it safe this morning. He confirms it at the end: "Yeah it is holding position. Not easy to find the rhyhtm. A few surprises with the mud, but I didn't need to push. A few corners there is suddenly mud and the grip gets quite bad."
Sun 09:05 - SS17: Paddon
Paddon extends his advantage in the overall standings to 9.1sec as he goes through the stage 7.0sec quicker than the Norwegian. He says: "It is a good way to start. Just keep it nice and smooth, the line that is there is quite small but I'm trying to utilise it. I'm a bit cautious on this one after what happened last year so I took it easy at the start!"
Sun 09:02 - Tyres:
All WRC drivers are on 5 soft, apart from Latvala and Lappi who have taken 4 soft and 1 hard.
Sun 09:02 - SS17: Østberg
Mads is through now. He's trying to steal fourth away from Hayden Paddon, but the Kiwi is more than 6sec ahead on the splits. "I don't think I can do anything. It is difficult to push halfway. I have to get to the end, I'm not willing to take the risks."
Sun 08:59 - SS17: Breen
Craig takes 5.3sec off the fastest stage time as he passes the flying finish. "A lot of cleaning in there, I'm driving in the middle of the road and not making any mistakes. See if we can get it back."
Sun 08:56 - SS17: Evans
He finishes the stage now, and he's talking to Colin Clark at stage end: "It is quite a loose stage, narrow in places as well. Not great to be first but to be fair I'm just driving through this morning."
Sun 08:52 - SS17: Breen
Splits are starting to come through now and Breen is 2.3sec up on Evans at the 4.99km split point
Sun 08:51 - SS17: Citroën
The two C3s are onto the stage now as Breen and Østberg pull their way onto this test
Sun 08:46 - SS17: Evans
Elfyn Evans powers into Cala Flumini - getting the final day underway!
Sun 08:44 - Start list
1. Evans 2. Breen 3. Østberg 4. Paddon 5. Lappi 6. Latvala 7. Neuville 8. Ogier 9. Tänak 10. Suninen 11. Mikkelsen
Sun 08:43 - Stage info: SS17
Cala Flumini 1, 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 08:41 - Forecast
It's a beautiful Sardinian day to close the rally, with warm weather and blue skies.
Sun 08:38 - WRC 2 update
Jan Kopecký holds a lead of more than three minutes at the top of WRC 2, Nicolas Ciamin is second while Ole Christian Veiby is third.
Sun 08:36 - WRC update
Ogier and Neuville head the standings with Esapekka Lappi promoted to third after his team-mate’s retirement. Hayden Paddon is fourth but Mads Østberg is 2.1sec behind him. Craig Breen is sixth for Citroën.
Sun 08:35 - Sunday’s itinerary
A quartet of stages for the WRC field today, two runs of Cala Flumini (14.06km) and two runs of Sassari-Argentiera (6.96km). Sassari-Argentiera 2 - scheduled to start at 12.18 - will be the Live TV Power Stage.
Sun 08:30 - Overnight news
Jari-Matti Latvala retired last night with alternator issues, he’s back under Rally2 today but provisionally he has fallen to eighth overall.
Sun 08:26 - We’re Live
On WRC.com and the WRC App. Remember, you can watch all the action on WRC+ All Live! You won’t want to miss any of this.
Sun 08:25 - Morning Live Texters!
It’s the final day of Rally Italia Sardegna and the lead battle is fierce, Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are separated by only 3.9sec with four stages remaining!
Sat 20:17 - Ciao for now!
On the sad news of Latvala's retirement with his alternator problems, we'll pause Live Text overnight - but we'll be back for the thrilling conclusion to this event tomorrow morning!
Sat 20:08 - Latvala
Sad news for Jari-Matti Latvala who is confirmed as a retirement after his alternator issues. Kaj Lindström has talked to WRC+ All Live: "Well at the moment I have very little information to share because we are trying to figure out what the issue is and get the car back to service. "We saw on the television coverage how many rocks were on the stages. Low voltage was the problem they had. He has hit something and that is what has caused it."
Sat 19:27 - Latvala latest
He's still stopped on a road section unfortunately. Videos coming in from WRC TV crews show him trying to push start the Yaris but to no avail.
Sat 19:12 - Latvala
More news coming through on Jari-Matti. Tommi Mäkinen believes the alternator damage was caused by a rock strike on SS16.
Sat 19:03 - Latvala
A picture sent back to the service park from one of the WRC TV crews shows Latvala and co-driver Miikka Anttila doing repairs to the Yaris on the road section.
Sat 19:00 - WRC 2 standings after SS16
1. Kopecký 3h 12m 58.3sec 2. Ciamin +3m 09.4sec 3. Veiby +3m 37.6sec 4. Loubet +5m 50.8sec 5. Andolfi +6m 29.1sec.
Sat 18:58 - SS16: Pieniazek and Loubet
Pieniazek finishes the afternoon loop 12.9sec down on Veiby and he's sixth overall - gaining a place thanks to Katsuta's troubles. Loubet crosses the flying finish not long after and he's fourth overall.
Sat 18:48 - SS16: Veiby
The main beneficiary is Ole Christian Veiby. His day couldn't get any better - he's claimed six stage wins and moved onto the podium - he was eighth after SS12 yesterday evening! He's only 28.2sec behind Ciamin - a second is possible.
Sat 18:45 - SS16: Katsuta
Oh dear, after a relative strong day for Katsuta, he's lost time on this stage - 3m 50.4sec to be exact. That's dropped him off the podium and down the order.
Sat 18:41 - WRC standings after SS16
1. Ogier 3h 02m 16.9sec 2. Neuville +3.9sec 3. Latvala +48.9sec 4. Lappi +54.2sec 5. Paddon 2m 01.8sec 6. Østberg +2m03.9sec
Sat 18:40 - Latvala
Confirmation that Latvala has stopped on the road section.
Sat 18:39 - SS16: Andolfi
Andolfi finishes his day off 23.4sec down on Kopecký.
Sat 18:38 - Latvala
We're getting reports that Latvala might, that's might, have stopped on the road stage after SS16. More on that as we get it.
Sat 18:36 - SS16: Ciamin
He loses time again on this stage, he's 30.4sec slower than the WRC 2 class leader.
Sat 18:34 - SS16: Kopecký
Big smile on the face of Jan Kopecký as he reaches stage end! He'll lead going into tomorrow. "Really happy to be here because the conditions were rough in the afternoon. In the second stage after service we almost rolled. There was a big rock in one of the ruts and the car went up onto two wheels." Sounds like an action-packed day for him.
Sat 18:32 - SS16: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen reaches the flying finish 1m 58.2sec down on Neuville in the sister Hyundai i20. "The car is fine, I had a puncture. Driving in the lines, didn't hit anything. I think the tyre just came off the rim."
Sat 18:28 - SS16: Suninen
"It was difficult stage, lots of ruts and lots of rocks. I tried to be on the careful side and avoid the punctures." A safe arrival at the end of Saturday for Teemu.
Sat 18:26 - SS16: Tänak
He reaches the end now and explains why he lost 2m 01.0sec on stage: "It is very strange, we had a front-right puncture. I was quite stupid, I carried on for four or 5ks before changing to stop it. It was still on, it had just delaminated."
Sat 18:25 - SS16: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen is moving again as well, penultimate split showing a time loss of 1m 50.1sec
Sat 18:22 - SS16: Tänak
He's got back going again now, we'll wait to see what the issue was when he reaches stage end.
Sat 18:21 - SS16: Ogier
He crosses the line 0.4sec down on Neuville, the lead is now 3.9sec going into tomorrow. He says: "It is tight! It was fun this afternoon. The second stage I didn't find a good rhythm. On this one I had to push."
Sat 18:19 - SS16: Tänak and Mikkelsen
Ott has stopped 19.4km into the stage and Mikkelsen has stopped 9.2km in.
Sat 18:18 - SS16: Neuville
Neuville is faster by 0.6sec. On the splits he's 1.3sec up on Ogier for now at the fourth split. "I try but I'm not sure it was enough. I don't know why I was complaining about the rear. The tyre wear was quite bad on this one and obviously we don't have a spare."
Sat 18:17 - SS16: Latvala
He was blipping the throttle at stop control to ensure the engine didn't stop.
Sat 18:16 - SS16: Latvala
Latvala is faster by 3.7sec! His lead is 5.3sec now going into the final four stages tomorrow. He attacks the stop line. He doesn't stop to chat with Colin Clark as a suspected alternator issue has caused him some grief.
Sat 18:13 - SS16: Lappi
Espekka is looking to end the day on the podium but his splits aren't looking as good as Latvala - the veteran just showing the apprentice who has the pace. Lappi completes the stage 17.0sec faster than Østberg. "Yeah unfortunately, I'm just on his tail - I haven't got past. We have to be satisfied with our performance and it is a tough competition at this level. I think Tommi will let us fight but we need to keep in mind the manufacturers points."
Sat 18:09 - SS16: Østberg
And the answer is yes he can. Just. The Norwegian goes faster, but only by 0.5sec. Paddon's lead is down to 2.1sec now. He tells Colin Clark: "Yeah it is like that, we played it safe in the afternoon."
Sat 18:06 - SS16: Breen and Paddon
Breen finishes the day as well, 6.9sec up on Evans. Meanwhile, Hayden Paddon also reaches stage end and he's 11.5sec faster than Breen but can he keep Østberg behind?
Sat 18:01 - SS16: Evans
Saturday done and dusted for Evans, he's through to stop control now. "It is never an easy situation opening the road." We can't get more from him before a glitch cuts the interview short.
Sat 17:58 - SS16: Lappi
Lappi's Yaris looked like it was about to grow wings he was that fast over Micky's Jump. At the first split he's 3.5sec faster than Paddon.
Sat 17:56 - SS15: Ciamin
Ciamin still can't match Kopecký, he's 6.1sec down
Sat 17:56 - SS16: Østberg and Paddon
The battle for fifth is continuing on this stage, at the first split Paddon is 2.3sec up
Sat 17:53 - SS15: Kopecký
Jan Kopecký is through to stage end in his Fabia R5. Looking at the splits no one is able to match his pace.
Sat 17:50 - SS16
We've got three cars onto the last stage of the day with Evans, Breen and Paddon all tackling the fast stage
Sat 17:44 - SS16
Monte Lerno 2, 28.89km Monte Lerno is all about the famous Micky’s Jump at 5.23km, 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 two years 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 17:44 - SS15: Tänak
The Estonian reaches the end of the penultimate stage 4.6sec down.
Sat 17:41 - SS15: Ogier
Sébastien loses time on this test! He's 2.5sec slower than Neuville and his lead is cut to 4.3sec. "We have to push on the other one that's for sure. I wasn't saving tyres."
Sat 17:38 - SS15: Neuville
The lead battle continues into this stage, Thierry is the first to reach stage end and he's faster than Lappi by 3.6sec, can Ogier better that? Neuville talks to Emyr Penlan: "I had a good stage, but I'm struggling a little bit with the rear of the car. No compromises, everything can still happen to him as well."
Sat 17:35 - SS15: Latvala
This gravel-based chess match continues! Latvala can't match his team-mate's move on this stage and the gap overall gets cut to 1.6sec - he's 2.9sec slower on stage. "Lappi did a very good time on this stage. It was tough on that stage, I had to back off at points because it is very rough and I had some big hits. I didn't think Esapekka would push as much as he did."
Sat 17:32 - SS15: Lappi
Lappi hits a good first shot in his continuing battle with Latvala and he's 17.7sec faster than Østberg at the finish. "It's tough, pretty clean run to be honest. No mistakes, no dramas. Everything OK. I'm six years younger than Latvala so I should be faster!" A pretty mischevious Esapekka in the Yaris this afternoon!
Sat 17:30 - SS15: Østberg
The Citroën driver hits back at Paddon, he's only 2.6sec down overall now as he aims to reclaim fifth. He is asked about taking time out of Hayden: "Good! I already have the hard tyres on the car. I will just swap them around and have another go. The balance with the spare is quite tricky. I tend to lose the rear quite a lot, I'm trying to be tidy but it feels slow."
Sat 17:26 - SS15: Paddon
The Hyundai driver powers through the flying finish and he's 0.2sec down on Breen. He adds: "We probably didn't make the right tyre choice but that's how it is! Still one stage to go but it has been hard on tyres."
Sat 17:24 - SS15: Breen
My word, Breen is a massive 20.3sec faster as he comes into stop control. Road sweeping does play a part but not to this extent! He says: "You wouldn't want softs! What a transformation though on 12 months ago. Apart from one or two places for the team to work on the car is a joy to drive."
Sat 17:22 - SS15: Evans
"There's so many loose rocks about to be honest and there are a few that are embedded into the stage." Elfyn's having to dodge stones it would appear.
