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Italy (Sardegna) (J) - NEW DATE 8-11 Oct 20

Posted: October 9, 2020 5:10 PM - 1181 Hits

WAS 29 Oct - 1 Nov 20
WAS 4-7 Jun 20
Counting Round - 2020 World Rally Championship
J - Counting Round WRC Junior Championship

Live Results (Italy 2020) Also available at: rally-base results & ewrc-results.com
Radio: WRC All Live Audio Stream
News: www.wrc.com
Event Website: Rally Italia

First stage each day - Times are Irish/UK (Sardinia is 1 hour ahead)
Shakedown Thu - 11:01
SS1 Fri - 06:50
SS7 Sat - 06:37
SS13 Sun - 07:15

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 6 – Rally Italia Sardegna

Posted: October 7, 2020 1:53 PM

Hyundai Motorsport is targeting another competitive performance at next weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna, the sixth round of the modified 2020 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), in a bid to reclaim the lead of the manufacturers’ classification.

A 1-2 result in Rally Estonia and a double podium in Rally Turkey has reduced the gap in the title chase to just nine points, heading to a venue where Hyundai Motorsport has previously won three times.

The team will field a three-car entry into the event with Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Dani Sordo/Carlos del Barrio. All three crews have scored wins in Sardinia during the past four seasons.

Neuville triumphed for Hyundai Motorsport in 2016 and 2018, while Sordo memorably secured his maiden win with the team in a dramatic conclusion to last year’s event. Tänak, who was the recipient of Power Stage misfortune 16 months ago, was victorious three years ago and will be looking to recapture that winning form.

Taking place later than its usual summer date, weather conditions are likely to be cooler and more unpredictable, adding a new variable to the popular gravel event, which will cover three full days of competitive running. All three Hyundai Motorsport crews have tested in Sardinia in preparation for the rally, and head into the Alghero based event expecting to be competitive.

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “We know the championship fight is incredibly close during this pandemic-affected season, so we have to approach Sardinia with the target of another competitive performance. Thankfully, we have three crews who have all demonstrated their ability to be fast there. We welcome back Dani and Carlos for this event, which holds wonderful memories for us all from last year. All of my people have been working hard in an effort to give our crews the best tools possible to repeat the level of performance we have shown in the past two events.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Previously won in Sardinia in 2016 and 2018
Crew looking for another strong event after finishing second in Turkey

Neuville said: “There are nice beautiful roads at Rally Italia Sardegna, with flowing, narrow stages. The natural characteristic of the stages suits my pace notes system and my driving style. It’s a rally where we have always demonstrated good speed, and we’ve also won there twice in the past. The weather could be different to what we’re used to during the usual summer slot, so that could be challenging on that side, particularly if it rains. Most of the stages are well known to us from previous years, so we are looking forward to the event.”

Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Estonians aiming to get title ambitions back on track in Sardinia
Crew won Rally Italia Sardegna in 2017

Tänak said: “Rally Italia Sardegna is normally a hot and tough event; this year the rally is taking place a bit later in the season so we might face some difficult weather conditions. Wet weather can change the full concept of the rally, so we have to expect a range of situations. The stages are made up of high grip roads typically, which can be tough on the tyres, so tyre management is generally important. We hope to show the performance of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC on this different type of gravel roads and be in the fight for victory.”

Crew Notes: Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spanish crew returns for first WRC event since Rally Mexico
Memorably secured their maiden Hyundai Motorsport win in Sardinia last year

Sordo said: “This is a very special rally for me, with some incredible memories from last year’s event. I will never forget the feeling of taking that victory with Hyundai Motorsport and I hope we can repeat it this year! The stages are normally quite slippery on the first pass because there is a lot of loose gravel on the surface; this can benefit those crews starting further back on the order. The second pass is much more aggressive on the tyres, offering greater grip levels. I tested the car recently and had a good feeling, so the objective is victory.”

WRC 2 overview

Hyundai Motorsport’s WRC 2 crews will return to action at Rally Italia Sardegna for their fifth event of the 2020 season at the wheel of the Hyundai i20 R5.

Ole Christian Veiby and Nikolay Gryazin will both be targeting improved pace in the 16-stage gravel event alongside their respective co-drivers Jonas Andersson and Konstantin Aleksandrov.

Both drivers have season-best results of second place in the WRC 2 category, Veiby in Sweden and Gryazin in Mexico, but neither has picked up results truly representative of their potential or the performance of the Hyundai i20 R5. Hyundai Motorsport N currently holds third in the championship on 84 points, 23 from the leaders.

