Rally Italia Sardegna: Shocking victory for Dani Sordo, his second in a career
Hyundai Motorsport’s Dani Sordo and Carlos del Barrio are the winners of Rally Italia Sardegna, the eighth round of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship. It’s only the second WRC victory in Dani Sordo’s long WRC career and also the second win for his navigator.
The Spanish crew in the #6 Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC have taken the shocking victory following Ott Tanak’s misfortune at the last special stage. Tanak entered the 6.89km long Power Stage with the 26.7sec advantage over Sordo but he crashed into the fence in the middle of the stage, losing a power steering and struggling until the end. Tanak was more than two minutes slower than stage winner Andreas Mikkelsen and dropped to the fifth place overall.
Sordo and Del Barrio were joined on the podium by M-Sport Ford’s Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen and Hyundai’s Andreas Mikkelsen/Anders Jaeger. For Suninen, it’s his career-best result and the second WRC podium in a career. It came in his first rally with new co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen, who previously spent the most of his career with Mikko Hirvonen and scored 15 WRC wins with him.
Behind the leading trio, Elfyn Evans finished fourth, losing a podium by just 0.9 seconds to Mikkelsen. The other point scorers in the overall classification at Sardinia are Ott Tanak (5th, Toyota), Thierry Neuville (6th, Hyundai), Esapekka Lappi (7th, Citroen), Kris Meeke (8th, Toyota), Kalle Rovanpera(9th, Škoda) and Jan Kopecky (10th, Škoda). For Rovanpera, it’s his third win in the WRC2 Pro category.
Defending champion and previous leader Sebastien Ogier broke the suspension of his Citroen at SS5 on Friday. After that, he was driving like a tourist but finished second at Power Stage and earned at least four points.
Despite dramatic ending of Rally Italia Sardegna, Ott Tanak takes the lead in the championship with 150 points on his account, four more than Sebastien Ogier. Thierry Neuville is third with 143 points.
The next WRC event is Rally Finland on August 1-4.
Photos: Hyundai Motorsport, Toyota Gazoo Racing,