Thursday | 11 Jun 2015

Sordo tops Sardinia warm-up

Dani Sordo edged out Kris Meeke to set fastest time in Thursday morning’s shakedown at Rally Italia Sardegna.

In dry and sunny conditions, Meeke looked set to top the timesheets through the Putifigari test in Citroën’s DS 3 until Sordo went quickest by 0.2sec on the third of his four runs in a Hyundai i20.

“We were working with the suspension to have better grip for the rally,” said Sordo. “The stage was really rough at the end, not with stones but with the soft surface. It was difficult to find the right line.

“The roads weren’t so representative of the rally. The first 2km was OK, but the end was completely different. But this rally has a lot of different characteristics so it’s difficult to say what is normal,” added Sordo, whose i20 was fitted with Michelin’s soft compound tyres.

Mads Østberg was 0.9sec behind Sordo in third in Citroën’s second DS 3, with Volkswagen Motorsport duo Sébastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala tied a further 0.2sec back. Thierry Neuville completed the top six in another i20, emerging from his final run with rear bodywork damage after sliding wide and striking a tree.

Most of the frontrunners completed only the minimum required three runs and the stage became increasingly quicker, with most drivers posting their fastest time in their final pass.

The sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship is based in Alghero (below) and starts tonight with a 2.50km super special stage in the harbour area of Cagliari, the island’s capital city.

The leading times were:

1.Dani SordoHyundai i203min 27.4sec
2.Kris MeekeCitroën DS 33min 27.6sec
3.Mads ØstbergCitroën DS 33min 28.3sec
4=Sébastien OgierVolkswagen Polo R3min 28.5sec
4=Jari-Matti LatvalaVolkswagen Polo R3min 28.5sec
6.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai i203min 29.4sec
7.Robert KubicaFord Fiesta RS3min 30.3sec
8.Andreas MikkelsenVolkswagwn Polo R3min 31.3sec
9.Hayden PaddonHyundai i203min 31.7sec
10.Ott TänakFord Fiesta RS3min 32.5sec

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