15 May 08
After rainy and muddy conditions during the pre-event recce two days of sunshine in Sardinia have baked the roads dry and altered the character of the stages considerably.
And with forecasters predicting more dry and hot weather for Friday and most of Saturday, drivers will face stage conditions on the rally which are very different to the ones they made pace notes for.
“It was very wet during the recce and the road cut up a lot where the surface was soft,” said championship leader Sebastien Loeb. “There was a lot of mud about, and some channels in the road where rain water had run across. Now the roads have mostly dried out and the rutted sections have hardened, so it’s going to be very rough in some places.”
Chris Atkinson was one of the many WRC drivers who found the conditions difficult on the recce. “The combination of the mud and our hard tyres made it pretty hairy and we slid off the road a couple of times,” said the Australian. “On the rally the majority of the distance should be okay, but there are some deeply rutted sections we’ll have to be careful on - there are probably about two kilometres in total over the three days.