Sat 17:20 - SS15: Lappi
He's really trying to get on the podium! At the second split he's a massive 5.9sec up on Østberg - who was the fastest man at that point.
Sat 17:15 - SS15: Paddon
Paddon can't keep up with the heat Breen is throwing at him, at the 9.83km split he's half a second down on the Irishman. Unfortunately it won't make much of an impact in the overall standings at the moment.
Sat 17:13 - SS15: Breen
Elfyn has lost time on the stage, at the second split Craig Breen is 11.2sec quicker
Sat 17:11 - SS14: Pieniazek
Lukasz pulls into stop control and he's only 4.4sec down - not bad at all considering he rolled his car on SS13.
Sat 17:05 - SS14: Veiby
Veuby claims another place. He was eighth this morning and he's fourth now - only 23.0sec away from Katsuta in third. But he can't claim the stage win! He loses 1.1sec.
Sat 17:04 - SS15: Evans
Evans is already onto Monti Di Ala' 2 and he's made a slight mistake at the start but it doesn't look to have affected him too badly.
Sat 17:03 - SS14: Loubet
Pierre-Louis Loubet can't overhaul Katsuta, the gap overall is now 35.5sec as he goes 33.3sec slower than Kopecký on the stage. He remains in fourth
Sat 16:59 - SS14: Katsuta
Katsuta passes the flying finish and he's only 2.1sec down on Kopecký - good effort from the Tommi Mäkinen Racing driver
Sat 16:57 - WRC standings after SS14
1. Ogier 2h 27m 57.6sec 2. Neuville +6.8sec 3. Latvala +44.7sec 4. Lappi +49.2sec 5. Paddon +1m 18.7sec
Sat 16:56 - SS14: Guerra
Benito Guerra has stopped 8.8km into the stage in his Fabia
Sat 16:55 - SS14: Andolfi
Back onto the WRC 2 and Fabio Andolfi has reached the stage end with quite a bit of damage on his Fabia - he's bent the middle on his front bumper and the rear bumper has gone missing, he's 15.1sec down on the class leader
Sat 16:53 - SS14: Prokop
Martin Prokop is going strong in his Fiesta RS WRC, he's ninth overall but Tänak is just 13.5sec behind him now as he finishes 38.9sec down
Sat 16:51 - SS14: Kopecký & Ciamin
WRC 2 leader Jan Kopecký completes the 14th stage of the rally and Ciamin can't match the Czech's pace, he's 5.6sec slower in the i20 R5.
Sat 16:48 - SS14: Mikkelsen
A good time for Mikkelsen, rekindling thoughts of what might have been after his early lead yesterday. He's only got a 1.9sec deficit to Ogier at the end of SS14. "It was fine, we're not really fighting for anything huge but we're trying to have good pace and get good experience. You need to be very committed but we can still go a little bit faster!"
Sat 16:45 - SS14: Suninen
Wild stuff from Suninen who is very sideways through some of the tighter corners on this stage! He's 6.3sec off Ogier's time. "The stage was okay, small mistakes and difficult to push on the limit."
Sat 16:42 - SS14: Tänak
The first of the Rally2 cars is Ott Tänak and he's matching Ogier's pace on the final split but loses some time at the end - 0.3sec slower. He adds: "Obviously it is a very different story. A lot more grip, I'm sure there is a lot of tyre management to do. But on this one we had a good run."
Sat 16:39 - SS14: Ogier
Ogier's quick on this one, he's opened the gap out to Neuville - 3.9sec up on the Belgian. 6.8sec the difference between the two overall. The M-Sport Ford driver says: "It's a big push for me because I was so angry with the last stage on the morning and I stalled at the start of SS13 so a big push now."
Sat 16:36 - SS14: Neuville
Drama for Neuville - he's debeaded a tyre on the motocross stage - it's the front-right. How much time will that cost him? The answer: 0.5sec. He's done a a great job to recover that. "I have no idea, I puncture like 3 or 4k before then end. I won't be more cautious." That last remark a reference to the fact Neuville only has one spare.
Sat 16:33 - SS14: Latvala
It's slower from Jari-Matti, he's 0.8sec down on Esapekka and the gap has shrunk to 4.5sec. He says: "The battle is going on, this stage was not so great for me in the monring and this was quite bad for me with the rocks in the beginning. I'm quite satisfied with the time."
Sat 16:30 - SS14: Lappi
Lappi is absolutely storming through this one! He's 6.6sec up on Paddon but importantly, can Latvala match his pace and not let his young team-mate close up on him? Esapekka comments: "It was quite okay. But just when I finished the motocross track I drove through my dust and I went off stage a bit as I went through it!"
Sat 16:27 - SS14: Østberg
Mads can't close the gap to Paddon he's 0.6sec down on the Kiwi so the overall gap grows to 5.5sec. "I'm trying for sure, we took some safety with two spares. That's a team decision. It means I can up the risk a little bit on this loop."
Sat 16:24 - SS14: Paddon
Hayden was slower than Breen at the first three splits but at the final timing beam he's 1.5sec up. At the line that's shrunk a bit to 0.8sec. How's he feeling with his mixed tyre choice? "I think it is okay for this loop, but hey you've got to try these things some times. I'll tell you at the end of the loop if it worked or not."
Sat 16:21 - SS14: Breen
He's through to stage end now and he's 1.5sec up. The Citroën driver the pacesetter for now. "I knew it was a straight road through the dust but when you can't see anything at all I just backed off a little bit."
Sat 16:18 - SS14: Evans
Evans completes the final section - a twisty former motocross track - which is completely dry after puddles caught out one or two this morning - he's set an 8m 0.0sec. "It feels even more slippy on hard tyres! Quite a few nasty stones sticking up."
Sat 16:13 - SS14: Breen
Breen is taking time out of Evans already, 1.5sec in hand over the Welshman at the 2.68km opening split
Sat 16:09 - SS14: Evans
He's sweeping some more this afternoon, but with some drivers complaining about ruts forming could he be in a good position? We'll soon find out as he launches into the stage
Sat 16:04 - Sunglasses at the ready
It's still sunny out there! Warm weather and blue skies make yesterday feel like it was a completely different rally
Sat 16:01 - WRC 2 tyres:
Veiby: 3 hard and 3 soft Kopecký, Tempestini and Loubet: 6 hard Ciamin: 3 soft and 3 hard
Sat 16:00 - Tyres for this afternoon
The news has come through from Michelin, the crews left mid-day service with the following selection of tyres: Citroën: 2 soft and 4 hard Toyota and M-Sport Ford: 5 hard Neuville and Mikkelsen: 5 hard Paddon: 3 hard and 2 soft
Sat 15:56 - Hello again
After a quick pause we're back! Three stages this afternoon - a repeat of the morning loop
Sat 15:10 - Short break
With that, we'll take a short break. We'll be back for SS14 which is set to get underway at 16.08
Sat 15:10 - SS13: Pieniazek
After a strong morning the Pole's lost time on this stage - he's more than 1m 30sec off the pace and he's dropped to eigth in the standings.
Sat 15:04 - SS13: Veiby
He's on a roll! Ole Christian with what looks like his fourth stage win in a row - he's 1.7sec up on his team-mate and closing the gap to Loubet.
Sat 15:01 - SS13: Loubet
Loubet has taken more time out of Katsuta on this stage. The Hyundai driver is 1.3sec slower than Kopecký but 1.1sec faster than the Toyota development driver. The gap between them overall is just 4.3sec
Sat 14:58 - SS13: Katsuta and Guerra
Another two cars through the flying finish. Katsuta is 2.4sec off the pace but Guerra is second fastest as he matches Andolfi - just 1.4sec down.
Sat 14:51 - SS13: Andolfi
Fabio Andolfi is the third WRC 2 competitor - and second Skoda driver - to complete the stage, 1.4sec down
Sat 14:46 - SS13: Ciamin
Nicolas Ciamin can't match the Czech driver, he completes 1.8sec off the pace.
Sat 14:45 - SS13: Kopecký
The first WRC 2 car to come through is Jan Kopecký he sets a 1m 32.8sec
Sat 14:42 - SS13: Mikkelsen
The last of the manufacturer entries to come through stop control on this stage is Andreas Mikkelsen and the Norwegian does it just 0.1sec slower than Lappi
Sat 14:39 - SS13: Tänak and Suninen
Two more completing the stage is Ott Tänak and Teemu Suninen. The pair restarted under Rally2 this morning after both hit problems on the last stage last night. Tänak slots himself into third fastest on the stage - 0.6sec off Lappi. While Suninen squeezes himself into seventh - 1.2sec down
Sat 14:33 - SS13: Neuville and Ogier
It's a tight battle at the top as well, Neuville took quite a bit of time out of Ogier on SS12 and now the pair have just 4.9sec between them. The Belgian is the first onto the stage and he can't beat Lappi - he's 0.3sec slower. However, he's cut the gap down to just 2.9sec! Ogier is 2sec slower than Neuville and 2.3sec slower than Lappi on this mini test
Sat 14:27 - SS13: Lappi and Latvala
This is a battle to watch out for this afternoon, the two Toyotas are battling for the last spot on the podium. Going into this stage the gap between them was 7.0sec. Lappi is 0.9sec up on the fastest stage time and Latvala has dropped 1.7sec on this test - the gap down to 5.3sec now.
Sat 14:20 - SS13: Østberg
The Norwegian makes a stop-off at the former motocross track to put his time on the board and it's level with Paddon. Their gap in the overall standings remains at 4.9sec
Sat 14:17 - SS13: Breen and Paddon
Two more drivers come to the end of this one - Breen is 0.6sec slower than Evans while Paddon is 0.1sec faster They'll both be setting off for the journey to Coiluna-Loelle 2 to properly kick off the afternoon loop.
Sat 14:13 - SS13: Evans
Quick stage this being only 1.42km - Evans completes it in a 1m 30.0sec
Sat 14:08 - Neuville
Some new from service park regarding Thierry Neuville - he had a fuel pressure issue between SS12 and service. Hyundai mechanics replaced the fuel tank and have sent the Belgian back on his way
Sat 14:02 - Stage info: SS13
Citta’ di Ittiri - Coros, 1.42km A shorter version of Thursday night’s curtain-raiser at a former motocross track just outside Ittiri. One car and one lap of the track this time around, on wide roads which include a jump and a watersplash, before a different final section to the finish.
Sat 13:56 - WRC 3 standings after SS12
Before we get the next stage underway though, let's check in on the WRC 3 standings: 1. Franceschi 2h 43m 59.3sec 2. Lario +6.7sec 3. Cook +17m 07.7sec 4. Brazzoli +43m 32.5sec
Sat 13:55 - Ciao!
Hello again, we're back for a quick blast for SS13 - Citta' Di Ittiri - Coros. It's just 1.42km but it promises to be full of action.
Sat 11:32 - Technical break
With the next stage starting at 14.10 local time, we'll take a break for now and rejoin you before SS13
Sat 11:29 - WRC 2 standings after SS12
1. Kopecký 2h 26m 09.0sec 2. Ciamin +2m 25.5sec 3. Katsuta +3m 26.0sec 4. Loubet +3m 31.4sec 5. Veiby +3m 54.1sec
Sat 11:27 - SS12: Veiby
Veiby has had a great morning, three wins in a row. He's 10.7sec faster than team-mate Kopecký. He's fifth overall now having started the day eighth, he's only 22.7sec behind Loubet for fourth.
Sat 11:25 - SS12: Loubet and Guerra
Andolfi's lost quite a bit of time now, what was looking like a promising morning has turned on its head on this last stage of the morning. Benito Guerra and Pierre-Louis Loubet both leap ahead of Andolfi. The latter is just 5.4sec down on Katsuta for a spot on the podium.
Sat 11:22 - SS12: Katsuta
Takamoto Katsuta - the Toyota development driver - finishes Monte Lerno 17.1sec down on Kopecký as Andolfi finally crosses the line - 3m 28.1sec down - he's lost third place to Katsuta
Sat 11:15 - SS12: Ciamin
Nicolas Ciamin completes the stage as well - he's 46.9sec down on Kopecký and needs to be careful that Andolfi doesn't steal away that second place.
Sat 11:12 - SS12: Kopecký
The Skoda Motorsport driver finishes the morning loop in the Fabia R5, 19m 29.4sec on the board. "I would prefer that Stéphane is still in the battle because this is not an easy rally for us. When there is no pressure you can lose concentration compared to when you are pushing."
Sat 11:08 - SS12: Mikkelsen
He's through to the end now, 36.1sec off the pace. Mikkelsen: "I made a mistake on the beginning, I spun early on but because it was so narrow I had to go back up the stage to try and find a place to turn around."
