Italy (WRC) - 3-6 Jun 21

Posted: June 3, 2021 12:17 PM - 841 Hits

Round 5 - 2021 World Rally Championship

Live Results (Italy 2021) Also available at: rally-base results &
Event Website: Rally Italia

First stage each day - Times are Irish/UK (Sardinia is 1 hour ahead)
Shakedown Thu - 11:01
SS1 Fri - 07:02
SS9 Sat - 07:08
SS17 Sun - 06:33

Oliver Solberg/Aaron Johnson to miss Rally Italia Sardgena

Posted: May 30, 2021 5:09 AM

Oliver Solberg / Aaron Johnson will not start next week's Rally Italia Sardegna.

Oliver’s father Petter Solberg tested positive for coronavirus on Monday (May 24). The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

Oliver has tested negative repeatedly since Monday, but will remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days.

Oliver had been scheduled to make his second Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC appearance of the season at next week’s Olbia-based World Rally Championship round.

Oliver said: “You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated.

“But you know, we have seen in the last year what coronavirus can do. My papa is doing well with a small fever and I’m thinking to him right now.

“It’s really hard to take now, but the time for my next rally in that amazing Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will come. We have these rules and regulations for a reason and that reason is to try to stop this thing spreading.

“My family accepts completely what the FIA, the rally organisers, the national governments and medical professionals are telling us. The most important thing is that we keep people safe.”

Entry List

Posted: May 30, 2021 5:05 AM


Posted: May 30, 2021 4:53 AM

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team heads to Rally Italia Sardegna next week (June 3-6) on a high after landing its best result so far in this season’s FIA World Rally Championship in Portugal last weekend.

Gus Greensmith took his EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC to fifth place on Rally de Portugal courtesy of eight top-five stage times, while team-mate Adrien Fourmaux completed his event debut and his first start on gravel in a World Rally Car in sixth place, with the Frenchman going second quickest twice on the final day.

With the dust still settling on that impressive Portuguese showing, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team assembles in Sardinia for the second of four consecutive gravel rounds with a tweaked, but equally promising, driver line-up.

After finishing runner-up in the WRC2 category on Rally de Portugal, Teemu Suninen takes over the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC Fourmaux drove last week, with Fourmaux reverting to the Rally2 Fiesta driven by Suninen. Gus Greensmith will partner Suninen in the main M-Sport Ford World Rally Team attack.

After running in October last season, Rally Italia Sardegna returns to its more traditional June date and to Olbia, the event’s home when it joined the WRC schedule for the first time in 2004 until Alghero became host in 2014.

The move has led to several route changes, starting with a new shakedown stage in Loiri, the return of leg two’s Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba for first time since 2005, albeit significantly revised since it was last used, plus a revamped Sunday leg. This includes the all-new Aglientu – Santa Teresa test and a tweaked Arzachena – Braniatogghiu stage.

While the route, which totals 303.10 kilometres over 20 stages, has been adjusted, the challenge of competing in Sardinia remains just as intense. The island’s roads are twisty and technical in parts but fast and undulating in others. Often lined with trees and rocks, dust hanging above the narrow tracks raises the difficulty level, while the soft sandy surface puts the onus on running order in dry conditions.

The hard base can also trigger an increase in tyre wear, particularly on the second pass and when the ambient and ground temperatures are at their highest.

Following the ceremonial start in Alghero on Thursday June 3, Friday’s action starts with twin visits to Filigosu – Sa Conchedda and Terranova, followed by two runs through Tempio Pausania and Erula – Tula either side of service in Olbia.

Saturday’s route, the longest of the rally at 129.62 kilometres, includes Coiluna – Loelle and Lerno – Monti di Ala’, which are used twice in the morning, followed by double passes of Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba and Sedini – Castelsardo in the afternoon after a service break in Olbia. Lerno – Monti di Ala’ features the legendary Micky’s Jump and is a spectacle like no other.

The event is decided over two repeated stages on Sunday (June 6) with the second run through Aglientu – Santa Teresa counting as the points-paying Wolf Power Stage. Its coastal setting promises spectacular views for audiences watching the action live around the world. Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:

“Rally de Portugal once again underlined the potential of our young drivers and we are excitedly waiting to see even more progression from them in Sardinia, where we have achieved strong results in the past.

“It’s by no means an easy rally with tyre and car preservation two important factors our drivers must consider. But they all have experience of the Sardinian roads and are more than aware of the challenges they will face.

