14. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017
8. 6. – 11. 6. 2017, Alghero • gravel 312.66 km • total distance including road sections - 1496.37 km • Other years • Other years
"Tough going. Incredibly soft and sandy. It's a bucket and shovel you need in here, not a rally car. It's been a difficult weekend. We struggled for pace in some places and were good in others. We need to work on consistency."
"There are still more fast drivers to come, we will see, but I gave everything - absolutely. I learned a lot in Portugal and I learned more here. It's getting better step-by-step."
"I'm so happy we finished this tough rally. I want to say thank you so much to the team and my co-driver Marko. With this experience next time I will be much faster."
"I'm happy with this, it was a really strong drive. We managed the whole rally with no problems and that was always our plan. I feel I have made progress, improving all weekend."
"I pushed hard and it's a very good result for us. It's the first time that we finish in front of the Skodas so I'm happy. I don't care that I didn't score [WRC 2] points here. The most important thing is to perform."
"What can I say - it feels good! A difficult weekend but the first half of this season has been great. The new car and a strong team-mate is making me push hard. I hope it's the first of many wins. It's coming together. It looks like we have a strong team all around and in the car too."
"I lost it in the hairpin! It's always wrong in the hairpin because the car doesn't turn there. I'm really disappointed."
"We gave it everything here but the road was not perfect for our car, I couldn't raise the ride height. Overall it's a positive rally. It was unlucky we got a small [brake] issue with the car and perhaps lost the win this weekend. An amazing performance in the car and from the team."
"It's a shame to lose the place but we have to be happy to be here. That's a positive."
"Not the best weekend for the championship but what can we do? I tried here but there are lots of big rocks - it's a bit of a lottery. If Ott wins he deserves it - it would be great for the team."
"An earlier repair broke a few metres into the stage. I have some ideas of what to do. If I can't fix it I'll drive sideways to service."
rear right wheel suspension is broken
"We tried to go at good speed all morning so our tyres were probably worn. Okay, we managed to do what we came here to do. We got a lot of mileage and gathered a lot of data to work with. For now it's just one event for me [in the Citroen]. Let's see what the future brings."
"Not so bad. A lot of ruts. It was fun."
We enjoyed and we win the category - that's most important."
"I fixed the throttle problem so there were no concerns there. We tried a bit for sure. It's difficult to know how the stage will evolve for the cars behind. Overall a tough weekend. We have to go home and reset."
"I was in a good place at the beginning of the rally, even shakedown, but after the problems this rally has been more difficult. Opening the roads has cost me and I can do nothing. We will try and take points on the Power Stage and look forward to Poland. My tyres feel okay."
"Now I drive with a good rhythm and try to save my tyres for the Power Stage."
Can you keep the position to the end? "Yeah for sure. No problem." And how is the car? "The dust is okay now, I can manage."
WRC TV crew reports that Paddon went off on a right hander. The car went onto two wheels and crashed heavily.
stopped at 1.5km. He's gone off. Crew ok.
A maximum push? "We will see."
"Yes, a clean run. Saving my tyres on the braking. Yep, it's good."
Can he keep Seb behind on the Power Stage? "We will see. We need to go."
"We push a bit more because we know Juho may have a problem."
"I'm trying to save the car. I have had a gearbox problem all day, but it's okay. I will use the gearbox properly on the final stage." Mads says second gear sounds noisy, so he has avoided using it so far today.
"I'm trying to explore more and find more speed as the feeling improves. I feel more comfortable here, the character of this stage makes it nice to explore on. The Power Stage is very different."
"We lost the rear diff on the previous stage, so front-wheel drive only. This is not our rally. Now we will try to go to the finish."
"I stalled. Then I pushed the stop button instead of the start button. It cost me about five seconds. Okay, that's the way it is. I gave it my best. I can relax now."
"It's crazy in here with a front-wheel drive - it's impossible. So many rocks. I'm driving very slowly. The worst stage of the season so far."
