On his return to service park in Alghero after Friday’s first four stages, the Estonian leads the overall standings with 3.7” on Lappi (Toyota) and 8.9” on Loubet (Ford). Transmission issues for Neuville’s Hyundai, while Evans (Toyota) won one stage and then was forced to retire due to engine problems.

Everyone was expecting tough and tricky stages, and so it was on the Friday morning at Rally Italia Sardegna. Four stages were covered from the early morning departure from Olbia to the return, for the break,  back to Alghero. A double pass on the special stages “Terranova” (14.19 km) and “Monti di Alà e Buddusò” (24.70 km) that put many of the protagonists of Rally1 in difficulty. It was a fight for survival from which the Estonian Ott Tanak stepped out, now he is first in the overall standings with a time of 51′.11.1, despite a touch to the left front during the landing of a jump on Terranova 2 stage.
In second position, the Finn Esapekka Lappi on his Toyota GR Yaris confirms the good things he had shown in the pre-race, ending the lap just 3.7” behind Tanak. For Lappi a thrill on the SS3 Monti di Alà, the longest of the rally, where he scores a scratch but hits a stone with the front,  luckily without any problems. He has it worse on the following passage, when he arrives at the end of the stage with the front left tyre on the ground but only loses 8.9”.
Good run also for Pierre Louis Loubet in his Ford Puma, third at 8.9” from the top and improving constantly. Also getting more and more familiar with the Sardinian gravel roads is the other Ford, Craig Breen, who lost important seconds on the SS4 “Terranova” when he overshoot, without damaging the car. The Irishman is now in fourth position with a 10.1” gap from the top and a 4.5” lead over Dani Sordo, who suffered a wrong choice of tyres on the first lap but made his comeback in the second loop with two consecutive scratches.
An early retirement in the morning for Elfyn Evans, who had set the first best time on the Terranova stage, but then left SS3 with engine problems and did not make it on the second re-run.
An unlucky start on Friday also for the winner of the first special of the rally, Thierry Neuville, who was limited by some transmission problems on his Hyundai i20, causing him a 2′ gap from Tanak on his return to service.
Overal classification Rally Italia Sardegna 2022 after SS5: 1. TÄNAK-JÄRVEOJA (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) in 51’11.1; 2. LAPPI-FERM (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) a 3.7; 3. LOUBET-LANDAIS (FORD Puma Rally1) a 8.9; 4. BREEN-NAGLE (FORD Puma Rally1) a 10.1; 5. SORDO-CARRERA (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) a 14.6; 6. FOURMAUX-CORIA (FORD Puma Rally1) a 26.1; 7. KATSUTA-JOHNSTON (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) a 41.2; 8. ROVANPERÄ-HALTTUNEN (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) a 42.5; 9. MIKKELSEN-ERIKSEN (SKODA Fabia Evo) a 1’56.0; 10. NEUVILLE-WYDAEGHE (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) a 2’00.1; 11. ROSSEL-SARREAUD (CITROEN C3) a 2’00.8; 12. GRYAZIN-ALEKSANDROV (SKODA Fabia Evo) a 2’06.5; 13. HUTTUNEN-LUKKA (FORD Fiesta MkII) a 2’15.5; 14. GREENSMITH-ANDERSSON (FORD Puma Rally1) a 2’19.0; 15. INGRAM-DREW (SKODA Fabia Evo) a 2’19.9;


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