Veiby said: “Rally Italia Sardegna is an event I know well, and where we have scored some good results in the past. I like the rally and its stages. It will be interesting to see how the later October date changes things, especially the weather. I believe our Hyundai i20 R5 will perform well there. It will be important to avoid the big stones and rocks that can feature on the roads, to keep us away from punctures and car damage. We have a test on Sunday to learn more about the car on these stages. We want to help the team to win the manufacturers’ championship, but to do that we need to aim for victory and get a good result for both cars.”

Gryazin said: “Rally Italia Sardegna is narrow and challenging but definitely enjoyable. We will face a slightly different autumn setting this year and we don’t know what the weather conditions could be compared to the intense heat we’re used to in Sardinia. Last year, we had some bad luck on the second day, so our initial target is to improve on that performance. I certainly think our Hyundai i20 R5 has all the performance and competitive pace to help us to achieve that. We know what we can achieve when we keep focused and avoid misfortune. We will give it our best shot.”

Weekend at a glance

The 16-stage Rally Italia Sardegna itinerary covers three full days of action starting early on Friday morning with a loop of two stages Tempio Pausania (12.08km) and Erula-Tula (21.78km)
The loop will be repeated prior to lunchtime service before a third loop - Sedini-Castelsardo (14.72km) and Tergu-Osilo (12.81km) - in the afternoon.
That loop will be run again as the conclusion to Saturday’s schedule, following two passes through the familiar Monte Lerno (22.08km) and Coiluna-Loelle (15km) stages in the morning
Sunday’s final four stages, also well known to crews, will cover Cala Flumini (14.06km) and Sassari-Argentiera (6.89km) - bringing the total stage distance for the weekend to 238.84km

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing ready to defend WRC leadership in Sardinia

Posted: October 7, 2020 1:52 PM

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team heads to the Italian island of Sardinia for the sixth round of the 2020 season on October 8-11 with the goal of defending its leadership of the drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships. After his victory last time out in Turkey, Elfyn Evans leads the drivers’ standings by 18 points over team-mate Sébastien Ogier, with the team’s rookie driver Kalle Rovanperä another nine points behind.

Held in June over recent seasons, this year’s Rally Italia Sardegna was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and it will be staged as an autumn event for the first time since 2012. The rally features quick, narrow stages with a fine sandy surface that gets swept away by each passing car to leave a rockier, rutted road. The later date means that temperatures are unlikely to be as high as usual, with a greater possibility of rain.

After shakedown on Thursday afternoon, the rally begins on Friday morning with a pair of stages (Tempio Pausania and Erula–Tula) each run twice. Following an afternoon service in Alghero there will be another two stages, Sedini–Castelsardo and Tergu–Osilo: These will be repeated around 24 hours later to complete a similar format on Saturday after two loops of the Monte Lerno and Coiluna–Loelle tests. The Sunday is identical to 2019, based on Sardinia’s western coast close to Alghero, with the Cala Flumini and Sassari–Argentiera stages each run twice.

Quotes:

Tommi Mäkinen (Team Principal)
“We are in a strong position in both championships but everything is still open, so we need to concentrate on our own rally and push to score as many points as we can. Sardinia is usually not the best place to be first on the road for Friday, as Elfyn will be with Seb just behind him, and on this occasion they will have to do a full day of stages in those positions. But the later date for the rally this year could help us, as we may get some rain. Either way, we are pretty confident in the conditions that we face in Sardinia and we are ready to make the most of the potential that we have shown there in the past.”

Sébastien Ogier/ Julien Ingrassia
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 17)
“Sardinia is a rally that I like, but we’re going to be competing there at a different time of the year compared to usual, so the challenge might not be the same as what we are used to. For this reason, the test that we did there last week was important preparation. At this time of year, the weather can be more uncertain than normal, and on an island like Sardinia it can change very quickly anyway. In the test we had some heavy rain showers and the conditions on the stage changed completely in just a few minutes. Everything is still open in the championship, so we have to keep doing our best and target the maximum points in Sardinia.”

Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“Whenever you finish one rally on a high like we did in Turkey then it’s always a good boost for the following round. Leading the championship is certainly a good position to be in, even though it does come with an added challenge in that we will need to sweep the road in Sardinia. It is how it is but it’s not going to make it an easy event for us – providing it stays dry, of course. Going to Sardinia in October could change the weather forecasts somewhat. It might make it a little bit less demanding for the tyres, but we will still have some difficult choices: We face some loops of stages where we have to choose the tyres for the first and second passes of stages without returning to service, so it’s still going be a big challenge.”

Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“In my pre-event test for Sardinia I had a good feeling straight away in the car, and it got even better once we made some changes, so I’m happy going into the rally. In Sardinia there’s usually a lot of road cleaning on the first pass, so it will be important to have good grip there. It can also be quite rough in some places and on the second pass there will be big ruts, so you need to have a good setup to deal with that also. It seems we can expect to have some rain showers and that they can be quite local – so it will only be wet in some parts of the stages. The information from our weather crews is going to be really important to know if there will be rain or not and what tyres we need to take, especially as I’ve heard that the stages can be really slippery when it rains.”

M-Sport - READY FOR A SUCCESSFUL SARDINIA

Posted: October 6, 2020 2:52 PM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRCs were prepared in record time ahead of this week’s Rally Italia Sardegna – the Cumbrian squad working throughout the night to be ready for one of the their most successful events.

Since its debut in 2017, the top-specification Fiesta has never finished shy of the Rally Italia podium and the team would love to continue that trend with Esapekka Lappi, Teemu Suninen and Gus Greensmith this year.

The Fiestas arrived back at Dovenby Hall last Monday and, having completed two rallies on the bounce, the technicians had some serious work to do – including a full repair of the damage sustained after Suninen’s excursion on the Rally Estonia Shakedown.

In fact Suninen’s Fiesta didn’t make it back from the paint shop until last Wednesday afternoon, but the technicians buckled down and a couple of late, ‘pie and pea,’ suppers in the workshop ensured the Fiestas were loaded onto the trucks in time for their Saturday morning departure.

Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“Firstly, I need to say a massive thanks to our technicians. They’ve put in some serious work to make sure the cars are ready for the rally and without their hard work and dedication we simply wouldn’t have been able to go rallying this week.

“We’ve always performed well in Sardinia and I hope that will be the case again this year. The event is running a little later than usual, and the last time that happened there were a few surprises – including both of our junior drivers, Ott Tänak and Evgeny Novikov, finishing on the podium!

“The weather could make for an unpredictable event and the engineers will also have a lot to think about when it comes to set-ups and tyre strategies with two loops run back-to-back without a service on both Friday and Saturday morning.

“It’s certainly going to be an interesting rally and I think another exciting one for the fans as well. I can’t wait to get out there and see what we can do – and if luck is on our side this time then I think we can deliver a good result with all of our drivers.”

LAPPI / FERM

Rally Italia Sardegna will always be a special place for Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm as it’s where the pairing delivered their very first stage win – posting the fastest time through the first pass of ‘Tergu - Osil’ in 2017. The pairing also secured a podium finish at the event in 2018, and will be tackling the Sardinian stages for the sixth time this year.

Esapekka Lappi said:
“We’re heading to Sardinia a bit later than usual so things could be a little different this year. The temperatures might not be as high, and the weather could be a bit more unpredictable. This has never been an event where you can push flat-out all the time, and that could be even truer this year. We’ll have to complete two loops of stages without service so there’ll be a compromise to consider when deciding set-ups and tyre strategies that will work over both passes. It’s going to be a challenging weekend, but we’re determined to produce a good result and I think this is an event where we have a good chance of doing that.”

SUNINEN / LEHTINEN

Rally Italia Sardegna is also a special event for Teemu Suninen. The Finn won the WRC 3 category in 2015, the WRC 2 category in 2016 and secured a career-best result at the event last year. Partnered by Jarmo Lehtinen for the very first time, the Finn secured three stage wins on his way to second place and finished just 13.7 seconds adrift of the victory.

Teemu Suninen said:
“I’ve always performed well in Sardinia and it’s an event I look forward to every year. It’s the first event I did with Jarmo, and where I secured my best ever result last year. Of course we’ll be competing in the autumn this time which will make things a bit different, but I hope we’ll be able to show the same good pace. As always in Sardinia, we’ll need to be really focused and careful to mark every stone on the recce. We’ll also have to think carefully about the set-up and strategy as we’ll have to drive two loops without service – meaning that myself and Jarmo will have to make any changes remotely with what we carry in the car.”

GREENSMITH / EDMONDSON

Gus Greensmith and Elliott Edmondson may have only contested the Sardinian event on one previous occasion, but the young Brits are coming off the back of a career-best fifth place at Rally Turkey. Keen to showcase their development at the sport’s highest level, they’ll be looking for another strong result to bolster all they have learnt over the past few months.

Gus Greensmith said:
“I’ve only competed in Sardinia once before, but I really like the island and the stages. They’re not quite as rough as those in Turkey, but they’re certainly not smooth and we will need to deliver another good performance if we want to secure another good result this week. That’s our aim and I see no reason why we can’t achieve it. We know from Teemu’s performance last year that the car is suited to Sardinia’s stages, and I also feel as though I am developing better consistency every time I get behind the wheel.”

