Jari and Mikko take their i20 R5 to glory
On an exciting final day of Rally Italia Sardegna, Jari and Mikko took a thrilling WRC 2 victory, topping the Power Stage with a strong performance in the i20 R5.
The crew was involved in a close battle with the experienced Mads Østberg, which went down to the wire. Ultimately, it was our Finns who took the class win – and an impressive fifth place overall.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to win in Sardinia after a long break,” said Jari. “It’s been a good rally and a tough battle for the victory with Mads. We have focused on keeping the car on the road and not taking any risks. A great result for us and Hyundai Motorsport N.”
It’s Friday then it’s Saturday, Sunday won
Friday’s itinerary, consisting of two loops with two repeated stages, saw Jari/Mikko settle into a positive rhythm as they claimed five second-fastest times as well as a stage win on the final run of the day (SS8 Erula-Tula). The performance of his i20 R5 allowed him to maintain a steady gap to category leader Østberg.
They lost time on Saturday’s opening stage but flew through Lerno-Monti di Alà – which featured the iconic Micky’s Jump – to claim two more stage wins.
Still lying in second after the morning loop, the crew was ready to take any advantage that came their way. They wouldn’t have long to wait, as Østberg was handed a time penalty, which gave them a 16.8-second lead. Despite showing consistent pace in the i20 R5, the advantage dropped to just 2.7-seconds by the end of day.
Mind the gap
The final morning arrived with Jari hoping to defend a slender lead. The first stage of the morning, Arzachena-Braniatogghiu (15.25km), didn’t go to plan with the Finn losing the lead by 5.2-seconds. More drama was to come for Østberg in the Aglientu-Santa Teresa stage, and our Finns were there, ready to take over at the top once again.
A renewed lead of 17.4-seconds was slashed to just 2.1 heading into the Power Stage with all eyes on the tantalising battle. Jari/Mikko dug deep to extract full performance from themselves and the i20 R5 to take the Power Stage win and confirm a hard-fought victory.
“I want to say a big thank you to Jari because he has done an amazing rally, winning again in Sardinia,” said our Team Principal Andrea. “He and Mikko showed a steady approach, intelligently driven from start to finish, showing how smart they are, as well as fast. It is testament to the continuous hard work of our Customer Racing department, who are an important part of Hyundai Motorsport. We share and celebrate this result together as a team.”
Final Overall Classification WRC 2 – Rally Italia Sardegna
1 J. Huttunen / M. Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5) 3:28:58.1
2 M. Østberg / T. Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +7.5
3 M. Bulacia / M. Ohannesian (Škoda Fabia Evo) +2:02.9
4 M. Prokop / Z. Jurka (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +7:53.4
5 E. Brazzoli / D. Fappani (Škoda Fabia Evo) +28:51.5
6 A. Fourmaux / R. Jamoul (Ford Fiesta R5 MkII) +1:09:34.1
2021 WRC 2 Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 5
1 A. Mikkelsen 68
2 M. Østberg 66
3 M. Bulacia 63
4 E. Lappi 59
5 T. Suninen 41
6 A. Fourmaux 34
7 E. Brazzoli 31
8 J. Huttunen 30
9 N. Gryazin 29
10 M. Prokop 28
2021 FIA WRC2 Championship for Teams’ Standings
After round 5
1 Movisport 125
2 Toksport WRT 125
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 104
4 Hyundai Motorsport N 12
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.