2020 Rally Italia Sardinia – Friday morning
Hyundai’s Dani Sordo delivered a sensational drive on the final Friday morning stage of Rally Italia Sardinia to win SS4 and claim the lead after the first four stages of the postponed Italian event.
The Spanish driver is just 7.5 seconds ahead of the Ford Fiesta WRC of Teemu Suninen: the sole M-Sport representative remaining in the top class after his team mate Esapekka Lappi retired, with steam seen coming out of his engine bay in the first stage this morning.
Suninen – the winner of the first stage – held the lead up to the end of SS3 though, before being passed by the new leader Sordo.
Completing the provisional podium is multiple champion Sébastien Ogier, 18 seconds off the lead, ahead of his Toyota team mate and World Championship leader Elfyn Evans: the winner of SS3.
Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville is fifth, with Toyota’s Harri Rovanperä 15 seconds behind him in sixth. The young Finn is fighting back after a Shakedown accident that gave his mechanics a big job to prepare the car for the rally start.
Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta went off down in a ditch with his Toyota Yari as he slid wide this morning and was unable to continue. Reigning champion Ott Tänak struggled with suspension issues on his Hyundai, dropping more than 30 seconds on the final stage before service, and another 30 seconds on the stage before that.
In FIA WRC2, M-Sport driver Adrien Formaux leads the way in his Ford Fiesta Rally2, inheriting the lead from Ole-Christian Veiby, who suffered a puncture on his Hyundai.
The FIA WRC3 class meanwhile is led by Škoda Fabia Rally2 driver Oliver Solberg, who went an impressive seventh fastest overall on the first stage of the day.
The Junior World Rally Championship standings are led by Sweden’s Tom Kristensson, nearly a minute ahead of Finland’s Sami Pajari after four stages. All drive identical Ford Fiesta R2T cars.
Just two stages remain this afternoon in Sardinia, before the leader reaches the overnight halt back in Alghero.