“We are pleased to give Teemu another opportunity to demonstrate his pace in a World Rally Car. He drove excellently on the opening day in Sardinia last year and there’s no reason why he can’t deliver a similar performance next week. Of course, he’ll be using the Pirelli gravel tyre for the first time but he’s a very capable driver, so we have no worries that he’ll adapt.

“Gus did everything expected of him and more in Portugal and was unlucky not to be in the podium fight. But he kept his composure and delivered a succession of top stage times.

“Croatia and Portugal were all about Adrien gaining experience in the WRC. For Sardinia he has a different job to do, which is to show the performance of the Fiesta Rally2 and fight for the victory in WRC2, which he’s more than capable of doing.”

Greensmith has experience from two Sardinia starts, once at Rally2 level and last year in an EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC. After excelling in Portugal, the 24-year-old Briton will be aiming high again in Sardinia. With Chris Patterson unavailable for personal reasons, Stuart Loudon will perform co-driving duties on a one-off basis. The 33-year-old from Scotland is vastly experienced and forms part of Greensmith’s gravel-note crew on asphalt rounds of the WRC. He also co-drove Greensmith on ADAC Rallye Deutschland in 2018.

Gus Greensmith said:
“Portugal was just about getting back to where I can be and I’m hoping for more of the same in Sardinia. Although it’s more technical, Sardinia is fairly similar to Portugal in that we’ll start the rally on the set-up I finished Portugal with, which worked well.

“The set-up is a very similar premise to Portugal. We want the car to be driving from the front, we don’t want to be losing time sliding because the stages are so narrow and twisty and technical that the more you are facing forward the faster you are going. We know the car can be fast here from previous years and both Teemu and I can count on good road positions for day one. I’ve not had much luck on this rally so I’m hoping for third time lucky.

“Chris can’t attend for personal reasons but I’ve competed with Stuart before in Germany. We did a few stage-winning times so clearly we’re pretty hand in a car together.”


For Suninen, the opportunity to return to the World Rally Car category in Sardinia serves as a return to familiar ground. A podium finisher in the WRC’s top tier on three occasions – including on the island event in 2019 – Suninen, 27, has made five starts in Sardinia and led before holding second place throughout the opening leg on last year’s edition.

Teemu Suninen said:
“I’ve always enjoyed driving in Sardinia. It’s on the rough side of a gravel rally but the car can take the roughness, although you need to manage your tyre wear and that will be a big point. Normally I have had good results in Sardinia. I won’t try the Pirelli tyre until shakedown, which is a challenge, but I will take the challenge and get the maximum out of the weekend.

“It helps that we start in Sardinia straight after Portugal, but the others will have a one-week advantage over me because I did Portugal in the Rally2 car. They know the whole package and there’s not much I can do about that so I need to make a big difference out of my road position, which will be good for the first day if it stays dry.

“I’m really excited to be back in the Ford Fiesta WRC. It’s enjoyable to drive and I would say it’s easier going from the Rally2 to the WRC rather than in the other direction. We have the aero and it’s easier to go with the paddleshift. But it’s easier to wear out the tyres because we have 100hp more and you can have too much wheelspin. That can make the rally more difficult but I’m here to learn the tyres and have a clean rally.”

Fourmaux, 26, is no stranger to the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta Rally2 having taken three WRC2 podiums on gravel events in the car last season. He can also count on knowledge gained from two previous starts in Sardinia.

Adrien Fourmaux said:
“I will discover again the Rally2 Fiesta after two rallies in the World Rally Car. But it’s my third time in Sardinia and I expect to be able to fight with the top drivers in WRC2 and why not fight for the win. I hope with the knowledge of the car that I have from before that I will be able to adapt quite quickly. Even if it’s a different car to the WRC, it’s still four-wheel drive. But the big difference is the speed in the very fast sections. Without all the aero of the World Rally Car it can be a bit less stable but then we have less power so it’s not a problem. We use the paddle to change the gears with the WRC car but in the Rally2 we use the gear stick, so I have to remember to change my habits. I can be very proud of my performances in Croatia and Portugal, where I had to discover everything. Now I have a different job to do, but I am confident I can do it well so I get more chances in the World Rally Car in the future.”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing sets sail in search of Sardinian success

Posted: May 30, 2021 4:50 AM

After victory in Portugal, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team moves quickly onto another gruelling gravel event in the shape of Rally Italia Sardegna (June 3-6) with the aim of continuing its strong recent form.

