Wednesday | 19 Jun 2019

Italy debrief

Wow! We all need a lie down after the excitement and drama of Rally Italia Sardegna – good job the championship pauses for a seven-week mid-season break. We take a lookback at some of the key aspects from a thrilling weekend in the sunshine.

Drive of the Rally
We’re sharing this one between Ott Tänak and Teemu Suninen.

First Ott. He was magnificent all weekend, but especially on Friday. From second in the start order, he performed wonders on the sandy and slippery gravel roads to end the opening leg third, just 11.2sec off the lead.

The Estonian quickly moved ahead next morning and claimed a clean sweep of six stage wins on Saturday. He measured his pace during the final leg until…….well, you know the rest. A cruel ending for Tänak.

Now Teemu. Armed with the experience and knowhow of Jarmo Lehtinen in the co-driver’s seat for the first time, the Finn was a transformed man. He led on Friday morning and kept it altogether to score a career-best second.

One to Forget
Sébastien Ogier will hope he has used up his season’s misfortune in one weekend. Clipping a rock in Friday morning’s Monte Baranta speed test and smashing his Citroën C3’s suspension was a bad mistake - especially as he had driven by said rock three times in the previous day’s shakedown.

Any chance of a good result was gone, but Ogier did pretty much the same thing in Monti di Ala’ the next morning. And all this after he swiped a gatepost in shakedown and broke – you guessed it – the suspension on Thursday morning.

Credit to him for persevering and taking four bonus points from Sunday’s Wolf Power Stage.

You’ll Never Believe it
His head slumped over the steering wheel of his Toyota Yaris. A third straight win and a handsome lead in the championship gone. You had to feel for Ott Tänak.

Dani Sordo couldn’t believe it. The Toyota Gazoo Racing team back in the Alghero service park couldn’t believe it, stunned into silence by what they had witnessed.

A nailed-on win wiped out by broken steering just a handful of kilometres from the finish. Dramatic and heartbreaking.

Surprise of the Rally
Step forward Mr Sordo. A more popular winner you would be hard-pushed to find. Everyone likes Dani, but not too many would have put their money on him on Friday morning. He led after the opening leg and then had the speed to stay in the thick of the battle for the duration.


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