05 - 08 May 11
11:58 Rally d'Italia Sardegna comes to an end
It's been a thoroughly exciting three days of competition, with Sebastien Loeb once again demonstrating the class you would expect of a multiple champion. Join us again for Rally Argentina - our coverage begins on May 26 with the opening Super Special Carlos Paz at 15.05 local time.
11:55 Power Stage results
Mikko Hirvonen takes three points for finishing the final stage 1.4s ahead of Ford Abu Dhabi team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, with Citroen Total's Sebastien Loeb following another 1.4s down.
11:50 Hirvonen wins Power Stage, finishes second overall
Mikko Hirvonen's 6m15.2s on the final stage proves unbeatable, earning him three bonus points to add to his second place overall. Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala doesn't leave Sardinia empty-handed, banking two points for setting the second fastest time in the Power Stage. In the final rankings Hirvonen is second, 11.2s behind Sebastien Loeb's Citroen DS3 WRC. Petter Solberg completes the podium, a further 12.6s in arrears.
11:48 Loeb wins the 2011 Rally d'Italia Sardegna
Sebastien Loeb consolidates his position at the head of the championship with a tremendous win in Sardinia, and he gains a bonus point for finishing third on the Power Stage with 6m18.0: “It was an incredible weekend for us. We’ve been cleaning the roads all weekend so it’s been a great surprise. The car was perfect and it enabled us to do a great job. There was no time to relax because Mikko was pushing so hard behind us.”
11:45 Hirvonen fastest in SS18
6m15.2s is now the time to beat, set by Ford's Mikko Hirvonen.
11:43 Ogier fourth in Sardinia
6m18.3s for Citroen Total WRT's Sebastien Ogier in the Power Stage; second quickest so far but perhaps not enough. He ends the Rally d'Italia Sardegna in fourth place overall having been a contender for the podium until SS17, when he suffered a suspension breakage after hitting a rock.
11:41 Solberg completes Power Stage
Petter Solberg finishes in 6m22.0s, 5.4s off Latvala's time.
11:38 Ostberg seals fifth place in Sardinia
Mads Ostberg finishes SS18 with a time of 6m26.2 and wraps up fifth place overall, ahead of Sordo by 45s: "I’m quite happy with what we’ve done. We had a couple of problems that stopped us fighting with the people in front - we were close but not close enough. I’m really happy to finish in fifth place and looking forward to taking the next step.”
11:36 Sordo takes new Mini's first WRC finish
Dani Sordo clocks in with 6m30.2s and pays tribute to the team, who will return to the fray in Finland: “I’m really happy with the way the rally has gone. No big problems, just a couple of small issues, and we’re going to work hard before the next rally. The car has a lot of potential and we’re going to be in a position to fight for victories.”
11:33 Wilson through to the finish
Matthew Wilson finishes with a 6m33.8s, 17.2s off Latvala: “We’re just happy to get through. We’ve had problems with this one from the word go, brake problems on Friday and then we just haven’t had the feeling.”
11:28 Latvala fastest so far in SS18
Jari-Matti Latvala is the new man to beat, crossing the line in 6m16.6s - faster than Andersson by 12.1s: “It was quite a good run. There were a couple of places where it was a bit slippery at the beginning, by the end I was able to push hard. I nearly went off after the finish!”
11:26 Al Qassimi makes it to the finish
6m44.4s for Khalid Al Qassimi, who lies 12th overall: “The most important thing is to keep the car going, and when you make mistakes to find out why and then to improve the car. Every event is a different surface and a different challenge also.”
11:22 Novikov through SS18
Evgeny Novikov completes the Power Stage 2.5s off Andersson’s time: “I was just trying to get to the finish because we’re on Superally. The car’s working well and next time I want to be in the top five or top six.”
11:20 Tanak finishes top SWRC
Ott Tanak stops the clock at 6m47.0s and takes 25 points for winning the SWRC: “It’s been a very good weekend. For sure it was a difficult rally.”
11:16 Andersson completes Rally d'Italia Sardegna
Per-Gunnar Andersson sets a target time of 6m28.8s: “Unfortunately on this section I found it difficult to get into the rhythm and I made a little mistake. I slid wide and hit a barrier on the Tarmac section at the beginning.”