"I have a big problem with the transmission."
"This stage very rough. Deep ruts in almost every corner. The end is almost destroyed. I have never driven a stage like it."
"The road is really beaten up already. Today is all about cruising through."
"It would be nice to beat him but he is pushing to the limit I think and I need the points."
"The throttle is sticking on at the start. It's like the pedal is getting jammed somewhere. I need to go and have a look."
"A nice Sunday drive. We're enjoying today and looking forward to Poland."
Tanak's car is full of dust. There is a hole somewhere. "You can see the problem - I have no visibility. I will try and fix it now."
"The road is getting some very deep ruts. We'll have to raise the ride height. I have two fresh tyres for the Power Stage."
"We have found the right set up now and the car is really easy to handle. I struggled here last year [in an R5 car] especially on the second pass." Should we bet €5 on a Lappi Power Stage win? "No, €20."
"I'm beginning to feel the same steering problem we had yesterday. Some big ruts are coming here."
"For sure there is not to much else to hope for us. I think Dani is pushing. This stage was very loose."
"Yeah okay. When the car is nice, we can do good things. Quite happy with the time."
"What happened, happened. Today is about gaining experience and learning." A big push on the Power Stage? "Looking at our championship, Power Stage points aren't going to make a lot of difference,"
"A good stage, clean, I kept it on the line."
"It was okay, very slow."
"It was okay. For us today is just about driving through, waiting for a final push on the Power Stage."
"It's been getting better and better in the car since yesterday afternoon. I'd say this was a good stage. Happy with that."
"The last two stages we have finished with punctures - they have given me a lot of trouble today. I think I could get a puncture just driving on sand. Okay, not lucky in this point, but otherwise the driving has been nice today."
"We are in a good position but the tyres are finished and my brakes are too hot so it was difficult at the end here. It's still a fight [with Tanak] so let's see what happens later with our stage time [when he felt he was held up in Ostberg's dust on SS12 dust]."
penalty 60 min = illegal help; penalizace 60 min = přijetí cizí pomoci mimo servisní zonu
"I have done the whole loop with no brakes at the rear."
"In the stages the car feels good, but the times are not. I'm here to build experience."
"Some engine trouble this morning then a puncture near the end of stage 12. Otherwise quite a good day."
"Very happy. I have driven according to the plan."
"A great day for us. We have changed the set-up a bit. I have pushed more, but still on the safe side."
The Frenchman angry at being caught in Raoux's dust.
"I spun in a straight road. It cost me a lot of time. It was difficult to turn the car around."
"We did the day well and we enjoyed - that's the most important thing!"
"This was an important rally for DMACK to gather tyre info on these rough stages."
"I spun and stalled, had to reverse. A lot of hard work."
"The tyres are completely gone. Very slippery. I got a huge surprise on the first corner!" Tomorrow we will try for the Power Stage points. It's a shame because without our [brake] problems we would be leading the rally."
"This afternoon was surprisingly good. It has been good to drive up to now with a safe margin. Now we can push more. Tomorrow I don't see any reason my Latvala should be any quicker."
"We have a problem with the front suspension arm or something. The car is pulling to one direction all the time under braking. I had to slow the car during the stage because it was dangerous."
His car is missing its rear bumper. What happened? "I spun near the start, then I lost the power steering towards the end. We need to go and have a look."
"We came across the rear bumper of Lappi's car in the middle of the road. I had to slow. It's been a hard weekend so far."
"I gave it a push - as much as I could - until I lost my brakes. It's more about clean driving. I feel we are making progress all the time more or less. It's all good experience."
"The front differential is broken. It's like a rear-wheel drive car - it feels very nervous. That aside, we've made some positive steps today."
"The feeling is quite slippery - even on the second pass. The car feels nice to drive though. I will try to do my job and collect some points. A difficult weekend, the speed was there but we have had some problems."
"A bit strange compared to the last stage. Not so nice. We made some minor changes but they have taken us a step backwards again. Maybe fitting new tyres at the rear has upset the balance."
