Saturday | 07 Jun 2014

Rally Italia update #9

Our ninth round-up of the action in Sardinia:

Die Eröffnungsschleife am Samstag beinhaltet die längste Einzel-Prüfung der diesjährigen Rally Italia Sardegna. Nach der relativ kurzen Fahrt durch die 19,27km „Monte Olia 1“, richtet sich die Aufmerksamkeit der Teams auf die strapaziöse 59,13 km „Monte Lerno 1“-Prüfung. Es ist die längste im 2014er-Kalender der WRC und Schauplatz des spektakulären „Micky’s Jump“.

Saturday's opening loop of stages included the single biggest test on the Rally Italia Sardegna route. After the relatively short run through the 19.27km ‘Monte Olia 1’ test, the crews’ attentions turned to the gruelling 59.13km ‘Monte Lerno 1’ stage. It’s the longest on the 2014 WRC calendar and the home of the spectacular 'Micky's Jump'.

Andreas Mikkelsen predicted a ‘Norwegian battle’ with compatriot Mads Ostberg for third place on Saturday’s opening stage. But it didn’t go the VW Motorsport driver’s way.

Ostberg, running one place behind Mikkelsen on the road in his Citroen DS3 WRC, took first blood with a stage time that was 2.3s faster than his rival. That increased his advantage in third place to 6.3s.

Further up the leaderboard, Sebastien Ogier said the profile of Saturday’s stages were more to his liking than those that were driven 24 hours earlier. He anticipated that it wouldn’t be impossible to claw back the 22.4s gap to rally leader Jari-Matti Latvala.
But when the times from Saturday’s first stage were confirmed, he quickly realised that he needed to up his game even more if he was to fulfil his prediction.

Latvala’s Polo R WRC was 6.3s faster than Ogier’s identical machine on Saturday’s opener to extend his lead to 28.7s. “He (Latvala) did a really good time on this one,” Ogier conceded. “We have to carry on and see what we can do.”

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