FOURMAUX / JAMOUL

Adrien Fourmaux may have only contested Rally Italia Sardegna on one previous occasion, and never with four-wheel-drive machinery, but the young Frenchman will be in a positive mood having secured victory on his world rally car debut at the famous Rally Legend last weekend. Contesting the San Marino based event with co-driver Renaud Jamoul, the Frenchman secured the victory by an impressive one minute and 43 seconds. Returning to the Ford Fiesta Rally2 this week, the youngster will be pushing for an equally strong result in the WRC 2 category.

Adrien Fourmaux said:
“Rally Legend was a fantastic event, and to drive the Ford Fiesta WRC was like a dream come true. It was a brilliant weekend with a brilliant atmosphere, and I hope the experience will help me as I return to the Ford Fiesta Rally2 and WRC 2 this week. Although I’ve only contested Rally Italia Sardegna once before, I’m looking forward to the challenge and hope to be able to push for the top results once again.”

Junior WRC Hits Halfway Mark in Sardinia

Posted: October 6, 2020 2:49 PM

The 2020 FIA Junior WRC Championship heads to the Italian island of Sardinia for round three, Rally d’Italia Sardegna, entering the second half of this year’s championship.

The rally is the second and final gravel event of the season in FIA Junior WRC as the championship battle begins to tighten for the future stars of the FIA World Rally Championship. Martins Sesks leads the championship with 47 points following an assertive victory on Rally Estonia. Sami Pajari took a career best second in Estonia and ate into Sesks’ points advantage by taking eight stage wins on the rally – the most of any FIA Junior WRC driver in Estonia. Rally Sweden winner and 2019 Rookie Award winner, Tom Kristensson, sits third with 29 points. He had his worst result to date in Estonia, taking only one stage win point and retired from the rally early on.

The trio will resume battle on the Italian gravel in their EcoBoost-powered M Sport Fiesta Rally4 cars. It is Pajari’s first time in Sardinia with Sesks and Kristensson experiencing the rough Italian roads for the first time in 2019.

Usually, the rally can be summarised in three words: rough, hot and dusty. 2020 had better ideas though, following a reshuffled calendar, the event finds itself in October with much cooler temperatures ushering in a different challenge with higher wind speeds bringing very changeable and unpredictable weather.

The challenge of Rally d’Italia Sardegna is usually characterised by a continuously developing surface as the soft and sandy top surface covers a very hard and immovable bedrock. Should the heavens open the loose top surface will develop into a momentum killing, sludgy buildup pushed to either side of the road revealing a very slippery hard surface underneath.

Careful attention will be needed when it comes to writing pace notes with crews having to work hard when considering how corner speeds, braking points and grip levels will change with weather.

The chances of punctures are usually significantly higher on the island of Sardinia thanks to the unforgiving rocks that line its stages. Tyre changes are a simple but essential practice for crews and those well prepared could reap the rewards as rally could be won or lost on a simple tyre change.

The Pirelli tyres available for crews to choose form will be between 20 Scorpion K4 (hard) and 6 Scorpion K6 (soft) with a maximum of use of 20 tyres including shakedown. Tyre choice could prove pivotal depending on how stage conditions develop and will be at the forefront of each crew’s mind should rain clouds appear.

Maciej Woda, FIA Junior WRC Championship Manager, said:
“We have an interesting rally ahead of us that could really spice things up in the championship. Martins and Tom have both been to Sardinia before but don’t have wet experience on these stages whereas Sami has never been to this rally before. It will be very interesting to see how the battle in the championship top-three develops, the stages got quite rough in Estonia and we had some very close battles there. It could be, as seen in previous seasons, that stage wins decide the championship and the fight for stage wins on Sardinia will be made more difficult by the Italian crews who know these roads really well.”

47. Martins Sesks / Renars Francis
“I will try to do the same as I did in Estonia. To be confident, drive a consistent pace and be smart. In previous rallies and in WRC generally, it’s not usually the absolute fastest driver that wins, it’s usually the smartest or best all-round driver that wins so we will try to be the smartest.”

48. Sami Pajari / Marko Salminen
“It’s exciting, it will be a really challenging weekend but I am really looking forward to it. I will do my best. Of course I am aiming to win, as always, but sometimes my chances are better than other opportunities. We will see how it goes.”

49. Tom Kristensson / Joakim Sjöberg
“I had some bad luck and wasn’t really in the rhythm here last year. I didn’t have any stage wins either so I think we need to start the rally differently this year and continue being better. It’s a very special rally, I don’t know yet how it will feel but I will do my best, that’s for sure.”