Sat 11:07 - SS12: Suninen
Teemu has finished now after he was forced to change a puncture. He's lost 3m 11.1sec on the stage. "On a bit of braking I hit the bank and spun, getting the puncture." Simple explanation for his issues.
Sat 11:01 - SS12: Tänak
"We have been driving on the hard tyre and on these conditions they don't work properly. We are saving the soft tyre for tomorrow." He completes the morning loop 15.7sec off the pace.
Sat 10:59 - WRC standings after SS12
1. Ogier 2h 18m 43.5sec 2. Neuville +4.9sec 3. Latvala +41.1sec 4. Lappi +48.1sec 5. Paddon 1m 10.1sec
Sat 10:58 - SS12: Ogier
The Frenchman completes the stage 14.6sec down on Neuville - his lead just 4.9sec! The afternoon is bound to be interesting. "It is a good question, wrong rhythm probably. At the end of the stage I had a lot of oversteer. I'll have to push more this afternoon." It's a calm response from Ogier, not letting it play on his mind.
Sat 10:56 - SS12: Suninen
Suninen had got moving again, but he's stopped again at 14.4km - onboards show he is out of the car and it looks like he is changing a puncture on his Fiesta.
Sat 10:55 - SS12: Neuville
Neuville is going to really close the gap to Ogier going into mid-day service. At the penultimate split he's 9.6sec faster than the Frenchman and crosses the flying finish 6.7sec up on the fastest stage time so far. He tells Colin Clark: "I had a good stage but nothing more than in the previous one. It is quite rough on this one. We are going to continue, we want to bring home a good result for the team and the championship. We don't know what our strategy will be this afternoon."
Sat 10:54 - SS12: Suninen
Suninen has stopped at 10.5km
Sat 10:52 - SS12: Latvala
The second of Toyota's Finns completes the morning loop 0.8sec faster than Paddon and he adds another 1sec onto the overall gap to Lappi. The pair are separated by 7.0sec now. "It's definitely suited me better. It is hardwork, grip is better than ever before but you have to be careful with the rocks. When the sandy surface is damp it is binding it together and giving it grip."
Sat 10:49 - SS12: Lappi
Lappi has given it some welly on this stage, just 0.2sec down on Paddon as he looks to close the gap back up to Latvala in that battle for third place. "The main target is to get to the end of the stages. After the half point I found a nice rhythm. At the start I was too cautious but as soon as I realised there were no rocks then I just went for it."
Sat 10:47 - SS11: Veiby
Ole Christian Veiby claims the WRC 2 stage win on Monti Di Ala' - he's 3.8sec faster than Andolfi as he looks to climb back up the order after suspension issues yesterday. He's 7th at the moment.
Sat 10:46 - SS12: Østberg
The Norwegian has lost the position, 5.1sec down on Paddon. He adds: "We need to work a little bit with the car. The stages are fast and nice but I am not confident with the car. I struggle to feel the grip and I can't push really. The conditions will change a lot this afternoon, it will be a completely different stage the next time we complete it."
Sat 10:45 - SS11: Loubet
Pierre-Louis Loubet completes the stage and he's up to fifth in WRC 2 - pushing Benito Guerra down to sixth. The latter had a slow run through the stage and he's 13.9sec down behind Loubet now.
Sat 10:43 - SS12: Paddon
He finishes now, 16.9sec up on Breen. How will that compare to Østberg? He says: "It is the first time since shakedown since the car has felt good again. We haven't done anything to the set-up, the conditions are just coming to the car. There is a bit of sweeping but not as much as there has been in the past."
Sat 10:41 - SS12: Paddon
Paddon is 4.0sec up on Mads at the 19.04km timing point. That would put him fifth overall if the gap was maintained at stage end.
Sat 10:40 - SS11: Lefebvre
Reports of suspension damage for Stéphane
Sat 10:38 - SS11: Andolfi
Fabio Andolfi - competing in his home event - has gone fastest on SS11 - 4.3sec up on Kopecký and a good chunk of time taken out of Ciamin
Sat 10:38 - SS12: Evans
Evans has finished the morning loop now. "It has been a tough morning, something strange going on with the feeling the car. Think it might be a rear rollbar the car is understeering quite a bit."
Sat 10:33 - SS11: Ciamin
Nicolas Ciamin completes the stage now, he's 21.5sec down on Kopecký but he'll move to second in class.
Sat 10:32 - SS12: Paddon
Hayden is fully committed to this stage, he's 9.9sec up at the 14.48km split
Sat 10:31 - SS11: Kopecký
The first WRC 2 car reaches stage end, Kopecký the first to set a time because of Lefebvre stopping on stage
Sat 10:28 - SS12: Paddon
Paddon is continuing his quick pace as the cars ahead sweep the stage - at the opening split he's 2.7sec up on Breen.
Sat 10:24 - SS11: Suninen
Back on Monti Di Ala', Teemu is the third M-Sport Ford to reach the finish - 9.2sec down on his team-mate.
Sat 10:23 - SS12
Crews are already out on Monte Lerno. Elfyn Evans has already leaped over Micky's Jump and Breen is looking to keep him honest.
Sat 10:21 - SS11: Tänak
Tänak's not had a great run through the stage, he's 12.5sec down on Ogier - the fifth fastest time. "It doesn't make any difference. I have no plans, we need to drive." Doesn't have much to say does Ott.
Sat 10:18 - SS11: Lefebvre
We're hearing that Lefebvre has stopped 9.7km into this stage. He was leading the WRC 2 class before this test.
Sat 10:17 - SS11: Ogier
The M-Sport Ford driver strikes back, 1.8sec up on the Belgian on stage and his advantage is back up to 19.5sec overall. "Good run, good stage and a really nice condition to drive. It should be much more rough this afternoon. I don't know if I'll take six tyres tomorrow."
Sat 10:15 - SS11: Neuville
Now the focus shifts to the lead battle, Neuville took 1.2sec out of Ogier on SS10 - and now he's the fastest man on the stage - 5.8sec faster than Latvala! The stage is really cleaning at this point. "It is okay, as long as we are faster than Ogier it is okay. The car is working very nice today, I feel very comfortable. I don't want to risk too much, today we are back on our own rhythm."
Sat 10:13 - SS11: Mikkelsen
More problems for Mikkelsen, we're getting reports of sheep crossing the stage in front of him at 6.4km
Sat 10:12 - SS11: Latvala
Jari-Matti is 1.3sec faster than Paddon! He's the fastest on stage so far and opens the gap back up to Esapekka overall, it's 6.0sec between the pair now. He adds: "I was not confident in the morning, I started a little bit too slow and I know I needed to improve. This stage is quite rough, there are a few rocks, on the second loop this test is going to be very rough - very hard on the cars."
Sat 10:09 - SS11: Lappi
Another close battle in the overall standings is between Lappi and Latvala. The former is the first to reach stage end - he's 3.8sec down on Paddon but can he take third position off Latvala? "I don't care, I'm still here! There are so many loose rocks, at least five I avoid. I was cautious not to push too much because then you wouldn't keep the margin to avoid them."
Sat 10:04 - SS11: Østberg
Mads was 5.5sec up on Paddon after the first stage of the morning and he just about holds onto fifth - only 0.2sec ahead now. "It was a bad stage, I didn't have a good feeling with the car. Quite a lot of understeer on the stage."
Sat 10:03 - SS11: Paddon
The Hyundai driver is flying on this stage, he's 8.8sec up. "Didn't push really, just driving to the conditions. It's just sweeping at the moment. The cars behind will be faster but our focus is on Mads. This stage is a lot drier than the last one but still a few damp patches."
Sat 10:00 - SS11: Breen
Breen immediately takes 4.8sec out of the fastest stage time as the road cleans. He tells Emyr Penlan: "Quite a big impact at the start of the stage on the front-right, I need to check it on the road section here."
Sat 09:57 - SS11: Lappi and Latvala
The most interesting battle on this stage is that of Toyota's two flying Finns. Only 0.9sec separated them going into this test and at the first split Latvala is 2.2sec up on Lappi
Sat 09:56 - SS11: Evans
Evans is through to the end now, a 17m 01.4sec is the target for everyone to aim at.
Sat 09:54 - SS11: Østberg
At the second split the Norwegian matches his Citroën team-mate but he's 3.4sec down on Paddon
Sat 09:53 - SS11: Paddon
Paddon's on a charge though, as the road gets cleaner he's going faster. 1.2sec up on Breen at the third split
Sat 09:50 - SS11: Breen
Craig is going well here, 4.2sec up on Evans at 14.51km
Sat 09:48 - SS11: Paddon
Hayden Paddon is kicking on now, 0.5sec up on Breen at the opening split
Sat 09:45 - SS11: Breen
First splits are starting to come through now and the Citroën driver is 2.2sec up
Sat 09:43 - SS11: Breen
Craig is onto the stage now, we'll see how his pace compares to Evans once he passes the first split point - 5.02km into the test
Sat 09:39 - SS11: Evans
Elfyn gets underway in the Fiesta now though, kicking up the dust on the continually drying gravel tracks.
Sat 09:37 - SS11
A bit of delay to the start of this stage
Sat 09:26 - SS11 Stage guide
But we're going to move on to the next stage quick as a flash and here's a guide to Monti Di Ala' (28.52km) - Monti di Ala’ is tackled in an identical format to last year. 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 and rocks. One of the fastest sages of the rally.
Sat 09:25 - SS10: Prokop
Martin Prokop is through now, in his previous generation Ford Fiesta RS WRC. He's one of our four privateer WRC entries for Rally Italia Sardegna
Sat 09:23 - SS10: Ciamin
Nicolas Ciamin makes it three cars through to the end in WRC 2 and the third different marque - the Frenchman is in a Hyundai i20 R5. He's 13.0sec down on Kopecký and Ciamin's gap to the Czech driver in the overall standings remains at over one minute.
Sat 09:21 - SS10: Kopecký
The Skoda is the next to complete the stage, he's 1.8sec faster on stage and he reduces the gap to Lefebvre to 12.2sec
Sat 09:19 - SS10: Lefebvre
We're onto the WRC 2 class and the first to cross the flying finish is Stéphane Lefebvre in the Citroën C3 R5.
Sat 09:18 - SS10: Mikkelsen
The last of the manufacturer WRC cars is through to the end now and Andreas can't match Tänak's time - 3.1sec down. "We just try to enjoy and learn the stages. We had used tyres on this stage so we could save tyres for the next ones so it wasn't optimal on this one."
Sat 09:15 - SS10: Suninen
Teemu Suninen is 7.9sec down on Tänak and he's 26.4sec off the Estonian in the overall standings as well. "I hope I can find a good rhythm and set good stage times today." Teemu sounds quite dejected in that car.
Sat 09:12 - SS10: Tänak
The first of our Rally2 runners is the Toyota driver and he's 1.4sec up on the fastest stage time so far. He's not aware of the mild damage to his right-side, but he's happy with his performance on the stage.
Sat 09:08 - SS10: Ogier
Ogier's slower through the stage, he's dropped 1.2sec to Neuville but the overall gap is still 17.7sec at the moment. He says: "Controlling at this point of the rally is a bit early. I was not quite sharp enough on this first stage of the morning."
Sat 09:06 - SS10: Neuville
Second-place in the overall standings, he's 1.9sec quicker than Lappi on this stage - but will that be enough to close the gap to rally leader Ogier? He's pretty satisfied after this run: "We try but tricky conditions. There was a lot of standing water in some places. We tried to keep it on the road and go as fast as we can."
Sat 09:03 - SS10: Latvala
Latvala loses time to his countryman and team-mate Lappi - the latter is just 0.9sec behind now in fourth They were split by 4.4sec at the start of the day. "He did a very good start, Esapekka is pushing hard. I had a good run but I was careful at the beginning because there were so many rocks at the start of the stage."
Sat 09:00 - SS10: Lappi
The road is really cleaning now, Lappi has just set another fastest stage time - 3.8sec up. "One mistake at the end when we got off the rallycross track - we probably lost half-a-second in the mud." He's happy with his performance - justifiably.
Sat 08:57 - SS10: Østberg
It's an improvement for Mads, he's 2.3sec faster than Paddon! The first driver to drop below the 8min barrier. "It's a good thing to beat Hayden on this stage because I think it's called New Zealand! He's normally very fast on this one. The conditions are changing quite a bit throughout the stage."
Sat 08:54 - SS10: Paddon
A great run for Paddon, at the last split he was 4.1sec faster than the M-Sport Ford driver and crossing the flying finish he's 3.8sec faster. "I enjoyed it, it is a bit muddy near the end but the conditions are nice to drive. One jump gave us a good old knock on the head but it was all okay."
Sat 08:50 - SS10: Breen
The Irishman pulls into stop control now and he's 2.5sec slower than Evans.
