On their i20 New Generation WRC Belgian crew leads Volkswagen drivers Latvala and Ogier, who completed the podium of the sixth round of the World Rally Championship.
Finn Suninen is first in WRC 2 on Skoda Fabia R5 while ACI Team Italia driver Fabio Andolfi clinches WRC 3 victory on Peugeot 208 R2.
Alghero (SS), June 12, 2016. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul on Hyundai i20 New Generation WRC won Rally Italia Sardegna, six round of the 2016 World Rally Champioship based in Alghero, north-west of the Mediterranean island. Winning twice on Sunday, Hyundai Motorsport crew collected 9 scratches out of 19 special stages overall. Belgian crew took the lead during the first leg of the rally on Friday’s SS5 and held it until the finish line. Neuville strongly defended his first position from all the attacks, especialy those coming from Jari-Matti Latvala. Co-driven by Mikka Antilla on Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Finn driver never gave up keeping a strong pace during the whole event winning three stages and forcing Neuville to push all the way. French World Champion Sebastien Ogier, pairing with co-driver Julien Ingrassia on the other Polo R WRC, defended his third place in all possible ways. They won the final SS19 Power Stage besides SS1 and SS3 but their start position on the first two days of the rally certainly did not help them to push harder to get the victory.
Spanish Dani Sordo climbed the chart to fourth position improving the feeling with his Hyundai i20 New Generation WRC stage by stage. Estonian DMACK World Rally Team Ott Tanak won SS11 on Ford Fiesta RS WRC and clinched the fifth position he kept until the end. Sixth came Eric Camilli, who won his first World special stage at the wheel of M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC the final day. Henning Solberg lost some ground after breaking a suspension on Sunday but still managed to bring his Ford to seventh place. On Saturday Kevin Abbring (Hyundai i20 WRC) was fastest on SS10 but then he had to slow down for a gearbox issue while on Sunday he was able to be second fastest in the final Power Stage. Andreas Mikkelsen had to retire after hitting a rock on Saturday’s SS14 and was back in the race on Sunday. Very competitive was Mads Ostberg but M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC driver had to stop on the long Monte Lerno stage with suspension issues.
Eighth overall, Finn driver Teemu Suninen, who won WRC 3 competition in Sardinia last year, this time celebrates victory in WRC 2 on Skoda Fabia R5 ahead of Jan Kopecky and Karl Kruuda while on Saturday Italian Rally Championship regular Umberto Scandola had to retire his car for a water loss from the engine, caused by a slightly opened pipe. ACI Team Italia drivers dominated WRC 3 competition on Peugeot 208 R2 with Fabio Andolfi first and Damiano De Tommaso second.
Top-10 standings: 1. Neuville-Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 New Generation WRC) 3h35m25.8s; 2. Latvala (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +24.8s; 3 Ogier (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1m37.8s; 4 Sordo (Hyundai New Generation I20 WRC) +2m54.0s; 5. Tanak (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5m26.4s; 6. Camilli (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +5m59.8s; 7. Solberg (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +6m22.2s; 8. Suninen (Skoda Fabia R5) +8m57.4s; 9. Kopecky (Skoda Fabia R5) a 9m47.0s; 10. Kruuda (Ford Fiesta R5) +13m28.5s.
WRC 2016 Calendar: jan 21-24 Rallye Monte-Carlo – snow/asphalt; feb 11-14 – Rally Sweden – snow; mar 3-6 Rally México – gravel; apr 21-24 Rally Argentina – gravel; may 19-22 Rally de Portugal – gravel ; june 9-12 – 13º Rally Italia Sardegna – gravel ; june 30-july 3 Rally Poland – gravel; july 28-31 Rally Finland – gravel; aug 18-21 Rallye Deutschland – asphalt ; sept. 8-11 Rally China – asphalt; sept-29-oct.2 Tour de Corse – asphal; oct. 13-16 Rally RACC Catalunya – asphalt/gravel; oct. 27-30 Wales Rally GB – gravel; nov. 17-20 Rally Australia – gravel.