M-Sport Ford WRC Team’s Teemu Suninen holds a lead of 5.4s over Hyundai Motorsports and defending rally winner Dani Sordo following the opening two stages of Rally Italia Sardegna on Friday morning.
Suninen was fast in the opening session however Sordo was mega in SS2 making his way up to second overall just ahead of Sebastien Ogier and championship leader Elfyn Evans.
Thierry Neuville is fifth for Hyundai just ahead of Kalle Rovanpera and Gus Greensmith.
Pierre Louis Loubet is eigth just ahead of Ott Tanak and Takamoto Katsuta rounding out the top ten.
Oliver Solberģ was eleventh the leading WRC2 car.
Speaking following the action the drivers said:
Car #33 E. Evans – S. Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC): “A bit more slippery than expected in places. Struggling to rotate the car but overall OK.”
Car #17 S. Ogier – J. Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC): “This one is a little bit more natural. It is gonna get quicker. We tried our best but it was not easy”
Car #8 O. Tänak – M. Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC): (no good time) did not speak [no obvious damage to the car]
Car #69 K. Rovanpera – J. Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC): [STOPPED at 12Km then moving again, back of the car swinging out. Touched a tree with the front]
Car #11 T. Neuville – N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): “The second spare wheel makes the car sliding a lot. But for the second pass it is good to have one more spare tyre as the road sections are quite long. We played it safe but I cannot push as I should be able to push”
Car #4 E. Lappi – J. Ferm (Ford Fiesta WRC): [OUT OF THE CAR, technical issue, steam going out from the engine bay, seems water temperature issues]
Car #3 T. Suninen – J. Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC): It is good to be here like this but still a long way to go.
Car #44 G. Greensmith – E. Edmondson (Ford Fiesta WRC): “Ford developed a great car. The Team improved it last year and they have improved it now. Really nice to see, I began to push it a bit more I had quite a big moment towards the end but I am enjoying this”
Car #18 T. Katsuta – D. Barritt (Toyota Yaris WRC): “I stalled the engine twice, my mistake. A bit disappointed but it is OK” (a bit wide on a left hander)
Car #6 D. Sordo – C. Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): “I feel really good with the car. Everything is fine. I can push a bit more, but I do not know where the limit of the tyres is. I have only 5 tyres for the entire loop but I think it will be OK. I will have a look at the tyres but the rest was good ”
Car #7 P.L. Loubet – V. Landais (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC): “It was very slippery for me and difficult to stay in the line. But tried to enjoy and we will improve for the next time”
Car #23 P. Tidemand – P. Barth (Skoda Fabia Evo): “It is a very long rally to go still. I do not have experience, the stage was good but I do not have experience and for sure I struggled a bit to find a perfect rhythm. I stopped in a junction but we are here”
Car #24 M. Ostberg – T. Eriksen (Citroen C3): It is a difficult situation on a very bad timing in the championship. I am very disappointed, but I will do my best. I started my career in rear-wheel drives so I will try to take advantage of that”
Car #25 A. Fourmaux – R. Jamoul (Ford Fiesta MkII): “A difficult stage for us, we were close to roll in the hairpin, we put the car on four wheels and lost 15s. We had to go a bit to the front and then back. But after that it was OK. At 5K before the end we got a puncture to the rear right. Yeah, a difficult stage but it is ok.”