Sat 08:48 - SS10: Paddon
The Kiwi is going well in the i20, at the 7.46km split he's 1.8sec up on Evans
Sat 08:48 - SS10: Evans
Elfyn completes the stage now, he says: "Not too bad, but pretty tricky in some places, some big puddles of standing water in some sections. But overall OK."
Sat 08:41 - SS10: Breen
Craig Breen is also underway in the the Citroën, Scott Martin counting him down into the stage
Sat 08:38 - SS10: Evans
Elfyn puts the hammer down and he gets day two underway!
Sat 08:32 - Stage info: SS10
Coiluna - Loelle 1, 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 08:26 - Umbrella watch
It’s a beautiful day today in Sardinia - sort of what you’d expect from this rally - the sun is shining and it is warm. Hopefully no need for umbrellas today!
Sat 08:24 - Tyres:
A mixture of hard and soft choices from the crews this morning: Østberg and Neuville: 5 soft Breen and Mikkelsen: 6 soft M-Sport Ford, Paddon and Latvala: 4 soft and 1 hard Tänak: 3 hard and 2 soft Lappi: 5 soft and 1 hard
Sat 08:21 - Start list
1. Evans 2. Breen 3. Paddon 4. Østberg 5. Lappi 6. Latvala 7. Neuville 8. Ogier 9. Tänak 10. Suninen 11. Mikkelsen
Sat 08:17 - Saturday’s itinerary
There are seven stages for crews today, the longest day of the rally. On the morning there is the 14.95km Coiluna-Loelle, 28.52km Monti Di Ala’ and the 28.89km Monte Lerno. After a mid-day service, crews will tackle the 1.42km Citta’ Di Ittiri-Coros test before a short gap to the three morning stages being run again.
Sat 08:13 - WRC 2 update
Stéphane Lefebvre leads the support category in his Citroën C3 R5 after a trio of stage wins. Jan Kopecký is second after recovering from a slow start in the morning to be on the coat-tails of the Frenchman. Nicolas Ciamin is third after a clean run through the eight stages.
Sat 08:10 - Retirements update
Andreas Mikkelsen, Teemu Suninen and Ott Tänak all retired late in the afternoon yesterday and all are expected to restart under Rally2 today.
Sat 08:07 - WRC top five
Despite starting second and first on the road, Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville are 1st and 2nd in the overall standings. Jari-Matti Latvala was lacking in confidence but kept it clean to end the day third. Esapekka Lappi was pushing to his limit and he was rewarded with fourth place. Mads Østberg is fifth.
Sat 08:04 - Buongiorno!
What a day Friday turned out to be! There were retirements and incidents up and down the order to shake-up the standings. You don't want to miss anything today!
Fri 19:36 - Goodbye for now
As crews head back into the service park, the Live Text will stop for the evening. But fear not, we'll be back bright and early for SS10 tomorrow morning.
Fri 19:30 - WRC 2 standings after SS9
1. Lefebvre 1h 39m 59.8sec 2. Kopecký +14.0sec 3. Ciamin +1m 17.8sec 4. Andolfi +2m 18.0sec 5. Katsuta +2m 56.5sec
Fri 19:22 - SS9: Lefebvre
Stéphane is the fastest through the stage in WRC 2 as it stands, he's 0.3sec up
Fri 19:21 - SS9: Loubet
Pierre-Louis Loubet has lost pace after the final split (where he was 17.7sec down) as he's broken the timing beam at the flying finish 54.6sec slower than Kopecký
Fri 19:18 - SS9: Veiby
Ole Christian looks to have had an issue out on stage he's 50.0sec down at the final split and he's 1m 06.3sec off the pace at the finish
Fri 19:16 - SS9: WRC 2
Our WRC 2 competitors are rounding out their days, Jan Kopecký sets the benchmark time. Pieniazek is 9.9sec down and Katsuta losing 16.9sec
Fri 19:13 - WRC standings after SS9
Changes to the top five with both Tänak and Suninen stopping on stage. 1. Ogier 1h 35m 56.9sec 2. Neuville +18.9sec 3. Latvala +37.2sec 4. Lappi +41.6sec 5. Østberg +58.3sec
Fri 19:11 - SS9: Paddon
Hayden finishes things off the for the manufacturer WRC entries, he was quicker at the opening split but he's lost time as the stage goes on. He pulls into stop control 4.0sec down. He says: "Difficult to force the issue today. Nothings really clicking. It is just being sensible this situation, bringing it home and starting again tomorrow."
Fri 19:08 - SS9: Østberg
Mads is close to Latvala's benchmark, he was quicker in the two initial splits but he's just dropped back somewhat. He's just 1.1sec down at the end of the stage - matching Ogier's and Lappi's time. "We put the soft tyres, no questions, just tried to enjoyed the stage. I had to try and get a good road position for tomorrow."
Fri 19:03 - SS9: Suninen
Safety marshals are coming to the car now, but it looks firmly embeded in the bushes and down a bank.
Fri 19:02 - SS9: Breen
Breen's set a strong time on this final stage, just 4.1sec down on Latvala in the Citroën. A tyre pressure alarm has gone off in the car according to Scott Martin. "It's tricky, tricky day. I was able to push on a little bit but still a fair bit of work to do. No stalls on this one either."
Fri 19:00 - SS9: Suninen
Suninen's off the road! The onboard camera is full of bushes. Replay shows he runs wide in a right-hander and that hooks the back of the car and sends him off.
Fri 18:59 - SS9: Latvala
Jari-Matti looks like he's got his confidence back, he's fastest through this stage - 1.1sec up. Smiles on the faces of him and Miikka and at the end of this one: "My microphone is broken! I had a big push for the last one, I had a little moment but kept full throttle. I have to thank Ott for telling us about the damage after the jump, that assisted us."
Fri 18:56 - SS9: Evans
Elfyn finishes his day now, 2.7sec down on the fastest stage time. "All fine. Doing what we have to do. It is a bit frustrating for sure not to be fighting. Pace this morning was good, but it doesn't mean anything when you have damage."
Fri 18:53 - SS9: Lappi
Esapekka is strong on the closing sections of this test, 1.2sec up at the 5.24km split but ends up matching Ogier's time. "Good, good. We weren't able to match on the previous stages, I was driving on the edge of the grip. I made some changes to the suspension and it feels good. I saw Ott and it looks like some smoke is coming from the bonnet."
Fri 18:48 - SS9: Tänak
Replays show a very nose heavy landing after a jump. That looks like it has caused quite a bit of front-end damage to the car.
Fri 18:48 - SS9: Tänak
He's stopped at the side of the stage, 8.6km in. The Estonian looks like he's looking under the bonnet of his Yaris.
Fri 18:47 - SS9: Ogier
Sébastien has taken advantage of Neuville's slow stage, he puts a time 8.4sec faster than the Belgian on the board. The gap between the pair in the overall standings is now 18.9sec in Ogier's favour. "It's been a good afternoon, it wasn't easy with the conditions on the first stage with the fog and the slippiness. I was perhaps more in attack mode compared to this morning."
Fri 18:44 - SS9: Neuville
Neuville completes his day now, looks like there is some front damage as well. He explains further: "I was struggling with the handling at the beginning. I put on a new front-right and rear-left tyre before this stage and I think the height difference between the tyres unsettled it. I think I have lost quite a bit of time."
Fri 18:43 - SS9: Tänak
Three cars into the stage, the most recent of which is that of the Estonian and he's fastest through the splits - 0.8sec up on the second split.
Fri 18:42 - SS9: Neuville
A replay of how Neuville lost his rear-wing shows he ran wide in a right-hander and hit some of the surroundings.
Fri 18:40 - SS9: Ogier
The rally leader is on the stage and at the first split he's gained some time on Neuville - he's level with Neuville at the 3.03km marker.
Fri 18:40 - SS9: Neuville
An overshoot for Neuville - he runs wide at a junction and he's missing his rear-wing but that looks to have been before this overshoot.
Fri 18:36 - SS9: Neuville
He's very wide in the opening section in the mine, great for the spectators but it must be costing him time!
Fri 18:34 - SS9: Neuville
Delay over, Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul get things underway now.
Fri 18:31 - SS9: Neuville
Bit of delay before we get things underway for the second run of Monte Baranta
Fri 18:12 - WRC 2 standings after SS8
1. Lefebvre 1h 31m 34.8sec 2. Kopecký +13.7sec 3. Ciamin +1m 12.3sec 4. Andolfi +2m 10.8sec 5. Loubet +2m 36.2sec
Fri 18:10 - SS8: Loubet
Loubet has been given a 10 second penalty for checking into TC8 1min late. He's fifth overall, but only 3.1sec ahead of Takamoto Katsuta
Fri 18:08 - SS8: Ciamin
Nicolas comes close to toppling the stage winner, but he can't quite do it, the i20 R5 driver loses 3.4sec on SS8
Fri 18:04 - SS8: Lefebvre
The Frenchman is the next to finish and he can't claim his third stage win of the day - he's 2.7sec down on Kopecký
Fri 18:01 - SS8: Loubet
The Hyundai driver goes through the stage third quickest in WRC 2, 7.1sec slower than the leader.
Fri 18:01 - SS8: Veiby
It is suspension issues afflicting Ole Christian Veiby according to his Twitter and it's cost him time again as he finishes 56.0sec down on his team-mate
Fri 17:57 - SS8: Katsuta
The Toyota development driver finishes the penultimate stage of Friday 20.8sec down.
Fri 17:54 - SS8: Pieniazek
The Pole has regained the speed he lost from SS7 - where he was hampered with a puncture - and he's just 2.1sec down on Kopecký who has set the benchmark WRC 2 time.
Fri 17:53 - WRC standings after SS8
1. Ogier 1h 27m 48.6sec 2. Neuville +10.5sec 3. Tänak +16.2sec 4. Suninen +34.7sec 5. Latvala +38.3sec
Fri 17:51 - SS8: Paddon
New Zealand's finest has just finished and he's 9.3sec slower than Neuville who takes the stage win. Paddon shakes his head on the way to stop control and adds: "It is just impossible to choose the right tyres. A hard tyre should work in here all the time but it seems like everything we've done today is wrong."
Fri 17:48 - SS8: Østberg
Mads makes it to the end and he is the slowest through the stage - 12.2sec deficit to Neuville. He tells Colin Clark: "I'm not happy. I just feel stupid to do the same mistake two times. Same tyres as before, same information and the same mistake. It does not feel so good."
Fri 17:45 - SS8: Suninen
There's been no splits for Suninen on this stage apart from the first two - he was 1.6sec down at the second - and he has finished 3.0sec off the pace. He says: "That last one was okay, I was saving the tyres but I saved too much because the end of the stage was wet and it didn't affect the tyres too much. So I lost a few seconds."
Fri 17:42 - SS8: Breen
Craig Breen getting instruction by Scott Martin as he reaches the end of the stage 10.7sec down. "I put the hards on there again because we didn't have anything to lose really but it is still wet and damp in there. Not the day we wanted." A very frustrated Craig Breen at the end.
Fri 17:39 - SS8: Latvala
Three Toyotas complete SS8 and Latvala does it 2.8sec slower than Neuville. "I pushed like a swear word and the time is not good, I'm not happy. I don't know why the speed isn't coming. I had one hard tyre as I didn't want to push all the softs." Note - he did say 'swear word'!
Fri 17:36 - SS8: Evans
There's a bit of gap between Lappi and Evans because of Mikkelsen stopping on the previous stage. However, he's through to stage end now and he's 5.6sec down. "There's nothing wrong, but when you're 13min down what do you do? We need to be here and get to the end of the rally to be a safeguard for manufacturers points and learn the new stages," Lappi explains.
Fri 17:30 - SS8: Lappi
Two Toyotas in a row at stage end as Esapekka completes the penultimate test of the day. He's 4.5sec down on the fastest time. He speaks to Colin Clark: "I thought this went well, I was really clean but the time is really bad. It is difficult to find the perfect speed it seems."
Fri 17:27 - SS8: Tänak
Tänak has lost a bit of time on this stage, he crosses the flying finish 1.6sec down on Neuville. "What can we do? We do our best but that is how it is for the moment. I don't know why we are losing speed, there is always a reason for something."
Fri 17:24 - SS8: Ogier
Ogier completes now and he was level with Neuville at the final split but has lost 0.4sec at the finish. It was a gear selection issue for the M-Sport Ford driver: "So far it is a good loop, just had a issue with the shifting on this stage. Don't know what is causing it."
Fri 17:21 - SS8: Neuville
Thierry Neuville comes through to the stop control for this stage. He says: "Not so easy, this stage is quite abrasive, I tried to do this loop with not as many softs so we have more for the rest of the weekend. Maybe I was too cautious with the driving."