11:01 Andersson to run first on the road in Power Stage
Per-Gunnar Andersson will run first on the road through the Power Stage, which will surely come as a blow to his aim of setting the fastest time.
10:53 Stage Begin - SS18 Gallura 2 (8.24km)
A thrilling final stage is getting underway near Olbia, with Citroen Total's Sebastien Loeb now 14s ahead of Mikko Hirvonen following an adjustment to the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team driver's times. Citroen privateer Petter Solberg is 5.8s behind Hirvonen overall, so while Loeb is nearly out of touch the other podium positions remain very much open. The Power Stage, which is televised live, also offers extra championship points to the three quickest drivers through the stage; Jari-Matti Latvala, out of overall contention after his mishap on day one, has won two out of three stages so far today and is determined to claim those points.
08:54 Thrilling Power Stage battle in prospect
Citroen Total World Rally Team's Sebastien Loeb looks to have done enough to secure victory on the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, carrying an overall lead of 18.5s into the final stage of the day. The other podium positions will be hotly disputed by Ford's Mikko Hirvonen and Citroen privateer Petter Solberg, but with extra championship points available for the fastest three drivers on the live televised Power Stage we can also expect Jari-Matti Latvala and Per-Gunnar Andersson to shine. The Power Stage is live at 12.00 CET.
08:52 Hanninen completes SS17
Juho Hanninen crosses the line in 18m12.1s, 0.5s quicker than SWRC rival Ott Tanak, which leaves him 35.1s behind Tanak overall: “It’s quite a big gap, and too slippery out there to take a big risk. Maybe it’s best to settle for second and try again on the next rally. But that’s not what we came to do.”
08:36 Tanak counter-attacks in SS17
SWRC leader Ott Tanak completes SS17 in 18m12.6s after losing 20s to rival Juho Hanninen on SS16: “The first stage today was good but then maybe I gave too much time to Hanninen. Let’s see his time now.”
08:34 Andersson goes second quickest in SS17
Per-Gunnar Andersson sets another impressive time, 0.2s quicker than Jari-Matti Latvala with 17m32.3s: “The first stage this morning was okay, the second stage I was dragging a right rear puncture all the way through. I’m really happy that we’ve come back as strong as we did.”
08:32 Kuipers out before SS17
Dennis Kuipers has failed to start SS17: "I thought we had a broken driveshaft but I checked and it's okay. The problem is with the gearbox."
08:28 Novikov through SS17
18m11.8s for Evgeny Novikov: “The car is too sideways. Maybe there’s something wrong with the diff. Day three is totally not so good for us.”
08:21 Al Qassimi finishes SS17
Khalid Al Qassimi crosses the line in 18m44.0s and reports a difficult morning: “It’s very tough. The first stage was okay, on the second stage I overshot a corner and lost time, then I came up behind Dennis [Kuipers], who was going slowly. This stage was quite slippery.”
08:19 Latvala second quickest in SS17
Even the flying Jari-Matti Latvala can't beat Petter Solberg's time, stopping the clock at 17m32.5s - 6.1s off Solberg's benchmark: “I was taking it a little bit more carefully this time so the time was quite okay. There were a lot of rocks at the side of the road, and it was very slippery so I didn’t want to go too sideways and hit them.”
08:18 Wilson finishes SS17
Matthew Wilson completes SS17 in 18m22.8s, stymied by the damage incured on the previous stage: “We’d bent the rear so much that it was rubbing on the brake calliper. So the tracking is off, which made it a bit of a tricky stage.”
08:12 Sordo through SS17
17m59.1s for Dani Sordo, now running 41s behind Ostberg in sixth overall: “We’re sliding a lot in the corners. I made two or three mistakes where I went outside the line, but otherwise it was okay.”
08:10 Transmission woes for Ostberg in SS17
Mads Ostberg finishes SS17 in 17m58.4s. "I've got no preload left in my rear diff," he reports.
08:08 Solberg on a charge through SS17
Petter Solberg leapfrogs Ogier and closes to within striking distance of Hirvonen with a big push on SS17. 17m26.4s is the fastest time through the stage so far, 10.3s quicker than Hirvonen's time, and Solberg is now just 1.3s behind Hirvonen in third place overall: “It was a big, big attack. Everything is possible! That was a good time. I was working really hard. We made a big difference after the first stage of the day. Also the start motor is broken.”
