Evans (Toyota/Michelin) triumphs in Turkey
Just hours before celebrating their victory together at the 2020 Le Mans 24 Hours, Toyota and Michelin took the top prize in Round 5 of this year’s FIA World...
Spain’s Dani Sordo collected his second straight Rally Italia Sardegna victory, heading home fellow Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin runner Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier (Toyota/Michelin).
As in 2019, Sordo took advantage of his favourable start order to emerge in front at the end of Day 1 in his Michelin LTX Force-equipped Hyundai before managing his lead over the weekend to claim the Italian gravel fixture for the second year running.
Second place ended up in the hands of team-mate Neuville who came out on top of his thrilling scrap with Ogier to ensure a one-two finish for Hyundai and score the South Korean make’s 65
Fourth place sufficed for Elfyn Evans (Toyota/Michelin) to defend his footing at the top of the provisional Drivers’ standings with two rounds of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship – Ypres and Monza – still to come.
The outgoing champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai/Michelin) had to settle for sixth place after being slowed by technical issues during Leg 1.
Initially scheduled to take place in June, this year’s Rally Italia Sardegna was postponed until October due to the coronavirus pandemic. Michelin Motorsport’s engineers read the change perfectly, however, and nominated the French firm’s medium-compound tyre as the week’s prime choice.
“It was the correct decision,” said Arnaud Rémy, manager of Michelin’s WRC programmes. “It also allowed us to win the fiercely-competitive RC2 class. The medium compound was the favourite choice for the morning stages, but the drivers ran different combinations of the medium and hard compounds in the afternoons as a function of their running order, the set-up of their car and their personal preference. Our tyres successfully covered all these different scenarios and there was very little wear to report.”
The RC2 battle was won by Finn Jari Huttunen, whose Hyundai i20 R5 was equipped with customer-spec Michelin Latitude Cross tyres, ahead of five drivers competing on rival rubber.
Next round: Ypres Rally Belgium (November 19-22).
2020 Rally Italia Sardegna – final positions:
Sordo/Del Barrio (Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin), 2h41m37.5s
Neuville/Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin), +5.1s
Ogier/Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin), +6.1s
Evans/Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC/Michelin), +1m2.3s
Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC/Michelin), +1m33.9s
Tanak/Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin), +2m27.5s
Loubet/Landais (Hyundai i20 WRC/Michelin), +4m43.8s
Huttunen/Lukka (Hyundai i20 R5/Michelin), +8m41.7s (1
Kajetanowicz/Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo), +10m2.9s
Tidemand/Barth (Skoda Fabia R5 Evo), +10m20.9s