18 May 08
The tense fight for the lead of Rally d’Italia - Sardegna got more exciting on the first of the afternoon’s repeated stages, when Mikko Hirvonen moved closer to rally leader Sebastien Loeb and Jari-Matti Latvala narrowed the gap to his BP-Ford team-mate to just 2.8sec.
Latvala was fastest through the 19.28km stage, despite saying beforehand that he was contemplating a steady drive to the finish. “Maybe the best plan is to hold third and get two [BP-Ford] cars to the finish. I don’t want to be stupid. Maybe it’s better to aim for third and not risk too much trying to take Mikko,” he said in the preceding service.
Going into the last ‘proper’ test of the event before the final 2.69km spectator stage, Loeb holds a 16 second lead over Mikko Hirvonen.