"It's the same. When we have the correct roads the car is awesome but the window is so fine..."
"A good stage for me. I enjoy. I used my shakedown tyres on this loop to save some new ones for the Power Stage tomorrow."
"I tried to have a clean run. It's so tough to save your tyres when it's rough like this. We try to do the same in Monte Lerno."
"It was good but I have to be careful with my tyres. It's hard on them. I hope they are okay for Monte Lerno." Tanak is quicker on the split times. "Yes, Ott is running very, very fast. He wants the victory, but let's see - you have to finish the rally first."
"Okay. A big surprise that it's still so slippery. Otherwise no problem."
"This stage was okay for us, I tried to push. The feeling was not too bad."
"Not good, the brakes are too hot. I tried to be gentle for the tyres but it's still too much for the brakes. We'll just try and survive to the finish."
"A nice one but a bit slippery. I punctured in the stage before and we don't have another spare tyre, so no risks. It will be hard to do this loop on four tyres but I will try."
retired - damage on the car not possible to repair
"Amateur mistake - an absolutely stupid mistake. Dick head! I turned in too early and clipped a bank. It's broken a drive shaft I think. I've let everybody down. It's ridiculous."
"It was going well. The mechanics have done a good job. We would have been in the lead otherwise."
broken right rear wheel suspension
"It feels much better. I have only one spare, which is a bit of a gamble but the feeling is much better. I tried to take care of my tyres."
"We have improved the car a lot," he says. "But I'm a little bit here and there. I have to keep up the concentration - it's very easy to make a mistake."
"Much better. We made some changes to the car in service - suspension, springs, ride height - and it is giving me much more confidence."
"These will be two difficult stages for the tyres so we must manage them."
"There's something wrong in the car - massive understeer."
"We did some good steps in service. Small steps in different areas. It's getting better and better but still I found it difficult in the Mickey Mouse section here."
"We've had a couple of good stages. Maybe this was a wrong call with my tyres. Let's see."
"I punctured after 1km - I don't know how."
He arrives right behind Mads and is absolutely furious about catching his dust. "If I don't get the time back here, when I am in his dust and fighting so hard, I will stop this sport."
"A lot of mistakes and I don't have the feeling with the car. I don't know why. Maybe the set-up. Maybe my driving?"
"This stage was not good for us - I went left in a right junction. We lost 10 seconds. The car is fine. We are trying to take care in the rocky places."
stopped, moving again
He completes immediately after Raoux's Citroen. "For sure I caught a lot of dust near the end. I lost some time there. Otherwise it's been a good day, improving all the time."
"I had a puncture - the rear left. It was difficult to change the wheel."
"Twelve kilometres before the finish I was sure I had a puncture at the rear. I slowed right down and then realised I didn't!"
"The car wasn't going straight, the car was turning to the left."
"What we felt on the previous stage was just the start of the problem. The car was doing all sorts of things in there. Something transmission related I think. I drove this one at more or less road speed."
"The first half felt really good. Later on our tyre choice was maybe too aggressive. The car nearly put us in the trees a couple of times. We had to take it back a notch."
"We have no brakes since the start, I lost them on the last 200m of the previous stage."
"Generally no dramas but we are losing the brakes and I don't know why. I'm sorry to hear about Neuville. Okay, this is Sardinia, there is always stuff happening all around."
"We had a puncture. We had to stop and change it."
Finished stage with front left puncture: "We tried to carry on but unfortunately we picked up the puncture right at the beginning of the stage. Maybe it was damage from the previous stage."
"We had some dust, otherwise no issues."
"Lost a little bit of time in Mikkelsen's dust. These things happen."
Stopped in stage - moving again.
"We had a puncture on the rear right after 5 km."
Big time loss showing at the 16km split. He's 1m44s slower than Sordo.