50. Ruairi Bell / Darren Garrod
“I’m more familiar with these kinds of roads. Sardinia is a bit similar to Portugal and that’s where we’ve been quite a few times. Another result like in Estonia or better would be ideal. Otherwise it will be to see what we can do and gain more experience.”

51. Fabrizio Zaldivar / Fernando Mussano
“We did quite a lot of rallies after Estonia, we had a rally in France for the French Championship, we were second in the RC4 class which was a good result. We had some problems on the first day but it was still good. We then did a rally in Spain and we were almost leading there, just four seconds behind the leader. The aim in Sardinia is top five or higher, we were here last year so know the stages. We will push and do our best.”

52. Marco Pollara / Maurizio Messina
“Finally it’s my home rally. Rally Sardinia is beautiful for me and I will push very hard for a good position in the championship.”

53. Enrico Oldrati / Elia de Guio
“I rallied last weekend and finished second, it was a good chance to get experience and understand the car before coming here. For sure this home event will be a good test for us but make no mistake it will be tough.”

54. Fabio Andolfi / Stefano Savoia
“I think this rally will be difficult because the stages are very hard but, we are ready and we want to finish this rally! The last two rallies weren’t very luck for us.”

Entry List

Posted: October 6, 2020 2:48 PM

New date confirmed for Italy’s 2020 FIA WRC fixture

Posted: August 26, 2020 8:50 AM

Italy’s 2020 FIA World Rally Championship fixture at Rally Italia Sardegna will move forward by three weeks to 8 - 11 October.

The request to reschedule came from event organiser Automobile Club d’Italia and was agreed by the FIA, motorsport’s governing body, and WRC Promoter following the forced cancellation of ADAC Rallye Deutschland.

The switch avoids a clash with Formula 1’s Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna, which will be held at Italy’s Imola circuit on the same late- October weekend on which Rally Italia Sardegna was scheduled.

The move forward offers the prospect of better weather on the Mediterranean island for the gravel road fixture, as well as additional daylight hours as Europe moves deep into autumn.

Angelo Sticchi Damiani, president of Automobile Club d’Italia, said finalising a date which aligned with other championship calendars was a tricky task.

“In ACI we have worked hard to redefine the new dates for the 2020 Rally Italia Sardegna,” he explained. “It has not been easy to find the right days which could put together the needs of all stakeholders and could work well for the region of Sardinia.

“In this very difficult year ACI has wanted, as already shown with the F1 GPs in Monza, Mugello and Imola, to protect national and international motorsport by confirming also our competition. I personally thank the region of Sardinia for their absolute support to make all this happen.”

The change was made possible after ADAC Rallye Deutschland was called off. The Bostalsee-based event on 15 - 18 October was scheduled to be round six of the season, but organisers have cancelled it due to restrictions on mass gatherings in Germany related to Covid-19.

New Date - 29 Oct-1 Nov 20

Posted: July 2, 2020 10:43 AM

FIA WRC ROUNDS IN PORTUGAL AND ITALY POSTPONED

Posted: March 27, 2020 12:04 PM

Following the extension of a state of emergency in Portugal and similar emergency measures in Italy, extensive discussions were held involving national authorities in both countries, the FIA and WRC Promoter.

With the unanimous agreement of all parties, organisers Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) and Automobile Club d’Italia (ACI) requested a postponement of their rallies.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round five of the FIA World Rally Championship, was due to take place in Matosinhos on 21 - 24 May. Rally Italia Sardegna, round six, was due to take place in Sardinia on 4 - 7 June.

ACP president Carlos Barbosa said: “We wish to thank all our supporters and partners for their understanding and look forward to welcoming them in Matosinhos at a later stage this year.”

ACI president Angelo Sticchi Damiani said: “Automobile Club d'Italia, as the federation of Italian motor racing and as Rally Italia Sardegna organiser, has made itself available, with the FIA and with the WRC Promoter, to study a possible new date for an event of great prestige and great historical importance.”

WRC Promoter and FIA continue to closely monitor the situation in affected countries due to host future rounds, as well as the home countries of WRC teams and all competitors.

“All parties will work to identify potential alternative dates for the postponed rallies later in the season should the COVID-19 situation improve, taking into consideration championship logistics, the ability of competitors to travel again and the ability of the country in question to prepare and host the WRC at such a time,” said WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla.

In these challenging and extraordinary days, the entire teams at WRC Promoter and FIA send a strong message of solidarity to all competitors, officials, personnel, volunteers and fans across the globe who are fighting this pandemic together. Please follow medical advice and stay safe and healthy.

Rally Guide / Details / Event Website

Posted: March 5, 2020 7:19 AM

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