Toyota Yaris WRC duo Sébastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans lead the way in the drivers’ championship after the latter’s victory on the first gravel round of 2021 in Portugal – and are separated by just two points, with a further 20 points back to the competition. Fifth in the standings is Kalle Rovanperä and sixth is TGR WRC Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta – fresh from taking his best ever result of fourth in Portugal.

Rally Italia Sardegna returns to its traditional June date this year after the 2020 edition was switched to the autumn. That should mean a return to some of the highest temperatures experienced all season, which combined with rough and abrasive roads can make the event particularly tough on cars and tyres. The stages are fast but narrow and lined with bushes, trees and rocks, making them tricky for the drivers too.

The service park moves back to Olbia in the northeast of the island after seven years in Alghero on the west coast – although Alghero will still host the start of the rally on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday feature mostly familiar roads from recent years, with each day consisting of a pair of stages run twice in the morning and another pair of stages run twice in the afternoon. Saturday afternoon’s Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba test was last driven in 2005, while Sunday has a completely different look, with two passes over the Arzachena – Braniatogghiu stage last run in 2009 plus the all-new Aglientu – Santa Teresa test on the northern coast, which will serve as the rally-ending Power Stage.


Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“We had a fantastic result in Portugal and that gives us a good feeling moving onto another gravel rally in Sardinia. We also have to be realistic going into the event. Seb and Elfyn will be the first two drivers on the road during day one, and this is usually one of the most difficult rallies in terms of road cleaning, especially now we are going back there in the summer. But we fought back well from a difficult start in Portugal and again we will try to take as many points as we can in Sardinia. We know it will be a great challenge but that’s what rallying is all about.”

Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia
Sébastien Ogier (Driver car 1)
“I’m sure that Sardinia will be another demanding rally for us, opening the road again like in Portugal. But honestly I am happy to be leading the championship: I always try to take as many points as I can, and this will be the aim in Sardinia too. The result in Portugal was positive, even though I was not so satisfied with our pace. But it was the first time driving with the new tyres on gravel, and hopefully as we gain a bit more understanding with them we can see how to extract some more performance already in this next event.”

Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin
Elfyn Evans (Driver car 33)
“Portugal was obviously a great result for us. We made good progress with the car setup and our understanding of the tyres throughout the weekend, but even though it’s quite a tight turnaround, I think we probably all have a few ideas as to how we can improve the package for Sardinia. It’s not going to be an easy weekend given our road position, and that might be more of a disadvantage than it was in October last year if we have warm and dry conditions like expected, but we’re going to give it our best shot as always.”

Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen
Kalle Rovanperä (Driver car 69)
“After Portugal I really hope that we can have a better rally in Sardinia. The stages there are quite demanding and I’m not sure whether suit my style so well, even though I did win there in WRC2 in 2019. Last year it was quite a tricky event for us, but I really want to improve there and show some better pace and I have already been studying the stages quite a lot in preparation. In Portugal I struggled a lot on the first pass when the grip was lower, but we used the Sunday to test some different setups ready for Sardinia and hopefully we can use what we learned there.”

Hyundai Motorsport Preview: Round 5 – Rally Italia Sardegna

Posted: May 30, 2021 4:48 AM

Hyundai Motorsport is targeting a winning performance at Rally Italia Sardegna, the fifth round of the 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC), an event at which the manufacturer has taken victory four times over the past five seasons.

Three crews will take on the gravel roads of the Italian island in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Dani Sordo/Borja Rozada. All three pairs showed impressive pace at the last gravel outing, Rally de Portugal, and have each stood on the top step at Rally Italia Sardegna in the past.

Neuville/Wydaeghe and Tänak/Järveoja endured frustrating weekends in Portugal but will be looking to bounce back at what is usually a strong event for Hyundai Motorsport. Spaniards Sordo and Rozada enjoyed better fortunes at Rally de Portugal, securing a podium finish at their first event as a crew. Sordo will arrive at Rally Italia Sardegna full of confidence, having won the event in each of the last two seasons with the team.

Rally Italia Sardegna returns to Olbia for 2021, with the service park situated at Molo Brin. A ceremonial start will take place in Alghero, before the crews embark on 20 stages covering a total distance of 303.10km. The rough surface of the gravel roads, which only becomes more treacherous on the second pass, is sure to present a number of challenges for the competing crews - and promises to produce some spectacular rally action.

All three crews tested in Sardinia for one day each earlier this month, and they will be keen to hit the ground running when the opening special stage gets underway on Friday morning.