08:02 Ogier hits rock on SS17
Disaster for Sebastien Ogier on SS17 as he finishes in 18m41.9s: “I hit a rock and we stopped because I thought I had a puncture, but it’s the rear left suspension that’s broken.”
08:00 Hirvonen stamps claim on podium place
17m36.7s for Mikko Hirvonen in SS17, 10.5s quicker than Sebastien Loeb. This puts him 18.5s behind Loeb overall.
07:53 Loeb through SS17
Sebastien Loeb completes SS17 in 17m47.2s: “So far it’s been very good. This stage was very slippery at the end.”
07:46 Al Qassimi struggles through SS16
Khalid Al Qassimi completes SS16 in 19m13.7s, 1m23.0s slower than Jari-Matti Latvala's time.
07:43 Stage Begin - SS17 Terranova (24.6km)
After a short 2.56km liaison section between stages, Sebastien Loeb carries his lead of 29s into SS17. This will be a crucial stage for the other podium positions with just 11.6s separating Mikko Hirvonen, Sebastien Ogier and Petter Solberg.
07:40 Latvala fastest through SS16
Jari-Matti Latvala goes quickest of all with a time of 17m50.7s, 0.7s faster than Loeb’s benchmark: “It was really slippery - wet in the recce and now drying out, so quite difficult.”
07:38 Wilson hits rock in SS16
Matthew Wilson finishes SS16 in 18m41.5s: “There was a big rock pulled out in the middle of the road. We tried to avoid it but it went under the car and ever since then there’s been a big vibration.”
07:36 Sordo completes SS16
Dani Sordo clocks up 18m21.3s but reports his Mini isn’t performing so well on the loose: “In this stage we lost a lot of traction. We need to work a little bit on this. The time is not so good but I’m okay.”
07:35 Ostberg survives off-road moment in SS16
18m25.1s for Mads Ostberg: “I went off the road. The pace notes said the wrong way. We were lucky - the car doesn’t feel damaged - but we lost some time.”
07:32 Decisive stage for Loeb's lead
Sebastien Loeb's blistering pace in SS16 puts him firmly in charge of this rally with just two stages left to run. He moves on to SS17 with a buffer of 29.0s over Mikko Hirvonen. Sebastien Ogier is a further 7.5s behind Hirvonen and Petter Solberg is in close attendance in fourth, 4.1s behind Ogier.
07:28 Solberg completes SS16
Petter Solberg stops the clock at 17m53.0s, 1.6s off Loeb’s benchmark time, bringing him to 7.5s behind Sebastien Ogier overall: “It was better. We have a good chance so we have to push on. We will see - I’m quite excited. It’s not perfect compared with yesterday but I’ll do my best.”
07:24 Caution for Ogier in SS16
Sebastien Ogier completes SS16 in 17m56.1s, 0.4s off Hirvonen, but the splits indicate that Petter Solberg is flying along the stage: “It’s what we expected. I’m quite happy with my stage but maybe he [Solberg] is taking more risks than me. I don’t want to make any mistakes today.”
07:21 Hirvonen slips back in SS16
Mikko Hirvonen loses 4.3s to Loeb after overshooting a bend, finishing in 17m55.7s: “One small thing went wrong at a junction - I don’t know why. I lost a couple of seconds. Loeb is a little bit far ahead now so I don’t know what will happen.”
07:06 Loeb impressive in SS16
17m51.4s for Sebastien Loeb: “The splits were looking good compared with Mikko. I was pushing very hard - perhaps too hard at the start. I had a few moments. Sometimes the rear was a little bit in the ditch. Then at the end there was a part where the surface was cleaning a lot.”
07:01 Stage Begin - SS16 Monte Olia (24.5km)
Citroen Total World Rally Team's Sebastien Loeb starts SS16 with a lead of 24.7s over the Abu Dhabi Ford of Mikko Hirvonen. Loeb's team-mate Sebastien Ogier is 7.1s behind Hirvonen, with Citroen privateer Petter Solberg a further 7.2s but struggling after an overnight damper change.
06:47 Tanak extends SWRC lead
Ott Tanak stops the clock at 6m41.3s in his Fiesta S2000, eighth quickest so far, and Skoda's Juho Hanninen responds with a 6m48.3s, 12th fastest through the stage. Nasser Al-Attiyah is just 0.3s off Hanninen's pace. Tanak therefore extends his overall SWRC lead over Hanninen to 55.6s. Al-Attiyah is 5m04.4s adrift of Tanak, who also lies seventh overall.
