The three manufacturers vie for the top spots in the standings, Tanak chasing in second place on Hyundai followed by Loubet’s Ford. Tomorrow, Saturday, day 4, day three all “live”.

The Toyota of Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm is leading Rally Italia Sardegna 2022. The Finnish crew on GR Yaris Rally1 took the lead after 7 Special Stages disputed in 01h10’41.9, winning two scratches today. Estonians Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja on Hyundai i20 N Rally 1 are chasing them at 7 tenths, followed by the Ford Puma of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Vincent Landais at +15.1 from the lead. Their teammates Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, on the other hand, are fourth, ahead of the Hyundai of Dani Sordo and Candido Carrera, winners on the day of two SS. It is therefore an open battle in the WRC between the three manufacturers who are vying for the Sardinian podium.

Unlucky day for Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin and the Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe duo. Toyota’s Brits, after setting the fastest time in the first stage of the day, encountered an engine problem in the Alà and Buddusò 1 mounts and had to forfeit the next SS. The Hyundai driver, after his scratch in yesterday’s opening time trial, had transmission problems instead, which caused him to slip to ninth place after yesterday’s excellent performance.

The Toyotas of Takamoto Katsuta and Kalle Rovanpera are therefore now ahead of the Belgian crew, occupying seventh and eighth positions at 07.6 seconds from each other. M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Cordia finish sixth overall after the second day of competition at Rally Italia Sardegna 2022.

SS2 and SS4 Terranova (14.19 km), which started at 7:01 a.m. and 9:46 a.m. respectively, were particularly selective. Even on the second pass, caution was a must. Tanak, despite having damaged the left front after a jump, managed to finish with the second best time on the day, the SS was won by Lappi.

In the Monti Alà e Buddusò (24.70 km), drivers found a slippery surface that contributed to punctures in SS5 to Lappi and Fourmaux. Rovanpera himself plagued the test with damage to an aerodynamic part. SS started at 8.01 and 10.46, both won by Hyundai’s Spaniard Dani Sordo.

In the 3:18 p.m. SS6 Osilo-Tergu (14.63 km), problems for Breen who was forced to restart his car, which died in a corner. Despite a few seconds delay, the Irishman still achieved the third fastest time, behind Tanak and Lappi. The Sedini-Castelsardo (13.26 km), won by Esapekka Lappi who thus took the lead, took place regularly with start at 4:01 p.m. but the race day ended at the end of the latter SS7, with competitors transferring to the service park.

In fact, the last two stages of the day were not run. On SS 6 Osilo-Tergu 1 it was necessary to tame the flames that developed on car No. 49, with no consequences for the crew. Operations were protracted and SS8 Tergu-Osilo 2 could not be held.

SS6 had been delayed several minutes to rescue a lady who was accidentally injured, due to causes unrelated to the race. Instead, safety reasons related to excessive public movement on SS9 Sedini-Castelsardo and an imperfect radio signal between competing cars and broadcasting aircraft led Race Direction to cancel SS.

Explains Esapekka Lappi, leader of the rally: “We had a good pace throughout the day and so I’m not trying to push further, I’ll continue in this way. I also had some margin to be able to avoid the rocks.”

Andreas Mikkelsen in a Skoda, on the other hand, grabbed the lead in the standings reserved for 4x4s in the WRC2 category by commanding operations ahead of the Citroen C3 of Frenchman Yohan Rossel and the other Bohemian car of Nikolay Gryazin, after the first 7 stages contested.

First among the tricolour crews is Simone Romagna flanked by Luca Addondi in the Skoda Fabia. Mauro Miele and Luca Beltrame (Skoda) are second among the Italians and aim to defend their leadership in the FIA WRC2Master Cup. WRC3 Open world points mission for Enrico Brazzoli navigated by Manuel Fenoli in the Ford Fiesta Rally3, where they occupy the third rainbow position.

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 4, the crews will be engaged in eight more Special Stages. It starts at 7:36 a.m. with the Tempio Pausania (12.03 km), which, after a kilometer uphill at 680 meters above sea level, is almost entirely downhill and with few junctions. SS10 has a low pace and is quite treacherous. It will be repeated at 10:31 a.m.

At 8:36 a.m., start of the Erula-Tula (15.27 km), which in the first part traces the route of past years, through a wind farm, on narrow and hilly roads. The final section of SS11 and SS13 (starting at 11:31 a.m.) has not been used for a few years, has sandy soil and difficult grass for drivers.

The last SSs of the day are Coiluna-Loelle (21.60 km) at 1:38 p.m. and 4:08 p.m. and Monte Lerno di Pattada (17.01 km) at 2:46 p.m. and 5:16 p.m. The route of SS14 and SS16 has been lengthened compared to the past and features a major jump almost 3 km after the start. The last section takes in the Buddusò motocross track and the Loelle nuraghe.

SS15 and SS17 begin with the spectacular Micky’s Jump, enjoyed by the entire audience. Long straights and tight curves lead toward the end to a new track that features both fast, flowing sections and narrow, bumpy roads.

Coiluna-Loelle 1 at 1:30 p.m. will be broadcast live tomorrow on Rai Sport HD and Sky Sport Action. The latter channel will also air the 4 p.m. SS16, along with RaiPlay. All other trials are streamed on WRC+ All Live.

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER DAY 2: 1. LAPPI-FERM (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) in 1:10’41.9; 2. TÄNAK-JÄRVEOJA (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) a 0.7; 3. LOUBET-LANDAIS (FORD Puma Rally1) a 15.1; 4. BREEN-NAGLE (FORD Puma Rally1) a 15.5; 5. SORDO-CARRERA (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) a 16.1; 6. FOURMAUX-CORIA (FORD Puma Rally1) a 30.8; 7. KATSUTA-JOHNSTON (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) a 1’05.5; 8. ROVANPERÄ-HALTTUNEN (TOYOTA GR Yaris Rally1) a 1’13.1; 9. NEUVILLE-WYDAEGHE (HYUNDAI i 20 N Rally1) a 2’07.2; 10. MIKKELSEN-ERIKSEN (SKODA Fabia Evo) a 2’20.8;

Thank you for reading!