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:
“We have a clear target for victory in Sardinia, in an effort to make up the missed opportunities from Portugal. My people have worked hard in these past months to prepare for these rallies, and to make sure our Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC can compete at the front. We showed in Portugal that we have the pace, now we need a trouble-free weekend to confirm the results we know we can achieve. The championship is far from over, so we have to dig deep and come back fighting.”

Crew Notes: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (#11 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Belgians looking to bounce back after difficult Rally de Portugal weekend
Neuville aiming for third victory at Rally Italia Sardegna

Neuvile said: “Rally Italia Sardegna is a brilliant event at which the whole team has always been very strong. A few of us have won there before, and we’ll be hoping to get back on the top step again. This year will be a bit of a change as we are going back to Olbia, where we have been in the past , but the stages will be more or less the same. It will certainly be a challenging event, but hopefully we can bounce back and deliver a strong team result in some beautiful weather.”

Crew Notes: Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (#8 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Estonians put in impressive display in Portugal with eight stage wins
Crew have eyes set on second win of the season

Tänak said: “Rally Italia Sardegna is definitely one of the toughest events of the season. The stages can get very rough there with lots of bedrock coming through, so it certainly presents a lot of challenges. Especially with the new tyres this year there will be quite a lot to discover. However, we showed a lot of pace on the gravel in Portugal, so I hope we can take that across to Italy and battle for the win once again.”

Crew Notes: Dani Sordo/Borja Rozada (#6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)
Spaniards secured podium finish at first rally as a crew
Sordo on a mission to achieve third consecutive Rally Italia Sardegna victory

Sordo said: “The last two years competing at Rally Italia Sardegna have delivered really good results for me. On both occasions, I have managed to win the rally, so it is an event that I really like. I feel very comfortable there, plus I will have an advantage with road position on the first day, so I am definitely looking forward to it. It was great to get on the podium at Rally de Portugal, but we will be going to Sardinia to fight for the win.”

WRC 2 Overview

Hyundai Motorsport has been forced to make late changes to its WRC 2 line-up for Rally Italia Sardegna following the enforced quarantine of the RedGrey team in line with pandemic protocols. A member of the team tested positive for COVID-19 following Rally de Portugal.

Portuguese Health Authorities issued an isolation notice to all members of RedGrey team attending the event, effective until 4 June. RedGrey had been scheduled to run two Hyundai i20 R5 cars in Sardinia, which will now not be possible.

Hyundai Motorsport will instead have a sole participant in WRC 2 with Jari Huttunen/Mikko Lukka, run by Polish Kowax 2Brally Team. It will be the crew’s second outing in the category this season after competing at Arctic Rally Finland back in February.

Huttunen said: “I am very excited to return to the cockpit of the Hyundai i20 R5 at Rally Italia Sardegna. It has been a long break for me, and we only have limited opportunities to prepare for the rally with a one-day test on Monday. I have only competed in this event once before - last year - and I won in WRC 3, so I have very nice memories and high expectations of this year’s entry into WRC 2.”

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said: “We understand and accept the situation with RedGrey team following their confirmed case of COVID-19 in Portugal. We respect the decisions taken by the authorities. The safety and wellbeing of our staff - and of team members running our cars - is top priority. Sadly, of course, that means a late change to our planned entry into WRC 2 for Rally Italia Sardegna. Jari will be the only Hyundai i20 R5 competing in WRC 2 next weekend, so it is important for him to make a positive impression. He has the opportunity to use the event to demonstrate another step ahead in a car he knows well.”

Weekend at a Glance

After a shakedown on Thursday morning in Loiri, the 2021 Rally Italia Sardegna will begin with a ceremonial start in Alghero.
The schedule on Friday consists of two loops of Sa Conchedda (22.29km) and Terranova (14.36km) in the morning, followed by a service point, and then two loops of Tempio Pausania (12.08km) and Tula (14.97km) in the afternoon.
On Saturday, the crews will first complete two passes of Loelle (15.00km) and Monti di Ala’ (22.08km), before twice tackling Viddalba (14.70km) and Castelsardo (13.03km), again with a service point between the morning and afternoon sections.
The final day comprises of two stages, both of which will be run twice: Braniatogghiu (15.25km) and Santa Teresa (7.79km). The second pass of Santa Teresa will be the rally’s Power Stage, offering bonus points to the drivers and manufacturers.

Rally Guide / Details / Event Website

Posted: May 10, 2021 9:19 AM

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