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Ogier Takes Early Lead at Sardegna

31/05/2024

The sun was shining brightly over the rugged terrain of Sardinia as the 2024 WRC Rally Italia Sardegna kicked off today. The opening stages saw intense competition, with Sebastien Ogier leading the charge after SS2. The Toyota driver clocked in at 27:22.4 seconds, narrowly edging out Hyundai’s Ott Tänak by just 1.8 seconds. Adrien Fourmaux completed the top three, trailing by 10.5 seconds.

Standings After SS2:
S. Ogier – 27:22.4 sec
O. Tänak – +1.8 sec
A. Fourmaux – +10.5 sec
T. Katsuta – +13.5 sec
D. Sordo – +16.5 sec
T. Neuville – +23.4 sec

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WRC2 Category Highlights:
Roberto Daprà Thrills Home Fans
Amidst the dust and excitement, home rally star Roberto Daprà electrified local supporters with his performance. After completing SS2, he shared his enthusiasm, “It’s crazy, it’s fantastic, it’s a home rally and it is a bit tricky. We are trying to find a good pace and rhythm to end the rally; we want to continue in this way.”

Junior WRC Drama in SS1
The Junior WRC drivers faced their own set of challenges. Hernandez, Maior, and Dominguez each experienced setbacks but managed to continue, while Belgian driver Tom Rensonnet had to stop 24.5 km into the stage. Despite these hurdles, all crews were reported to be safe and in good spirits.

Top Rally1 Performances:
Dani Sordo
Dani Sordo continued to push his Hyundai i20 N to the limit, completing 7.9 seconds off the pace of Hyundai teammate Ott Tänak. Sordo commented, “Slippery. Very slippery. I had a good feeling with the car. I was thinking my time would be a little bit better than this. [Anything you can do about that?] Drive fast.”

Takamoto Katsuta
Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta had a strong showing, finishing fourth quickest. Katsuta noted, “It’s a strange feeling, it felt okay on the stage but the time isn’t [so good].”

Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier completed SS2 5.9 seconds off Tänak’s pace. Ogier reflected, “I think everything is okay, just a bit more careful in this one. It’s a long loop, but the tyres are good so not a big issue.”

Adrien Fourmaux
Adrien Fourmaux finished third quickest, just 1.9 seconds off Tänak’s time. Fourmaux commented, “It’s really slippery, I am fighting a lot with the car and the line. It’s not easy, but quite expected.”

Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak is focusing on climbing the championship standings, taking the pace by 1.2 seconds from teammate Neuville. Tänak said, “I lost the hybrid before the stage, the uphill sections are trickier. Luckily it’s quite slippery, so hopefully we don’t lose too much.”

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