Fri 17:18 - SS8: Ogier
Onto the Tergu-Osilo stage and Ogier is on a charge once again, at the third split he's 0.9sec faster than Neuville
Fri 17:14 - SS7: Lefebvre
The Citroën Racing driver is really showing everyone what the C3 R5 can do, he's faster through all the sectors and he sets the fastest time on the stage, 2.6sec up.
Fri 17:13 - SS7: Loubet
Pierre-Louis goes second on the stage now as the Hyundai driver drops 11.1sec.
Fri 17:12 - SS7: Veiby
The second Skoda Motorsport driver has set a time now, and it's 1m 29.8sec down on Kopecký - it looks like he's suffering from the issue that hit him on SS6.
Fri 17:09 - SS7: Katsuta
Takamoto also finishes this test, the Toyota development driver is 13.2sec off the leading WRC 2 pace
Fri 17:07 - SS7: Pieniazek
Lukasz is finishing the stage now and it looks like he's got troubles with a tyre, that's put him 1m 16.6sec down on Kopecký at the finish
Fri 17:05 - SS8 stage guide
We'll be jumping between SS7 and SS8 as our WRC 2 cars finish the former and the WRC cars start the latter. Here's a guide to Tergu-Osilo: Tergu - Osilo 2, 14.14km The penultimate test of the loop is fast, wide and smooth on hard-packed bedrock, with plenty of loose stones. 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 line is key – and one in which Kris Meeke rolled out of the lead last year.
Fri 17:04 - WRC standings after SS7
1. Ogier 1h 18m 54.7sec 2. Neuville +10.9sec 3. Tänak +15.0sec 4. Suninen +32.1sec 5. Latvala +35.9sec
Fri 17:02 - SS7: Paddon
The second Hyundai to make it to the end is that of Hayden Paddon and he's the slowest through the stage - 15.6sec down
Fri 17:00 - SS7: Østberg
The second C3 pulls into stage end 11.2sec slower than Suninen.
Fri 16:55 - SS7: Suninen
He managed to overhaul his team-mate! He's 1.9sec up on Ogier at the finish
Fri 16:54 - SS7: Suninen
Teemu on the otherhand is looking pretty good here, he's 2.2sec up at the penultimate split.
Fri 16:53 - SS7: Breen
Craig was up on the splits early in the stage but he's lost a bit of time now thanks to an overshoot at the 13.3km mark, he was 1.9sec down on Ogier at the final split and he reaches the flying finish 13.0sec down. Such a shame for the Citroën driver
Fri 16:51 - SS7: Latvala
Jari-Matti reaches the end of the stage and he's got a deficit of 6.1sec to the fastest stage time.
Fri 16:49 - SS7: Suninen
A good opening split for Suninen - he's 0.8sec up on Ogier at the first split and 2.3sec faster at the next
Fri 16:48 - SS7: Evans
Elfyn Evans puts a time of his own onto the board now, 10.5sec down on his team-mate.
Fri 16:44 - SS7: Lappi
Esapekka is through to stage end now, and the time he's logged is 7.0sec slower than Ogier's.
Fri 16:44 - SS7: Mikkelsen
We're onboard with Mikkelsen now and he has stopped, he's half spun and can't seem to get going again. He's reversed off the rallying line but can't get going again. Could it be an escalation of his gearbox issue? Looks like there has been a small fire to a hay bale - he was resting on it and the exhaust has set it alight
Fri 16:41 - SS7: Mikkelsen
Curse of the Live Texter, Mikkelsen has stopped at 10.0km
Fri 16:39 - SS7: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen has reportedly lost second gear in his Hyundai but he is still setting competitive split times, he's only 1.8sec slower than Ogier at the 7.4km split.
Fri 16:38 - SS7: Tänak
Tänak can't jump above Neuville in the overall times, he was 0.1sec behind the Belgian at the start of this stage and he's now 4.1sec down. He's also 6.4sec down on Ogier's fastest stage time.
Fri 16:36 - SS7: Ogier
The Frenchman clocks a stage time 2.4sec faster than Neuville - that's good for his overall lead, the gap is 10.9sec now to the Hyundai driver in third.
Fri 16:34 - SS7: Neuville
The Belgian reaches stop control now, 10m 39.1sec is the time on the board.
Fri 16:31 - SS7: Tänak
We're getting actual dust trails from the gravel track now as the sun shines down on this Castelsardo stage. Tänak is kicking up that dust but he's 1.0sec down on Ogier at the 4.64km split.
Fri 16:29 - SS7: Ogier
He was level at the first split, but he's 0.3sec up at the second. The five-time world champion is up to pace this afternoon
Fri 16:27 - SS7: Ogier
Ogier has passed the timing beam at the 2.48km split and he's matched Neuville's opening time.
Fri 16:24 - WRC 2 standings after SS6
1. Lefebvre 1h 11m 05.5sec 2. Kopecký +13.8sec 3. Veiby +49.8sec 4. Ciamin +1m 03.8sec 5. Andolfi +2m 02.3sec
Fri 16:22 - SS7: Neuville
The Belgian does now get underway
Fri 16:20 - SS7
There is a bit of a delay at the moment, the stage will be getting underway at 16.21
Fri 16:17 - SS7: Neuville
Has everyone recovered from Tula? Good. Because the second run of Castelsardo is about to go live!
Fri 16:10 - SS6: Guerra and Ciamin
Two more of our WRC 2 cars through to the end. Guerra is 1m 12.1sec off Kopecký's stage winning time and Ciamin is 30.2sec behind
Fri 16:07 - SS6: Andolfi
Andolfi had stopped earlier but he's got going again and he's crossed the timing line at the flying finish - 1m 35.1sec down.
Fri 16:04 - SS6: Lefebvre
Stéphane appears to have avoided the issues which have struck his rivals - he's only 9.4sec down at stage end and he's now up to the lead of WRC 2.
Fri 16:03 - SS6: Loubet
Loubet has lost time as well, he's 2m 02.5sec down on the class leader.
Fri 16:02 - SS6: Veiby
Despite his problem he's reached the finish 1m 03.7sec down on team-mate Kopecký.
Fri 16:00 - SS6: Veiby
Issues for Veiby! All Live onboard shows an issue for the Skoda Motorsport driver, not sure what it is exactly at the moment
Fri 15:59 - SS6: Katsuta
Takamoto Katsuta has crossed the timing line at the finish and he's 1m 07.8sec slower. He's overtaken Pieniazek on the stage, who has just crossed the line 3m 42.7sec down.
Fri 15:55 - SS6: Kopecký
Jan Kopecký is the first WRC 2 car to reach stage end and he does it in a 20m 13.5sec
Fri 15:54 - SS6: Andolfi
Fabio Andolfi has stopped 9.4km into the stage.
Fri 15:53 - WRC standings after SS6
All change after that challenging stage. 1. Ogier 1h 08m 18.0sec 2. Mikkelsen +3.5sec 3. Neuville +8.5sec 4. Tänak +8.6sec 5. Latvala +29.8sec
Fri 15:53 - SS6: Paddon
Hayden is the last manufacturer entry through to the end and he's minimised his time loss, only 22.6sec down on Ogier. He adds: "It's not nice to drive at all! I'm just happy to finish this stage, irrelevant of what the time is. We overshot at one junction and had to reverse back."
Fri 15:50 - SS6: Østberg
Østberg is through now, he was 'only' 27.4sec down at the final split - not bad considering how the conditions have affected others - and he pulls into stop control 31.6sec off the pace. He wipes the sweat off his brow and comments: "I don't think it's helping to be at the back! I don't know what to say, it is very tricky conditions and difficult to judge the speed. Sometimes it feels like you are walking through the stage, and it is a long walk!"
Fri 15:47 - SS6: Suninen
Teemu comes through and he tries his best to set a good time, but the conditions have limited him quite a bit and he's 34.1sec down on his fellow Fiesta driver. "The downhill slow section in the mud, I was struggling so much with the driving. The car is fine and it is working well - as we saw with Seb's times."
Fri 15:44 - SS6: Breen
The sun is out for the Irishman, but it's still too early for that to have made any impact on the state of the gravel track. He's the slowest through 43.7sec off the pace after reported issues earlier in the stage. He elaborates on that time loss: "Not an off, three times it stalled. I pulled the f****** handbrake and it kept stalling. It happened last night in the Super Special and it is very frustrating. Apologies for the language but..."
Fri 15:41 - SS6: Latvala
Latvala finishes now and he's 26.8sec down on Ogier - the road getting a lot worse it seems as more cars take to it. "It was so slippy at the end, I lost the confidence. There were some nasty brakings and I lost the confidence in the mud. It was my mistake." Can't blame him for a lack of confidence in this weather.
Fri 15:38 - SS6: Evans
Evans finishes SS6 and he's 35.6sec slower than his team-mate. "If you want to be safe you have to drive so slowly." The conditions are really making their presence known to all the WRC drivers.
Fri 15:35 - SS6: Mikkelsen
After his overshoot earlier, Mikkelsen has broken the timing beam at the finish. His car doesn't sound too good though - the gearbox sounds like it is giving him problems. He's 26.5sec down. He says: "Not easy at the moment, we'll see what we can do." He doesn't elaborate on a potential gearbox issue.
Fri 15:32 - SS6: Lappi
Esapekka is 12.2sec down on Ogier at the end of this stage, he has lost a lot of time at the final split, he was only 2.9sec down at the 14.64km mark. "It is crazy, so muddy. The tyres are blocked, they are full of mud. A lot of sailing." Sounds like it was a challenging one for the Finn
Fri 15:30 - SS6: Breen
Getting reports of an off for Craig Breen at the 8.5km mark but he's managed to continue.
Fri 15:28 - SS6: Tänak
Toyota's first driver is through to stage end, 15.2sec down on Ogier. He tells Colin Clark: "That's how it is. No problems, all good." He's not revealing much at all.
Fri 15:25 - SS6: Ogier
The Fiesta driver passes the flying finish and he's 17.5sec faster than Neuville - capitalising on the Belgian's spin. Ogier has passed him in the overall standings as well. "No mistakes but it is not possible to push. It is slippery. I saw the line of Neuville, it looked like he hit a bank but no damage to his car it seems."
Fri 15:23 - SS6: Neuville
Thierry is through to the end of the stage now, let's see what he has to say at stop control: "Really tough, too much standing water. I had so much water on the lines. I had a spin, I had to reverse. I was maybe not committed enough and then you start making small mistakes." That explains Ogier's good split times - a spin for Neuville.
Fri 15:19 - SS6: Mikkelsen
A sign of how tricky the conditions are, Andreas Mikkelsen has had an overshoot going into a tight left-hander
Fri 15:17 - SS6: Ogier
It may look more like Wales Rally GB rather than Rally Italia Sardegna but the M-Sport Ford driver is a mega 15.5sec up on Neuville 14.64km into Tula
Fri 15:15 - SS6: Lappi
Lappi has made a bright start to this test, he's only 0.6sec down on Neuville at the 4.9km timing line
Fri 15:12 - SS6: Ogier
Ogier reaches the second split and he's 4.0sec up on Neuville at the 9.91km mark.
Fri 15:11 - SS6: Ogier and Tänak
Seb and Ott are both well into the stage now, and at the first split Tänak is 1.5sec slower than Neuville - no time for the Frenchman at the moment
Fri 15:08 - SS6: Neuville
Not surprising considering the conditions, but the splits are slower than this morning. Neuville is almost 9sec slower at the 4.9km split than he was when Tula was run as SS2. A sign of how tricky the conditions have become.
Fri 15:03 - SS6
Pictures coming in from WRC TV crews show a lot of standing water on the stage. This will be exciting!
Fri 15:03 - Tyres for this afternoon
Citroën and Paddon: 4 soft and 2 hard. M-Sport Ford: 5 soft. Neuville, Mikkelsen, Tänak, Lappi: 6 soft. Latvala: 5 soft and 1 hard.
Fri 15:01 - SS6: Neuville
And we're off for another four stages this afternoon as Thierry Neuville puts his foot down and powers the i20 onto the stage
Fri 14:55 - Weather watch SS6 edition
It looks like it is going to be a wet one, videos are coming in from WRC TV crews out on the stage who are currently ‘enjoying’ quite heavy rain. There's also reduced visibility as well.
Fri 14:51 - WRC 3 standings after SS5
Four WRC 3 cars on the rally this weekend and it is J WRC competitor Jean-Baptiste Franceschi who leads the way. 1. Franceschi 57m 32.2sec 2. Lario +35.3sec 3. Brazzoli +2m 19.8sec 4. Cook +5m 30.8sec
Fri 14:46 - Ciao!
And welcome back to coverage of Rally Italia Sardegna. We're just about ready for the afternoon loop, which starts in approximately 15 minutes.