Stopped, moving again
"We made some changes before the stage but they have gone in a negative direction, so I need to try something else. It will get better and better. When I start to feel comfortable for sure the pace will be there, no problem."
"Okay, happy with my drive, but I really struggle with traction. Maybe we have to try some different settings this afternoon."
"I pushed as hard as I could. Tänak is driving amazingly fast."
Stopped in stage.
"We try to learn as much as we can. It's a difficult stage, grip was low and I struggled with the rhythm."
"Diabolical. Absolutely diabolical. We stalled in one hairpin. Sometimes we have a very good car, sometimes not so much."
"Struggled a bit with the balance of the car. We'll make some changes to try and improve for the next one. Thierry set a good time in there."
"Really slippery, very low grip in some places."
"Good stage for me but my car felt pretty soft and was moving quite a lot."
"Not so bad, difficult to find the right rhythm but I tried my best."
"Really nice stage but not easy to keep a rhythm. Okay, no issues."
"Not too good to be honest. It's so slippery and I'm not feeling confident. I don't want to do anything silly. Better to be on the safe side that try to be fast."
"A bad stage because the paddleshift is not working. The upshifts are okay but the downshift doesn't work. I told my engineers about this yesterday. Now it's not working again. Very distracting."
"It's very dusty but it's same ever for everybody. It's an opportunity to push on. A lot of times you don't see where you're going. It's what rallying is about sometimes, part of the game."
"At the start we could see maybe 80 metres. It's dangerous. That's the only thing you can say."
"The car was oversteering a bit." "It's not clear why the organisers gave three-minute intervals yesterday and two-minute intervals today."
"The dust was making things difficult. Sometimes it's a bit scary."
"Very tricky fast stage. We had to slow down for some big rocks and lost a lot of time."
"We need a minute more gap for the dust."
"Difficult start, it's hard to see something with all the dust."
"We are still learning all the time. Huge amount of dust, especially in the beginning, but it's the same for everyone."
"The car feels more comfortable. Very dusty in there, sometimes I had to stop completely because I couldn't see anything."
"Just enjoying the stage."
"Today was a tough day, the stages were very rough but we had no punctures and no problems, so we've had a good run. I need to be careful in the next couple of days - then maybe a good result."
"The day was really great for us. Okay, I would like to battle with Camilli [ who is not registered for points here], but I must think about my championship."
Juho and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom have parked their Yaris close to the stage end and are making repairs. They have tried to repair a cracked cooling system pipe and have topped up the system using their drinking water. Lindstrom gives a quick explanation of what happened in stage: "Hit a bank."
"The afternoon was good. The times are really good considering we have a stuck damper. Stage wins I didn't expect. Okay, it seems we can learn pretty quickly. But at this level it's not easy to fine tune and find more improvements."
"A tricky afternoon. I tried to push back but it didn't work out. Of course it was a gamble but sometimes you need to do that. The soft tyres did work but they didn't give me the support. I just wore the tyres out basically."
"A tough day in the new car but it has been great to get the mileage. I know which way to go forward. A lot of mistakes in the hairpins. Okay, we're learning."
big front end damage, broken pipes from radiator... He leaves the finish control without explaining what happened.
"I enjoyed that, and I enjoyed the rally, unfortunately the problem in the morning cost me a lot of time."
"This was the only place where we were going to gain from two spares, so I tried to do my best. This afternoon has been really difficult, not a good feeling. Let's see what tomorrow brings."
"It's been a very difficult afternoon. With the [damper] problem the car hasn't right. The priority today was getting a good road position for tomorrow. And that's mission accomplished. I love tomorrow's stages - they suit me and they suit the car. It would be rude if we didn't give it a try."
"A reasonably good time. After an up and down morning I'm happy with the afternoon. We are well in the fight for Saturday."
"I have no tyres left - from the beginning. We have a slow puncture on the front-left too. This time won't be the fastest..."
"Tomorrow won't be much better because there won't be many cars in front of me. That's the WRC."
