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Ferratum World RX of Sweden 1
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Wed 08 Jun 2022

The inside line: Rally Italia Sardegna

Sun, sea and spectacular action. The dust has just about settled another fantastic Rally Italia Sardegna. Join us as we reflect on the hottest topics - and we don’t mean the weather.

Star drive 
It had been a long time coming, but Ott Tänak’s win was thoroughly deserved. 

We’d waited 462 days to see the Estonian stand atop the podium and he definitely worked hard for this one. The fact he was fastest on almost 50 per cent of the stages - despite feeling he wasn’t pushing - just proves that he was on another level. 

Let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another 462 days for the next one, hey?

Most memorable stage 
It’s got SS10 - the first pass Erula - Tula on Saturday morning. Why? Because it shaped the rally. 

With Tänak trailing Friday leader Esapekka Lappi by just 0.7sec beforehand, we thought we were in for a thrilling battle. 

Unfortunately, that battle was over just 10.4km into the stage when Lappi’s car rebounded from a heavy compression and bounced into a rock which ripped off the rear left wheel and suspension components. Rallying can be a cruel mistress sometimes.

Biggest surprise
Sami Pajari. The FIA Junior WRC champion was making his WRC2 debut aboard a Toksport-prepared Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo and, boy, did he have a good weekend.

The Finn eventually ended fifth in the WRC’s premier support category, an impressive accolade for someone so young and new to rallying at this level. 

Pierre-Louis Loubet also gets a special mention for his ever-improving pace with his M-Sport Ford Puma. That first podium really isn’t far away now…

One to forget
Things just didn’t fall into place for Elfyn Evans and his title campaign took a really big hit at the weekend. Retiring on Friday with a radiator leak was bad enough, but to stop again the following day with suspension failure simply added insult to injury. 

Photo of the rally
Hot pursuit, rally style. This one was so good, we used it in the header and in the story. Can you really blame us? 

Best save
Tänak very nearly threw away a one-minute lead in the Wolf Power Stage. On the high-speed final stretch, his i20 N brushed a bank on the right-hand side of the road after landing from a jump. 

Somehow he got away with it, minus a fender and part of the bumper. An inch further in, though, and it could have been game over. 

Quote of the rally 
“The giggling pin fell out of the laughing shaft.”

WRC drivers often try to hide technical issues from our stage end reporters, and it turns out Craig Breen is the master of it. If the rallying doesn’t work out, he’d make a pretty good comedian!

You’ll never believe it 
Last weekend was the first time since Rally Turkey in 2019 that Toyota Gazoo Racing didn’t have a car in the top three. When you think about it, that’s a pretty impressive record. 

Number of the rally
462 - the length of Tänak’s victory drought. Could it really be anything else?

Fun fact 
Diversity was on point on the WRC2 podium, with three different carmakers represented. They were Škoda, Citroën and Ford, in that order.