Thu 30 May 2024

Latvala: Compact Italy route adds excitement, not ease

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has warned against anybody expecting an easy ride at this week’s Rally Italia Sardegna – the first all-action sprint round of the FIA World Rally Championship with a thriller of a Friday afternoon in prospect.

Toyota team principal Jari-Matti Latvala has warned against anybody expecting an easy ride at this week’s Rally Italia Sardegna – the first all-action sprint round of the FIA World Rally Championship with a thriller of a Friday afternoon in prospect.

Round six of the WRC kicks off with a Friday morning shakedown run, before the 25-kilometre Osilo-Tergu stage gets the competitive action underway at 1433. The route is 54km shorter than last year’s Italian island event – but the crews are still in for one of the toughest tests of the season.

Latvala said: “It’s going to be interesting to see the new more compact format in action in Sardinia: it will be a shorter event but not an easier rally, with long days and still quite many kilometres, and I think it could be even more exciting. Saturday afternoon is especially long and tough with the notorious Monte Lerno stage, and managing the tyres and avoiding the rocks will be key for success.”

Championship leader Thierry Neuville admitted his approach to the weekend wouldn’t change.

“The heat, tyre wear and length of the days are some of the biggest challenges we face throughout the event,” said Hyundai’s Belgian star, who will run at the head of the field on that shortened opening day.

“This paired with the little amount of sleep we get due to long road sections makes it a unique challenge. Our approach to the weekend is the same as usual: we will be pushing for the best possible result considering the conditions, car and other important factors that can influence a rally.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM