Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC ended SS10 at Rally Italia Sardegna fastest on Saturday morning with a tine of 8:42.9s ending the action 2.6s ahead of overall leader Dani Sordo while championship leader Elfyn Evans was third.
Sebastien Ogier was fourth fastest, 5.9s behind Neuville and just ahead of defending champion Ott Tanak.
Teemu Suninen who made a great start to the rally on Friday suffered a handbrake issue which he solved himself on the road however he ended the stage in 6th place just ahead of Takamoto Katsuta and Oliver Solberg.
Mads Otsberg was ninth just ahead of Pierre Louis Loubet who rounded out the top ten, 27.2s behind Neuville.
Eyvind Brynildsen was 11th just ahead of Ole Christian Veiby. Yari Huttunen was 13th just ahead of Pontus Tidemand and Nikolay Gryazin. Here is what the drivers had to say following SS10:
Car #18 T. Katsuta – D. Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC): “It is quite different, you have more grip. Some sections are quite rough and there are a lot of rocks, so it is not so easy. I was not happy with my driving, I did too many mistakes. This is part of the learning”
Car #8 O. TÃ¤nak – M. JÃ¤rveoja (Hyundai i20 CoupÃ© WRC): [not speaking]
Car #7 P.L. Loubet â€“ V. Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): “We have no wing. It is impossible to drive the car. I lost all the aerodynamic part in this one. I think the rear right is dead. Very tricky morning but we are still here so we are lucky.” [damage at rear on both sides]
Car #44 G. Greensmith – E. Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC): [alternator belt issue during the road section before the stage]
Car #33 E. Evans – S. Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC): “It felt OK, just a bit disappointed with the previous one. I was too careful looking after the tyres and I paid the price for it. It was OK in here”.
Car #17 S. Ogier – J. Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC):”It is not a good run, I stalled. At the hairpin I was on the clutch to avoid stalling. When I went back on throttle the engine reminded me of the backfire I had in the Citroen… it stopped. Shame, we lost 2-3s there”.
Car #11 T. Neuville – N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): “[showing smile] I am pushing very hard. The fight is still on, it is very close. The second spare wheel was not necessary, our tyres are still good enough. Unfortunately not the best choice. We pushed hard and we will continue pushing”
Car #3 T. Suninen – J. Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC): â€œ[dealing with issues] There is no options, I just have to deal with it. It has been challengingâ€�
Car #6 D. Sordo – C. Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): â€œ[teammate P2]It was very nice, Sebastien is coming really really fast. I really enjoyed driving the car and let’s see how it goes this afternoonâ€�
Car #23 P. Tidemand – P. Barth (Å koda Fabia R5): â€œNot so easy, not the time to push anything but there is still long way to go. A puncture or something and they will catch up. We need to stay cool, go like this and enjoyâ€�
Car #28 E. Bynildsen – I. Minor (Å koda Fabia R5): â€œNow I am in a big push, because the guys are driving really very fast. It was close to a clean stage for us, just a few mistakes. A hard driveâ€�
Car #27 O. C. Veiby – J. Andersson (Hyundai i20 R5): â€œAbsolutely, I am up to 3rd now. With all the issues of yesterday we are in a good position. Sadly in this one I had a puncture earlier so I was not really confident in the last part and lost a bit of time. OK I feel really confident for tomorrow and for the next two stages. Let’s see what we can catchâ€�
Car 24 M. Ostberg – T. Eriksen (CitroÃ«n C3 WRC): â€œ[Anything seems to be happening in this rally]. We are just trying to enjoy the stages. It is going quite nice and I am glad that things are going fine and we are able to show our speedâ€