Fri 12:56 - Lunch break
While we wait for SS6 - the second run of Tula - we'll be pausing the Live Text but we'll be back before the scheduled stage start at 15.01 local rally time.
Fri 12:54 - WRC 2 standings after SS5
1. Veiby 50m 38.1sec 2. Lefebvre +4.5sec 3. Loubet +19.5sec 4. Kopecký +27.7sec 5. Andolfi +41.1sec
Fri 12:52 - SS5: Lefebvre
Bit of a delay getting a time through for Lefebvre but he's the fastest of anyone through the stage - 3.7sec up on Veiby through the stage and only 4.5sec behind the Norwegian now in class.
Fri 12:43 - SS5: Andolfi
The local hero has put in a great time on this test, just 2.6sec down on Veiby.
Fri 12:40 - SS5: Arai
Drama for Arai, he's stopped at the 6.3km mark
Fri 12:37 - SS5: Loubet
The SS2 stage winner can't show the same sort of pace on this stage, he's 12.1sec down on Veiby.
Fri 12:35 - SS5: Veiby
Ole Christian Veiby knocks his Skoda team-mate off the top of the stage standings - he's 1.1sec up.
Fri 12:33 - SS5: Kopecký and Pieniazek
Pieniazek can't take the upper-hand on fellow Fabia driver Kopecký as he finishes the morning 13.6sec down on the Czech on SS5.
Fri 12:30 - WRC standings after SS5
1. Mikkelsen 48m 31.0sec 2. Neuville +14.0sec 3. Tänak +16.4sec 4. Suninen +22.9sec 5. Ogier +23.0sec
Fri 12:28 - SS5: Paddon
Paddon is the last of our manufacturer entries to push his way through the flying finish and he's 10.7sec slower. "We were hoping for a bit more sun. It's difficult at the moment but we'll see. The weather is very changeable at the moment so it is difficult to see what this afternoon will bring."
Fri 12:25 - SS5: Østberg
The second C3 to reach stop control is that of Mads Østberg. He finishes the stage with a 7.9sec deficit to Neuville and he's lost a place to Latvala in the overall standings. He's seventh at the moment. "If you look compared to the guys around me the time is not so bad. The conditions are not so good. Some good stages - we made a mistake on tyre choice in the last one - but I thought this one was alright."
Fri 12:22 - SS5: Suninen
Teemu weaves his way through the gravel track and he 7.3sec on the slower side compared to Neuville's surely stage winning time. He says: "It's been a good morning. On the slow sections I still need to improve the driving. Not sure if I can change it in a half-an-hour service but it does need to improve!"
Fri 12:19 - SS5: Breen
The Irishman powers through the finish and he's 11.0sec down in the Citroën C3. "A couple of big jumps kind of threw me off in a few places but it wasn't so bad. We put on the hards in the last stage which was a bit stupid with the rain."
Fri 12:16 - SS5: Latvala
Latvala and Anttila - the latter competing in his 200th WRC event - complete the fifth stage 5.1sec behind Neuville, fourth fastest on this test and fifth as it stands on the overall times. "More confidence definitely, confidence is better but conditions are not typical Sardinia. It is not the easiest condition to drive on, there is no benefit to road position, it would have been better to start at the front."
Fri 12:13 - SS5: Evans
The M-Sport Ford driver completes the morning loop, 12.3sec down on Neuville - the slowest car through to the end of Monte Baranta. "To be honest it's not being driving too bad. It's just pretty difficult when you don't have a massive amount to fight for."
Fri 12:10 - SS5: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen can't beat Neuville, but he is third fastest on the stage - 4.2sec down. He's got a smile on his face pulling into stop control. "It was very muddy in the beginning. Losing at the start but it was better at the end. Plan for this afternoon will be determined by the conditions, I'm feeling really comfortable at the moment so let's keep this pace going."
Fri 12:07 - SS5: Lappi
Esapekka Lappi is the next to greet Emyr Penlan at stage end, he's finished the stage 10.2sec down on Neuville's marker. "It's not easy. It's not easy. We can improve, I'm struggling but I don't know why to be honest. Let's see what we can do for this afternoon, maybe I will take two spares, it could be a good choice." Not a happy Esapekka in that Yaris
Fri 12:04 - SS5: Tänak
The Estonian passes the flying finish now and he's 6.4sec off the pace - he's lost quite a bit of time after the final split. He was level with Ogier at 8.03km. He says: "What can I say? It's tight and not so easy. Not really satisfied, it is much more satisfying if the feeling is good."
Fri 12:01 - SS5: Ogier
Ogier's through to stop control now, 3.0sec down. "I try what I can. The tyre choice was right, definitely." Short and sweet from Seb.
Fri 11:58 - SS5: Neuville
He's clear of the stage now, an 8m 12.8sec for him. His splits are faster than Ogier and Tänak though. "I'm pushing very hard, in the last couple of stages there were a few moments so maybe I need to calm down a little bit."
Fri 11:57 - Retirement update
While we wait for Neuville to finish the stage, just two retirements to note from the WRC category - Yazeed Al Rahji and 'Piano' are both listed as mechanical retirements.
Fri 11:53 - SS5: Ogier
Ogier is tackling the stage now as he handbrake turns his way round the mining machinery. He's 1.4sec down on Neuville at the 1.9km split
Fri 11:48 - SS5: Neuville
Thierry Neuville gets the final stage of the morning loop underway now as the glorious engine noise of his Hyundai i20 filling the mine.
Fri 11:43 - WRC standings after SS4
Top 10 #jumpinginthedust #AnonimoWatches
Fri 11:41 - SS5 stage guide
Monte Baranta 1, 11.46km A new version of Monte Baranta, the opening kilometre of which runs inside the Olmedo mine with jumps and great viewing for fans in a purpose-built arena. It links back to the more familiar route and covers some sections used in Thursday’s shakedown.
Fri 11:41 - WRC 2 standings after SS4
1. Veiby 41m 55.5sec 2. Arai +3.6sec 3. Loubet +7.4sec 4. Lefebvre +8.2sec 5. Kopecký +26.6sec
Fri 11:32 - SS4: WRC 2
The pair can't better Veiby's time, Arai is 3.7sec down while Loubet is 6.0sec slower. Meanwhole, Lefebvre has come into the stop control, 4.0sec down.
Fri 11:26 - SS4: Veiby
Ole Christian does go faster, by 7.7sec to be exact but crews behind aren't that far off through the splits so he could see that his time bettered.
Fri 11:23 - SS4: WRC 2
Lukasz Pieniazek is the fastest WRC 2 entry so far, he's 3.6sec up on Kopecký but Veiby's splits are looking pretty good at the 8.76km split - he's 4.6sec faster than the Pole.
Fri 11:20 - WRC standings after SS4
Tänak is up to second now after a stage win on SS4. 1. Mikkelsen 40m 14.0sec 2. Tänak +14.2sec 3. Neuville +18.2sec 4. Suninen +19.8sec 5. Ogier +24.2sec
Fri 11:19 - SS4: Paddon
The Kiwi is through now and he can't match the stage winning time, finishing 6.2sec down. "It is too damp for us this morning, we had to put our two hard tyres on for this one otherwise we would have had nothing left for the next one."
Fri 11:16 - SS4: Østberg
Bit of a struggle for the Norwegian on this one - he had balance issues on the last stage - did those problems continue? He's 7.5sec slower as he reaches stop control. "I had a little mistake with the tyre, we expected it to be dry. We fitted some hard tyres but the stage was wet - it was raining - so it was a bad choice."
Fri 11:13 - SS4: Suninen
Hot on Breen's heels is Teemu Suninen, he was good through the splits and he completes the test just 2.6sec down. "It was a decent run, there were places I could drive a little faster but it is the first time here in a World Rally Car. There are no corners with first or second gear so this stage is easier for me!"
Fri 11:11 - SS4: Breen
He was third quickest on SS3, but it doesn't look like he'll replicate that this time - he's 7.5sec down on Tänak, eighth fastest on the stage.
Fri 11:07 - SS4: Latvala
Jari-Matti makes it three Toyotas to finish the stage, 2.4sec off the pace. The Finn explains his slightly slower pace: "I'm driving to a speed which is safe and no risk at the moment. I know I can lift up the speed when I get more self-confidence and then it will get a little easier."
Fri 11:05 - SS4: Evans
Just an update on Elfyn - he's 2.8sec down on Tänak
Fri 11:04 - SS4: Evans
He's clipped a bridge with the right-side of his Fiesta at the 2.5km mark, but that doesn't seem to have caused Evans any problems as he pulls into stage end. No time through for him yet. He tells Colin Clark: "Definitely not the plan at all this morning. But it's done now and we need to use it as an event to learn things and keep learning the things we've been working on."
Fri 11:01 - SS4: Mikkelsen
The fastest man so far this morning in the second of the i20s, he's not as fast as Tänak on this one though but he's only 1.4sec down and he retains his lead in the overall standings - 14.2sec over Ott as it stands. "We knew that this stage would suit the Toyota better being more fast and flowing. The car is doing what I'm saying which is really nice."
Fri 10:58 - SS4: Lappi
Esapekka dives through the finish line now, 5.5sec down. He comments: "It's been difficult..." Oh dear, he cuts out before he can finish that thought.
Fri 10:55 - SS4: Tänak
Good pace for Tänak, he finishes the stage 3.9sec faster than anyone! The only driver so far to break the 9min barrier. "A good run, what can I say? It is a faster road. I don't think the issues are set-up, it is something I need to work out with the diffs I guess."
Fri 10:52 - SS4: Ogier
Ogier was fastest through every split bar the last one - he's 0.1sec slower at the timing line 11.19km into the stage. However, he reaches stop control 0.2sec faster than Neuville! "Quite a same time! I didn't understand on the last one why we were so slow so we need to figure that out. I don't know why my car is wetter and muddier than Neuville's, that's a good question!"
Fri 10:49 - SS4: Neuville
Neuville is a bit wild at the end of the stage, sliding slightly off the road after the flying finish! How did he find that? "Same approach as the other stages, but there were more big stones on the road. We tried hard but we know we need to stay calm to be in a good position tonight for a good start tomorrow."
Fri 10:45 - SS4: Ogier
Back on SS4 and Ogier has put his foot down. At the first split - 2.67km in - he's 1.0sec up on Neuville.
Fri 10:43 - SS3: Arai
Hiroki Arai - in a Tommi Mäkinen Racing Fiesta R5 - is the fastest through SS3. He's 0.2sec up on Kopecký
Fri 10:42 - SS4: Ogier
Dark clouds are stalking the crews on this stage as Sébastien Ogier goes all guns blazing into SS4.
Fri 10:41 - SS3: Loubet
Pierre-Louis Loubet, winner of the day's opening stage - can't claim a win on this one - he's 3.7sec down on Kopecký in his Hyundai
Fri 10:39 - SS4: Neuville
We're going at a breathless pace in Sardinia this morning - Neuville is already onto SS4 - Tergu-Osilo. There were reports of heavy rain on stage earlier so this could be a mixed bag in terms of conditions
Fri 10:37 - SS3: WRC 2
WRC 2 cars are filtering through the stage end, Kopecký is the pace setter at the moment - he's 11.4sec up on Pieniazek and 22.8sec faster than Katsuta
Fri 10:33 - WRC standings after SS3
1. Mikkelsen 31m 14.2sec 2. Neuville +15.5sec 3. Tänak +15.6sec 4. Suninen +18.6sec 5. Østberg +18.8sec
Fri 10:31 - SS3: Paddon
Paddon completes the stage now, the last of the manufacturer entries - he's 6.4sec off the stage winning pace. "This stage was better, the conditions didn't quite work to our strategy - we couldn't use the two spare tyres so we're just carrying round extra weight."
Fri 10:29 - SS3: Østberg
Mads is the next to go through the finish, he's dropped a few places in the overall standings - down to fifth as it stands. "I struggled a bit with the balance in here, the car is moving quite a lot and I couldn't get a nice rhythm. I was fighting the car a lot in the corners." That's annoying for him, he was on a charge during the first stage of the day.
Fri 10:26 - SS3: Suninen
The M-Sport Ford driver is close to Mikkelsen's pace, he's only 0.8sec off the Norwegian's time! He's still quite hard on himself though: "It was a good run, but still disappointment that I can't drive on first and second gear - that's where I need to improve my driving. Need to focus on the next stage now."
Fri 10:23 - SS3: Breen
Good time for Breen through this one, he was quicker than Mikkelsen at the second split but lost a bit of time in the second half of the stage. However, he's second fastest through - just 3.3sec slower. He tells co-driver Scott Martin that he felt a bang on the right-side after a jump as they pull into stop control. He doesn't elaborate on that at stage end though "Mediocre. Just tried to calm it down on the junctions. I'd never done that stage before so it was important just to go through it and learn it."
Fri 10:20 - SS3: Latvala
The Finn flashes through the flying finish and he pulls into stop control 12.6sec down on Mikkelsen - sixth fastest through the stage. "This was not going well for us. It felt very slippy and I couldn't get the grip. I though I was doing okay but the time isn't very good. This is a long rally we have to remember though."
Fri 10:17 - SS3: Evans
Elfyn is looking to fight back after his SS2 issues, he's 10.8sec down at the final split and completes the stage 11.5sec slower. How was the stage for him? "It is difficult when you lose so much time to push for that last bit. Obviously the car isn't 100% so we need to get it back to service for a proper check over."
Fri 10:13 - SS3: Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen is on the pace in this one as well! 2.8sec faster than anyone through the 14.37km test. He says: "It was a clean stage, some new parts added this year which were quite narrow and tricky. I'm happy so far. With six soft tyres at least I don't have to think."
Fri 10:11 - SS3: Lappi
Esapekka has lost quite a bit of time throigh the stage, he was 10.2sec down on his team-mate at the 9.58km split and crossing the finish line he's 12.6sec slower than Tänak. "We got a puncture on the first stage and I drove it on, now we only have four tyres. There's a lot of rocks so we need to be in the middle of the road." Oh dear, a puncture on SS2 has forced Lappi to be more cautious.
Fri 10:08 - SS3: Tänak
The Toyota driver is also through to stage end and he's 1.5sec up on Neuville - the fastest stage time so far. He's also now just 0.1sec behind Neuville in the overall standings. "This one was a bit drier so maybe some cleaning will happen. We had quite a bit of understeer before now but it is improved a bit." He's made some tweaks between stages and it looks to have paid off.
Fri 10:04 - SS3: Ogier
Sébastien was 4.0sec down at the final split and he comes through the flying finish 4.8sec down on the Belgian. "Not a good split then? I expected also the road to be cleaning but at the end not really."
Fri 10:02 - SS3: Neuville
Neuville finishes the stage now, a 10m 47.6sec benchmark for the other crews to aim at. He tells Emyr Penlan: "I pushed much harder on this one, the first one was tricky being first on the road with it being wet in places. This one I pushed more and it was consistent. This stage was much drier than the first one, but towards the end it was getting quite slippy."
Fri 09:58 - SS3: Tänak
Ott is well into the stage and at the 2.48km split he's 1.0sec up on Neuville and at the 4.64km split he's 1.2sec up!
Fri 09:54 - SS3: Ogier
At the first split though, he is 1.3sec down on the Belgian
Fri 09:53 - SS3: Ogier
Ogier releases the handbrake and powers onto the stage, he's 1.7sec behind Østberg in second - can he make up any places?
Fri 09:49 - SS3: Neuville
Thierry, currently third in the overall times, gets our second stage of the day underway now
Fri 09:46 - SS3 weather
It could be a drier run through Castelsardo, Emyr Penlan at stage end is enjoying a bit of Italian sunshine!
Fri 09:45 - WRC 2 standings after SS2
1. Lefebvre 21m 21.9sec 2. Loubet +0.2sec 3. Veiby +1.0sec 4. Arai +2.6sec 5. Tempestini +6.6sec
Fri 09:41 - SS3 stage guide
As we wait for the rest of our WRC 2 crews to finish SS2, let's take a look at what SS3 has to offer. Castelsardo 1, 14.37km Castelsardo returns after a year’s absence with changes to both the beginning and end. It’s narrow and technical at the start before switching from gravel at 4.60km for a 1.70km asphalt section. After a series of dips and compressions, the test changes character as a steep uphill climb through hairpin bends on a stony road leads to the finale. It’s a hard and compact surface, which at times becomes rocky.
Fri 09:37 - SS2: Lefebvre
Lefebvre has lost time towards the end of the stage, he was green through all the splits but eventually finishes 1.6sec down on Loubet. Hiroki Arai is also through to stage end and he's 1.7sec off the pace.
Fri 09:33 - SS2: Loubet
Times are continuing to fall in WRC 2, Pierre-Louis Loubet is fastest through now - 3.5sec up on the rest of the category
Fri 09:32 - WRC standings after SS2
1. Mikkelsen 20m 30.9sec 2. Østberg 10.9sec 3. Neuville 11.2sec 4. Latvala 11.5sec 5. Ogier 12.6sec
Fri 09:31 - SS2: Veiby
Ole Christian sets a dominant stage time in his Skoda Motorsport Fabia - 12.5sec up on Pieniazek
Fri 09:30 - SS2: Katsuta
The Toyota development driver is the third WRC 2 driver through now and he's level with Kopecký - 3.6sec down on Pieniazek
Fri 09:29 - Malcolm Wilson
Malcolm Wilson is interviewed by WRC+ All Live about Elfyn Evans: “It seems as though he couldn’t get stopped for one corner and went into the rock face with an open wheel. It looks like he broke a steering arm - or a part of the suspension - and replaced it on stage, at least he didn’t lose as much time as he would have if he had restarted under Rally2. “We didn’t have any issues with the steering arm last year, but when you hit a rock face with an open wheel then this will happen. “He’s got a good understanding of what you need to do, you’d probably pitch him against anybody to do that job.”
Fri 09:28 - SS2: Pieniazek
Lukasz Pieniazek completes the stage now, 3.6sec up on WRC 2 rival Jan Kopecky
Fri 09:23 - SS2: Paddon
The New Zealander is the last of our WRC cars to finish Tula, 17.2sec down on his team-mate. "Really tough stage, conditions are tough and the narrow parts are getting really muddy and slippery. The next stages should come back to us a little bit more."
Fri 09:21 - SS2: Evans
Elfyn completes now, 13m 10.9sec down. He explains what happened: "We couldn't get it stopped for a right-hander, I touched the bank and damaged the steering arm. We had a spare in the car so we got it replaced."
Fri 09:20 - SS2: Østberg
Mads comes through 9.1sec down on Mikkelsen, second fastest stage time for him. He tells Colin Clark at the end of the stage: "That's a good time then, it felt quite frustrating because you had to hold back so much. There is so much mud on the stage. I made no mistakes - had quite a clean run - and that probably gained us some time."
Fri 09:17 - SS2: Evans
He's moving again after his earlier issues
Fri 09:17 - SS2: Suninen
The second M-Sport Ford car to come through to complete the stage, he's lost a lot of time at the final split and eventually sets a time 16.1sec down on the fastest stage time. Quite a bit of front and rear damage on the Fiesta "I'm losing time, couldn't find good rhythm - need to learn how to drive in first and second gears. Damage was just small touches to banks."
Fri 09:14 - SS2: Breen
The Citroën driver finishes now, 16.5sec down on Mikkelsen. Craig and Scott are saying this one was quite tricky as they come through to stage end. "I had an overshoot, I thought I could brake a crest on asphalt." Big shame for Breen.
Fri 09:11 - SS2: Latvala
Jari-Matti powers through the flying finish 9.7sec slower than Mikkelsen - second quickest through the stage though! "It was not easy I can tell you. I didn't take any risks, I tried to be clever on the stage and I think it went well for us. A couple of hairpins I struggled to turn in a bit, we can't 100% trust the front-end at the moment."
Fri 09:07 - SS2: Evans
Evans has stopped 17.3km into the stage, he was on for a good time as well - just 0.9sec down on Mikkelsen at the third split.
Fri 09:05 - SS2: Mikkelsen
Andreas completes the stage and he's a mammoth 10.4sec quicker than Tänak at stage end! How does he explain that one? "We had a good run, tried not to attack too much because if you slide too much you lose time. Still room for improvement but the car is doing what I want."
Fri 09:03 - SS2: Evans
Issues for Evans! He's stopped on the side of the stage. Dan Barritt radios back to base with reports of a suspension issue. All Live shows he has clipped a bank with his right-front wheel
Fri 09:02 - SS2: Lappi
Esapekka is the next to finish this narrow, twisty, stage - 3.8sec down on Tänak. He says: "The road is so narrow and you only have one line to follow, when it opens up and there are more lines to follow it starts to feel better."
Fri 09:00 - SS2: Mikkelsen
The Norwegian is lighting up the timing screens, at the 14.64km mark he's 4.6sec up on Tänak!
Fri 08:59 - SS2: Tänak
YPF Rally Argentina winner Tänak is through to stage end and he's fastest by 0.2sec. "This is not so bad, in the faster sections the car feels alright but in the twistier stuff the car doesn't feel too good. I think it is a set-up issue but I don't know for sure."
Fri 08:56 - SS2: Ogier
He passes the flying finish and he's 2.1sec down on Neuville on the stage - 1.4sec down overall. Ogier adds: "Conditions are good to be in front. I didn't want to take too much risk on this one."
Fri 08:54 - SS2: Mikkelsen
Andreas is the fastest man on stage at the moment, he's 2.1sec up at 9.91km
Fri 08:53 - SS2: Neuville
Thierry finishes the stage now, what does he have to say at the end of this one? "Very tricky conditions, we knew it was going to be a difficult stage but the rain made it very slippery. Obviously it is good for us fighting for a good position for the rest of the weekend but it is very challenging."
Fri 08:51 - SS2: Tänak
He's getting into the groove now, at the penultimate split he's 0.5sec faster than Neuville
Fri 08:50 - SS2: Lappi & Mikkelsen
The pair have completed the first 4.9km of the stage and no one can match the championship leader's lightning opening split - Lappi is 1.8sec down and Mikkelsen is 2.5sec behind
Fri 08:49 - SS2: Ogier
The Fiesta man is regaining time on Neuville, at the third split he's just 2.0sec down. That would still topple him from the lead of the rally though
Fri 08:47 - SS2: Tänak
The Toyota driver is through the 9.91km split now, and he's 0.4sec down on Neuville, meanwhile reigning champion Ogier is 3.7sec down on the Belgian at the same point.
Fri 08:43 - SS2: Ogier
We're getting splits through now, and the opening timing beam Ogier is 4.2sec down on Neuville.
Fri 08:42 - SS2: Tänak
The Estonian is the next to set off onto this 22.12km stage, the rain is continuing to fall.
Fri 08:36 - SS2: Ogier
Three minute gaps between the cars this morning, so Sébastien Ogier is just getting underway now in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta
Fri 08:33 - SS2: Neuville
Thierry Neuville gets Friday underway as he puts the hammer down in his Hyundai i20
Fri 08:30 - Eyes on the skies
Weather update from WRC TV crews on the ground on the Tula stage: The rain is continuing and mist is making its presence felt on the stage - visibility down to just 200m at the 3km mark
Fri 08:26 - SS2 stage guide
Tula 1, 22.12km Tula has been extended by 6km from previous years and changes in pace mean drivers can make a real difference in here. It starts on medium speed roads before becoming faster, then returning to medium pace near the finish. The surface is sandy in places with grass growing down the middle of some tracks. It’s twisty in parts with big compressions and jumps and passes through a wind farm.
Fri 08:21 - Tyres:
All teams generally leaning towards soft tyres this morning, but in a variety of combinations: Citroën & Paddon: 4 soft and 2 hard. M-Sport Ford, Tänak & Neuville: 5 soft. Mikkelsen: 6 soft. Latvala & Lappi: 4 soft and 1 hard
Fri 08:17 - Start list -
Championship order for the crews today: 1. Neuville 2. Ogier 3. Tänak 4. Lappi 5. Mikkelsen 6. Evans 7. Latvala 8. Breen 9. Suninen 10. Østberg 11. Paddon
Fri 08:14 - Weather watch
It is wet in the service park today, a torrential rain storm hit the service park this morning and has left a lot of standing water on the roads. It’s still raining on this morning's first stage, so it could make conditions rather interesting!
Fri 08:11 - Friday’s itinerary (afternoon)
After a trip back to Alghero for service, everything gets going again at 15.01.
Fri 08:10 - Friday’s itinerary (morning)
There’s eight stages of action to enjoy today, with the opening loop of four getting underway with Tula (22.212km) at 8.33 local rally time. Crews will then tackle Castelsardo (14.37km), Tergu-Osilo (14.14km) and Monte Baranta (11.46km) to finish the morning.
Fri 08:07 - News from yesterday
Kajetan Kajetanowicz has been given a 10 second penalty for a jump start on yesterday evening’s Super Special Stage. That’s demoted him from fifth to last in WRC 2.
Fri 08:04 - What’s the state of play?
After yesterday evening’s opening test, Sébastien Ogier holds a narrow lead at the top of the standings with Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen just 0.1sec behind and Thierry Neuville third 0.7secs down on the Frenchman.
Fri 08:01 - We’re Live
On wrc.com and the WRC App. You can also watch all the action on WRC+ All Live!
