The WRC Sardegna was a real test of strength for rally fans and for teams, especially Hyundai Motorsport. What happened and why did they have to stock up on sedatives for the future? Rally Italia in simple words at a glance.
It’s too early for results on Friday
Somebody says: “It’s too early for results on Friday, because every rally is a long drive.” On Friday, no one hesitated that Hyundai Motorsport holds the lead in the WRC Sardegna. Thierry Neuville has shown his high-class rally driving as standard. Ott Tanak suddenly surprised rally fans with an amazing I20 so fast.
Even Toyota Gazoo Racing Team principal Jari-Matti Latvala will say afterwards that Tanak is the fastest in his view. The third Hyundai Motorsport rally driver, Dani Sordo, knows the challenge of the WRC Sardegna like the back of his hand at the wheel of the I20.
The battle for the manufacturers’ championship before WRC Sardegna.
Off the coast of Olbia the picture was so obvious. The thought that Sebastian Ogier would find a magic spell again to make his Toyota Yaris take off like a rocket was gone. It seemed as if we could relax and yes, we already know the result. Following the victory of Elfyn Evans in the Rally de Portugal, Toyota Gazoo Racing extended its lead in the constructors “standings by 37 points. It wasn’t a battle between the drivers, it’s the rally challenge for the leading team. And so it went on, but on Saturday the picture changed dramatically.
Drama on Saturday at the WRC Sardegna.
In the morning Ott Tanak had an accident. He ripped a rear wheel from his i20 World Rally Car after hitting a rock. Before we could recover, Dani Sordo jumped on a rock. His car flipped over, the Spanish Hyundai driver’s battle was over. We reach for a sedative, but it is too late, the Toyota drivers Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans accelerate immediately and climb into first and second place respectively. The only consolation for Hyundai Motorsport was Thierry Neuville in third place overall.
The magic button in Sebastien Ogie’s Toyota Rally Car.
No one could be clear that Ogier will win this fifth round. As the world championship leader, he started in the order of the opening session on Friday and plowed a line through loose gravel that became cleaner with each car and offered more grip. However, while Hyundai Motorsport retains its composure, the reigning champion finds the magic button of his Toyota Yaris and lands on the stone-strewn dirt tracks of the Mediterranean island to claim his third win of the season. He finished 46.0 seconds ahead of Elfyn Evans and extended his lead to 11 points after five of the 12 contests. On this day it was clear that the Frenchman would easily survive the final on Sunday and take his 52nd career victory.
WRC Sardegna, highlight on Sunday
Elfyn Evans did not lose himself in the background of the great magician Ogier, but improved the feeling with his car and added. Despite the problems in the power stage, Elfyn Evans extended the series lead from Toyota to Hyundai to 49 points. Terry Neville, a brave warrior who defended third place, did not put himself under pressure, kept calm and defended the honor of the Hyundai Rally team, must be paid tribute.
Anyway, the most important thing about a race weekend like this is not the failure, but the ability to look out for mistakes and it is the mistakes on our roads that make us stronger and better.
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