SS1: Toyota star now faces a complete catastrophe – Sebastien Ogier sets a blistering time right away!

The Rally Sardinia kicked off on Friday under the command of Toyota's Sébastien Ogier.
Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier. Photo by: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
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Ogier immediately showed in the first special stage that he intends to win the Rally Sardinia. Starting from a favorable position, the Frenchman posted a fierce fastest time, beating Hyundai’s Ott Tänak by a whopping 7.7 seconds.

“We are cleaning a lot here, we tried to avoid some rocks, but the grip is getting better and better,” Ogier commented.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville suffered greatly from his first starting position. The Belgian had to clear the path in harsh conditions, with a lot of loose gravel on the road. Neuville ended up eighth, the last of the Rally1 cars, losing a staggering 28.1 seconds to Ogier’s fastest time.

“It’s very, very challenging. There’s no grip at all,” Neuville summed up at the finish line.

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans suffered a slow puncture on the first stage. This meant that the better starting position compared to Neuville did not help much. Evans is now in trouble if he suffers another puncture, as he will run out of tires.

“4 kilometers maybe (carrying puncture), no idea where it cme from,” Evans said at the finish line.

Hyundai’s Ott Tänak, who started third, clearly beat both Neuville and Evans, being 19 seconds faster than Evans. The Estonian is clearly in Sardinia to win.

“I try hard, it’s very slippery and loose, especially in the narrow where it’s so difficult to get the traction. There is no flow, difficult long stage but first time, good run, Tänak summarized.

M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux set the third-fastest time, tying exactly with Hyundai’s veteran driver Dani Sordo.

Rally Sardinia standings after SS1/16:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota17:18.6
2.Ott TänakHyundai+7.7
3.Adrien FourmauxFord+14.5
4.Dani SordoHyundai+14.5
5.Takamoto KatsutaToyota+14.8
6.Sami PajariFord+20.0
7.Gregoire MunsterToyota+24.2
8.Elfyn EvansHyundai+26.7
9Pierre-Louis LoubetSkoda+27.5
10Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+28.1

Itinerary for Rally Sardinia (CET):

Friday 31.5.

08.01 Shakedown: Ittiri (2,08 km)
14.33 SS1: Osilo - Tergu 1 (25,65 km)
15.33 SS2: Sedini - Castelsardo 1 (13,26 km)
17.33 SS3: Osilo - Tergu 2 (25,65 km)
18.35 SS4: Sedini - Castelsardo 2 (13,26 km)

Saturday 1.6.

07.41 SS5: Tempio Pausania 1 (12,03 km)
08.49 SS6: Tula 1 (22,61 km)
10.41 SS7: Tempio Pausania 2 (12,03 km)
11.49 SS8: Tula 2 (22,61 km)
14.05 SS9: Monte Lerno - Monti di Ala 1 (25,33 km)
15.05 SS10: Coiluna - Loelle 1 (14,53 km)
17.05 SS11: Monte Lerno - Monti di Ala 2 (25,33 km)
18.05 SS12: Coiluna - Loelle 2 (14,53 km)

Sunday 2.6.

08.00 SS13: Cala Flumini 1 (12,55 km)
09.05 SS14: Sassari - Argentiera 1 (7,10 km)
11.00 SS15: Cala Flumini 2 (12,55 km)
12.15 SS16: Sassari - Argentiera 2 (7,10 km) *Power Stage

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