Stage data: SS8, Monte Lerno 2 (29.68 kilometres)
By WRC Team MINI Portugal co-driver Stephane Prevot: “A very fast and technical stage and a tough stage to start the day. It has a big jump, Micky’s Jump, and it’s the worse stage to be running first on the road because it will sweep like hell. It’s very slippery and difficult to make up time.”
How the action unfolded:
Mads Ostberg was thrilled at the finish of stage eight of Rally Italia Sardegna despite taking more than two minutes longer than stage winner and event leader Mikko Hirvonen to complete the run.
Ostberg is being slowed by a broken rear differential, which has dropped his Adapta World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC onto front-wheel-drive mode only and resulted in the Norwegian slipping from fourth to seventh place in the overall classification.
“I did the perfect stage considering the problems I am having,” said Ostberg, who was 2m21.9s slower than Hirvonen through the 29.68-kilometre Monte Lerno test. “I did my best and I am very happy because this car is not designed to be front-wheel drive.”
With Ostberg dropping back, Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier climbs to fourth in his Super 2000-specification Skoda Fabia with Chris Atkinson up to fifth for WRC Team MINI Portugal.
Luca Pedersoli twice went off the road in his privateer Citroen and lost two minutes, while Paulo Nobre reported a rising engine temperature following a heavy landing after the famous Micky’s Jump. Nobre left the stage finish but stopped shortly afterwards amid fears he won’t be able to make it back to service in Olbia.
Martin Prokop dropped more than one minute when he finished the stage with a front-left puncture.