Fri 08:00 - Ciao!
Welcome back to Live Text from Rally Italia Sardegna
Thu 20:16 - That's all for tonight
We'll sign off the Live Text for tonight, but we'll be back bright and early for tomorrow's opening stage - Tula - which is due to get underway at 08.33 local rally time.
Thu 20:12 - WRC 2 standings after SS1
1. Veiby 2m 08.2sec 2. Kopecky +0.7sec 3. Lefebvre +0.9sec 4. Tempestini +1.7sec 5. Kajetanowicz +2.0sec
Thu 20:09 - WRC standings after SS1
1. Ogier 2m 02.7sec 2. Mikkelsen +0.1sec 3. Neuville +0.7sec 4. Evans +0.9sec 5. Paddon +1.6sec
Thu 20:07 - SS1: 'Piano' v Feraud
The final pairing cross the finish line now with 'Piano' 23.8sec down on Ogier in his previous generation Fiesta while Cyrille Feraud finished 1m 18.3sec down in his DS 3.
Thu 20:01 - SS1: Aj Rahji v Prokop
Our penultimate heat now sees a battle of the WRC privateers as Yazeed Al Rahji faces off against Martin Prokop in previous generation Fiesta RS WRCs. The Saudi Arabian edges the heat, he's 8.8sec down on the leader while Prokop is 9.4sec off the top.
Thu 19:58 - SS1: Ogier v Neuville
It's first v second in the championship as Neuville competes against Ogier in the final heat for the manufacturer entries. The Frenchman completes fastest - 0.1sec up on Mikkelsen as Neuville finishes 0.7sec down. The Belgian says: "Good stage to start the rally, the car was working very nice. I need to hope for some rain overnight so there are slippery conditions for everyone tomorrow." Ogier adds: "I hope we'll keep it on the top, we had good speed but didn't have the consistency in Portugal so hopefully we'll get the consistency this weekend."
Thu 19:53 - SS1: Mikkelsen v Tänak
Andreas takes the heat and the overall lead, he's 0.8sec faster than Evans! Tänak is eighth, 2.4sec off the lead. Mikkelsen adds: "I didn't notice the bit of damage, I've done enough now! Let's have a clean rally from here!"
Thu 19:48 - SS1: Lappi v Evans
The heats continue and the umbrellas in the packed crowds seem to have gone down - the sun appears to be coming out as Esapekka and Elfyn tackle the stage. The Welshman has had a great run, he's the fastest of anyone! 0.7sec gained on Paddon. Lappi is third fastest, 0.8sec down. Lappi tells stage-end reporter Molly Pettit: "I want to improve on last year so it's podium at a minimum. I was aggresive on this stage, it might not have worked but at least I tried. I'm third fastest so it's bad!" Evans comments: "Not really what you expect for Sardinia, I struggled a bit through the watersplash, the water smeared on the screen and the wipers wouldn't clear it off."
Thu 19:43 - SS1: Breen v Latvala
It's Citroën against Toyota in the next heat, with Craig Breen and Jari-Matti Latvala squaring off on the muddy test. Latvala takes the heat win as Breen seems to lose a bit of time on the run to the chequered flag. The Finn says: "It is really important to get a clean run and a nice result from the rally. Car is good, start was OK but some of the corners were trickier than I expected." Breen adds: "Unfortunately I stalled and dropped five or eight seconds, I just pulled the handbrake and it just stopped - it's the first time I've stalled the car properly."
Thu 19:37 - SS1: Østberg v Suninen
The next two WRC cars are onto the stage and it's Citroën v M-Sport Ford this time as Mads and Teemu face-off. They're both pretty wild but complete the test with no problems and Østberg is 0.3sec slower than Paddon - as is Suninen! Suninen says: "Good results give confidence but it's a different rally. I need to forget that and focus on getting a good result this weekend."
Thu 19:31 - SS1: Kopecky v Paddon
It's a mix of classes now as Kopecky's WRC 2 Fabia faces off against Paddon's WRC Hyundai i20. Naturally the Kiwi takes the heat win, and Kopecky goes second in WRC 2 - 0.7sec down on team-mate Veiby
Thu 19:27 - SS1: Kajetanowicz v Pieniazek
It's an all-Polish battle in this heat as Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Lukasz Pieniazek take to an increasingly muddy Ittiri Motocross track. The European Rally champion takes the heat win and is fourth overall. Pieniazek is sixth, saying: "I thought we could go flat into the jump but going through the air I think I was a bit too optimistic! I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Thu 19:22 - SS1: Veiby v Katsuta
Another Toyota development driver is up to the plate, Takamoto Katsuta (in a Fiesta) is facing off against Ole Christian Veiby (in a Skoda) in this heat. Veiby takes the heat and the WRC 2 lead - 0.9sec up on Lefebvre.
Thu 19:17 - SS1: Arai v Lefebvre
Lefebvre goes fastest in class! 0.8sec up on his team-mate Tempestini. Arai slots in fourth, 2.5sec down on the Frenchman. Arai adds: "It is a good challenging stage, very enjoyable and a good start to the rally."
Thu 19:14 - SS1: Arai v Lefebvre
It's Toyota development driver Hiroki Arai facing off against Portugal podium finisher Stéphane Lefebvre in this heat as the rain continues to fall - that watersplash is getting ever bigger.
Thu 19:12 - SS1: Guerra v Andolfi
They're going off in heats and the next up is Benito Guerra and Fabio Andolfi. Both are in Fabia R5s and Andolfi is fastest of the pair, but 2.6sec down on Tempestini. He says: "There is a lot of mud in the stage, but I'm enjoying it."
Thu 18:58 - SS1: WRC 2
We've got three WRC 2 crews through to stage end and it's Simone Tempestini in the Citroën C3 R5 who is the early pacesetter. He's 1sec faster than Pierre-Louis Loubet in the Hyundai i20 R5.
Thu 18:57 - Tyres
Tyre news for SS1: Citroën & M-Sport Ford: 4 soft and 1 hard. Toyota & Hyundai: 5 soft
Thu 18:49 - Ogier
"After a difficult rally you always want to restart in a good way. We've had some good tests, speed was good and car was good. The rain might make things tricky and interesting as well, the rain could be good for us but it might give a few surprises as well." The champ is feeling optimistic for a good Sardinia result.
Thu 18:47 - Tänak
Ott Tänak is keen to put Portugal behind him and he's hopeful of a good result as he returns to the scene of his first WRC win last year. "We need to try, I want to stay in the fight for the championship and we need to push this weekend to do that. Everybody is really consistent so it is hard to make any differences that's why we need to keep pushing. We've been developing a lot and it's getting to be very much what I'm looking for, it's definitely comfortable to sit in the car. I don't have any concerns about the rough stages, I've not had too many issues so I should be fine."
Thu 18:45 - Mikkelsen
"I'm really looking forward to getting a result now, there were some rallies that weren't optimal. We need a good result now, but Sardinia is a tricky event - it'll be a fun weekend I'm sure." Andreas on good form ahead of the start, but won't be drawn on the incidents in shakedown!
Thu 18:42 - Esapekka Lappi
Lappi was pushing things in last time out, he's feeling calmer ahead of this test. "I've always liked this rally but I've never had a clean run to be honest - there has always been issues. This year hopefully we can change that. I'm a lot better this year, more knowledge and experience on how to use the car to its most."
Thu 18:40 - Evans
Elfyn Evans talks to Colin now, he's aiming to build on second at last month's Vodafone Rally de Portugal. "Definitely need to use the Portugal momentum and build on it rather than take it and relax. The season really starts now and we need to build on that. We've seen flashes of strong pace, we knew we could do it earlier in the year and hopefully now we can tie everything together. The weather at the moment won't favour us guys down the order tomorrow but we'll wait and see."
Thu 18:37 - Latvala
Jari-Matti is next to prepare to get started, he's hoping to claim a good result this weekend. "All the elements are there for a good result, the car is very fast which is positive and I just need to be careful with the rocks. This rallying is going to be a very challenging one, the first stage tomorrow morning is going to be difficult."
Thu 18:31 - Suninen
"I hope I can repeat that podium experience in Sardinia. It gave me confidence but I want to keep in mind that these are different rallies and the experiences won't be the same." Quiet confidence from the M-Sport Ford driver
Thu 18:29 - Østberg
Citroën's Mads Østberg is getting ready for the ceremonial start now, and he's aiming for a positive result. "I'm looking to build on Portugal, I was building the feeling throughout the weekend and I felt happy by the end so I'm looking to build on that here. These new cars are so sensitive and you need experience to be spot on. I think you need experience to get the most out of these cars."
Thu 18:25 - Paddon
After some banter about Colin Clark's choice of footwear, Hayden Paddon gives his thoughts on this weekend's rally: "Everything is feeling really good, nice not to have to fly to a rally - I'm based on the island now. The win here seems like a long time ago now, tyre strategy is going to play into things here."
Thu 18:24 - Eyes on the skies
It's been a wet day in Sardinia, with rain making shakedown rather slippery - as Ogier and Mikkelsen found out - there's still dark clouds in the sky but it's staying dry for now.
Thu 18:18 - A word on WRC 3
We've got four WRC 3 entries for this rally. Jean-Baptiste Franceschi - currently third in Junior WRC - is using this rally as an opportunity to increase his gravel knowledge in a Ford Fiesta. Enrico Brazzoli, Taisko Lario and Louise Cook are all in Peugeot 208s. As you may well have read on WRC.com, 2012 FIA Production Car Cup winner Cook has had to swap to a Peugeot late in the build up to this round, she normally competes in a Fiesta.
Thu 17:58 - Start list
Before the WRC field gets underway, there will be national competitors, WRC 3 and WRC 2 crews to tackle the test first. After that, the start order for the WRC crews looks like this: 1. Paddon 2. Østberg 3. Suninen 4. Breen 5. Latvala 6. Evans 7. Lappi 8. Mikkelsen 9. Tänak 10. Ogier 11. Neuville.
Thu 17:51 - Stage guide
Ittiri Arena Show, 2.00km Sardinia’s opener is identical to the stage used in 2017, held at a former motocross track just outside the village of the same name. Two cars at a time, starting a kilometre apart from each other, compete around two laps of the track on wide roads which include a jump and a watersplash.
Thu 17:46 - WRC milestone
Congratulations go to Miikka Anttila who is making his 200th WRC start this weekend in Sardinia alongside Jari-Matti Latvala. His first event was Neste Rally Finland in 1999 and since then he’s taken 17 overall victories and 496 stage wins!
Thu 17:41 - WRC 2
12 cars are set to take on Sardinia, with Jan Kopecký looking to close the gap to Skoda Motorsport team-mate Pontus Tidemand in the drivers’ standings. The latter has a 43-point lead which can’t be overhauled, but the Czech driver can get a lot closer if he can secure his third win of the year. Of note elsewhere, Ole Christian Veiby will be partnering Kopecký in a Fabia while three-time European Rally champion Kajetan Kajetanowicz will be making his first start in the category since Rally Poland in 2016. Meanwhile, Citroën will continue to the C3 R5’s development on gravel as Stéphane Lefebvre is joined by Simone Tempestini.
Thu 17:36 - Runners and riders (2/2)
Of the four privateer entries, Martin Prokop, Yazeed Al Rajhi and ‘Piano’ are all in previous generation Ford Fiesta WRCs with Cyrille Feraud competing in a Citroën DS 3 WRC.
Thu 17:34 - Runners and riders (1/2)
There’s a large WRC field for the trip to Sardinia as 11 manufacturer and four privateer entries compete on the narrow gravel roads. Vodafone Rally de Portugal winner Thierry Neuville heads a three-car Hyundai entry to the seventh round of the year, he’s joined by Andreas Mikkelsen and Hayden Paddon in i20s. M-Sport Ford also have a trio of Fiestas for reigning world champion Sébastien Ogier and Portugal podium finishers Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen. Jari-Matti Latvala, Ott Tänak and Esapekka Lappi are all in for Toyota and Craig Breen and Mads Østberg round out the manufacturer entry for Citroën.
Thu 17:33 - So what’s happening?
Earlier today the focus was on shakedown, with Jari-Matti Latvala setting the fastest time. Hyundai team-mates Hayden Paddon and championship leader Thierry Neuville finished second and third respectively. Now the action properly begins with a 2.00km Super Special Stage - the Ittiri Arena Show.
Thu 17:31 - We’re live
On WRC.com and the WRC app, bringing text updates about all the on-stage action from the Mediterranean island
Thu 17:29 - Buonasera Live Texters
And welcome to Rally Italia Sardegna
Mon 09:33 - Rally Italia Sardegna 2018
Watch the full 26 min. Preview Magazine on wrcplus.com!