Stage data: SS12, Coiluna-Loelle 2 (29.35 kilometres)
By WRC Team MINI Portugal co-driver Stephane Prevot: “This stage is in the north of the island and is the same as 2011. A really difficult stage with a soft surface. It’s crazy fast in some sections. There are also twisty sections where it’s slow with big trees. There are also some big jumps and off-camber corners.”
How the action unfolded:
Privateer Mads Ostberg has moved into fourth place on Rally Italia Sardegna after demoting Chris Atkinson and Sebastien Ogier on the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Ostberg, driving an Adapta World Rally Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC, was sixth overall starting the test but has overtaken the two drivers running immediately ahead of him by going fastest through the repeat of Coiluna-Loelle.
“I understood early on that I was going quicker than necessary but there was no point slowing down when I’m enjoying it,” said Ostberg. “But I didn’t take any risks and backed off in places because there were so many stones on the road.”
In contrast, Atkinson was far from happy at the stage finish after completing the run 26.5s slower than Ostberg. The WRC Team MINI Portugal driver said: “It felt like a good run through and I was definitely trying. It’s frustrating, we need to go faster.”
Thierry Neuville was the first of the leading runners to report a large rock lying in the middle of the road nearing the stage finish.
Paulo Nobre, running first on the road, spun and stalled his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, while Luca Pedersoli, Italy’s sole World Rally Car representative, was delighted after beating the time he set on the first run through the stage this morning by 1m30s. Martin Prokop dropped time going off the road in his privateer Fiesta.