Italy WRC: Sordo quickest on Friday afternoon, Latvala crashes

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo is expected to inherit the lead of the World Rally Championship's Rally Italy round when nominal times from a stage cancellation are finalised.

Italy WRC: Sordo quickest on Friday afternoon, Latvala crashes

Sordo began the afternoon loop 0.7 seconds behind Toyota’s Ott Tanak in third, and duly beat his rival by that same 0.7s to draw level with Tanak heading into stage seven.

Stage seven Castelsardo stage was then cancelled as a spectator required medical attention, but not before the leading three drivers on the road - Tanak, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans - all managed to complete it.

This has left rally organisers with a decision as to what nominal time to give the remainder of the field, and forced Tanak, Neuville and Evans to complete the loop with tyres that were in a worse condition than the rest.

Sordo went 4.7s faster than Tanak on the next competitive test and 6.5s quicker on the final stage, which should be enough to see him lead Tanak and M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen overnight.

Jari-Matti Latvala had led the rally heading into the afternoon, but his challenge ended on the first test.

He clipped the inside of a tight hairpin on Tula, rolling his Yaris WRC onto its side. He and co-driver Miikka Anttila managed to overturn the Toyota but limped to the end of the stage with a broken windscreen, losing well over eight minutes.

Latvala responded with a fourth fastest time despite no windscreen on the following test, only for his Yaris to veer left and off the road on Monte Baranta that concluded the afternoon.

M-Sport driver Evans lost ground when he nudged a bank on stage eight Tergu-Osilo and shot into a hedge after struggling to stop his Fiesta. He managed to reverse out, but dropped 9.5s to Tanak after closing to within 1.2s on the previous stage.

Andreas Mikkelsen lamented his incorrect tyre choice in the morning because “he could have been right up there” as he fought to keep Kris Meeke behind him.

He blasted to a stage win on Monte Baranta that could potentially elevate him past Evans into fourth.

Meeke had a quiet afternoon, keeping his Toyota out of trouble to hold sixth.

Hyundai’s Neuville endured a ragged afternoon but survived to lie seventh, albeit 46.5s behind championship rival Tanak.

Neuville and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul had a “misunderstanding with a pace note” towards the end of Tula, the pair damaging the radiator on their Hyundai as they lost the rear and nudged a bank.

Two stages later and Neuville evaded further disaster, starting the test on tyres he described as “slicks”.

He suffered a big slide into a right hander early on, narrowly avoiding a hole on the inside bank. He then overshot a junction later on the stage, completing Tergu-Osilo with no front bumper.

Esapekka Lappi set some encouraging pace across the afternoon, but the Citroen driver finds himself over a minute behind the lead in eighth after he knocked a tyre off the rim in the morning.

shares
comments
Citroen will consider pulling Ogier out of Rally Italy

Previous article

Citroen will consider pulling Ogier out of Rally Italy

Next article

Hybrid World Rally Cars to be introduced for 2022

Hybrid World Rally Cars to be introduced for 2022
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021