Targeting the top step at WRC round six
Following a double podium finish in Portugal, we now travel to Rally Italia Sardegna, the event at which we have enjoyed our most success in WRC. In total we have secured five wins and 12 podiums on the Mediterranean island, as well as 78 stage wins and 22 stage 1-2 finishes.
“Sardinia is a very tough event, but it is also one where the team has a lot of good memories from the past ten years,” said Cyril, our Team Principal. “We hope to finish the weekend with a good result.”
“To finish first, first you must finish”
Fast and narrow, and often lined with rocks and trees on either side, the stages of Sardinia will be highly demanding for our crews to navigate cleanly. The surface itself is also a challenge, as the sandy top layer is swept away on the first pass, exposing rough and rutted roads below. These factors, combined with the blistering heat, creates a gruelling test for both our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid and our drivers and co-drivers inside the cockpits.
“Sardinia presents a lot of challenges, but the biggest are the heat and tyre wear,” said Thierry. “The stages are also difficult as the surface is rough, and they are quite technical too, so there is not much room for mistakes.”
Four of our Sardinian victories are split evenly between Thierry and Dani. Alongside co-drivers Martijn and Cándido, both drivers will be battling on the sun-baked stages next weekend in the hopes of standing on the top step for a third time.
“Road position can be very important at this event, as starting later in the order usually gives you a cleaner stage than those at the front,” commented Dani. “Our minimum goal for the weekend is to finish on the podium and hopefully we can be in a position to fight for the victory.”
Esapekka and Janne will join their team-mates on the Italian island. Our Finnish crew is in fine form having secured podium finishes in the two previous rounds, Croatia and Portugal.
“At dry gravel rallies, Friday is always very crucial in terms of making a successful weekend, so that will be the key focus for us,” said Esapekka. “Our hope is that we can deliver a consistent performance, avoid the rocks that could cause punctures, and bring home a podium for the team.”
Redemption in WRC2
Our WRC2 entries will be back in action at Rally Italia Sardegna following a challenging outing in Portugal. The crews of Teemu/Mikko and Fabrizio/Marcelo will once again be behind the wheel of our i20 N Rally2 for the event.
“The goal is to win the rally, but with many top drivers in the class, it will be challenging,” said Teemu.
“I hope we can come to the end of Rally Italia Sardegna without any incidents and having shown what we are capable of,” added Fabrizio.
Rally Sardegna will take place from June 1-4.