06:38 Oliveira completes SS15
Daniel Oliveira ends SS15 on 7m12.9s. It's been a tough Rally d'Italia Sardegna for the Brazil World Rally Team Mini driver, who has been forced out with mechanical trouble on both days so far. Yesterday a broken driveshaft caused him to limp back to service prematurely.
06:34 Andersson second quickest in SS15
Per-Gunnar Andersson continues his climb up the field after dropping out of contention on SS1 with a broken steering arm. Having climbed to 18th overall overnight, he ends SS15 in 6m31.8s, seconds quickest in the stage so far and 2.9s off Jari-Matti Latvala's benchmark time.
06:31 Novikov finishes SS15
Evgeny Novikov crosses the line in 6m40.1s in his M-Sport Stobart Ford. That's sixth quickest in the stage so far, 1.5s off rally leader Sebastien Loeb and 11.2s slower than stage leader Jari-Matti Latvala. Novikov re-entered the rally yesterday after mishearing a pace note and crashing out of day one.
06:26 First blood for Al Qassimi in battle with Kuipers
The fight for 11th place raged all through yesterday between Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team's Khalid Al-Qassimi and the Ferm Powertools Ford of Dennis Kuipers. Al Qassimi finishes SS15 in 6m52.2s, 6.4s quicker than the Dutchman's time through here, to close to 1.5s behind him overall.
06:20 Latvala quickest in SS15
Jari-Matti Latvala, who won five out of six stages yesterday, clocks in at 6m28.9s, fastest overall and 6.1s quicker than team-mate Hirvonen. Although out of contention overall after being forced to retire on day one with suspension damage, Latvala can still pick up points when this route is re-run as the Power Stage, the climax of today's action.
06:19 Wilson through SS15
Matthew Wilson completes SS15 in 6m45.0s, 1.8s off team-mate Ostberg's time.
06:11 Sordo matches Ostberg in SS15
Dani Sordo, driving the sole remaining factory Mini, sets a time of 6m43.2s. That keeps him 44.1s behind Ostberg in sixth overall. Team-mate Kris Meeke will not be restarting the rally today.
06:09 Ostberg finishes SS15
Mads Ostberg brings the leading M-Sport Stobart Ford across the line in 6m43.2s, 4.6s off Loeb's time and 8.2s slower than Hirvonen.
06:03 Damper change frustrates Solberg
Disappointment for Petter Solberg as he takes just 0.5s out of Loeb, stopping the clocks at 6m38.1s: “I changed my dampers but it’s not very good. It’s very bad.” As the frontrunners embark on the 45km liaison to SS16, Citroen Total WRT’s Sebastien Loeb leads Ford Abu Dhabi WRT’s Mikko Hirvonen by 24.7s. Loeb’s team-mate Sebastien Ogier is third overall, 31.8s off the lead, with fourth placed Solberg slipping back to 39s off Loeb.
06:00 Ogier through SS15
Sebastien Ogier completes SS15 0.8s off Hirvonen with a 6m35.8s: “It’s not an easy stage to start. Narrow, slippery and lots of loose gravel on the road. For sure I think it’s going to be close until the end.”
05:57 Hirvonen 3.5s up in SS15
Mikko Hirvonen is cautiously pleased with his time of 6m35.0s, taking 3.5s out of Loeb’s lead: “We’ll see if it’s enough. Ogier and Petter are pushing like hell behind me so we’ll see what they can do.”
05:54 Loeb completes SS15
Sebastien Loeb crosses the line in 6m38.6s: “I think the first part of the stage was really bad, uphill and downhill with lots of sand on the road, so it was very slippery. The last part was a bit more humid so it was better. I’ll lose some time again today but probably not too much.”
05:52 Stage Begin - SS15 Gallura 1 (8.24km)
Good morning and welcome to the final day of the 2011 Rally d'Italia Sardegna. It's an early start, and chilly and overcast for the first stage. Sebastien Loeb leads the way on the road and starts the day with a 28.3s lead over Mikko Hirvonen. It's a short first stage and we'll be here again for the live broadcast Power Stage later.
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