"I was troubled by the Rally Italy number plate on the bonnet flapping loose and the sun low in the sky," he explains.
Car is off the road 2km before the finish. Crew okay.
"The gap is fine. We are happy to be leading. Okay, some of the top WRC 2 drivers are not here but that is how it is. I'm happy. Still a long rally to go."
"I thought I had a front-left puncture. Perhaps it is just worn [it is]. I slowed a little towards the end. Otherwise everything is good. It's all going to plan."
"My front-left damper broke on the last stage, the tube inside is stuck, so I have to be careful now."
"I'm trying but I struggle with the balance of the car. I cannot keep the rears in the line. My tyre strategy hasn't worked out. I'm paying the price now."
"After last year, we knew this one would be rough. In the narrow I'm struggling to get the feeling with the car. I stalled again in here - I'm not very good at using the clutch."
"Nothing special. I backed off in the really rough sections - I was a bit nervous there."
"When the car is working everything is perfect. Changing the turbo in service was difficult - there's a lot to do."
"The damper problem didn't affect me much here, I'm just trying to look after the tyres. The rally won't be won or lost today. I'm going to manage the situation and get the car back to service."
His Fiesta's front-right tyre is pushed slightly off the rim. "A half-spin near the end. We're struggling with the car a bit."end. We're struggling with the car a bit."
Neuville relates to Ogier's 'terrible' comment. "That's just what I said to [my co-driver] Nicholas! Really.really slippery. I tried to be be smooth but it was really hard."
"Terrible. A nightmare. I have no grip. Quite boring."
"In the last stage I stalled three times and here I stalled twice. I'm really struggling in the hairpins. Perhaps I need to use the clutch more, I don't know."
Mads is regretting his gamble on a mixture of soft and hard compound tyres. "I'm not enjoying this, it's not going so well. Our mixed tyre choice was wrong. The softs were not working. I struggled."
His rear-left tyre is missing a huge chunk of rubber from the sidewall and the rear-right is punctured. "I don't know where it happened but I pushed very hard."
Struggling with the balance of his Fiesta. "We are carrying two extra spares. Not so easy to drive with the extra weight."
"The set-up now is perfect," he acknowledges. "This morning we were trying some development dampers. We changed the set up in service and it's good."
"Something on the turbo wasn't fixed very well in the service park. The intercooler is not working, so no power. I tried to fix it before the stage. I will try again to fix it now."
"Okay. A bit rougher than the first one and I'm not confident in the ruts. I'm happy with this time."
stopped, moving again
"This one was really difficult on the hard tyres. The balance didn't feel good, I think we've broken the front-left damper."
The dashboard is lit up with warning lights - and a message reads 'rear diff high'. "Nothing to worry about," Latvala says unconvincingly. "The stage was tricky. There is grip in the line but of it it's very slippery."
He completes and jumps out of his car to have a look at his hard compound tyres. "Yeah, they're okay. For sure some more wear this afternoon - it's more hot and abrasive. Still some cleaning, but it is improved since this morning."
engine problems again
penalty = 4 min late at TC5A (Regrouping In) and 5 min late at TC5C (Service OUT)
retired in service, the roll cage is damaged
"I pushed as hard as I could but with the grip I had I didn't wear the tyres. It has been a hard loop. I was hoping to lose less time, but there's not much I can do. Maybe on the first stage I was not on the limit but I was on the others."
That's his first stage win at WRC level and more remarkable considering he is still missing second gear! "Tell Tommi that five gears is enough!"
"I thought there would be good grip but it's so loose and slippery. A good loop but very difficult."
In service: "It happened just two or three kilometres into the stage. I was in fourth gear. The road was rough, I touched the right-rear on a bank and it just spat us over onto the roof. Simple as that. Up to that point everything felt good. I was settled, it felt okay, I wasn't trying to do anything silly."
He lost power steering at the start of the loop. "I'm completely exhausted."
"We are trying to improve step-by-step. It's working well so far."
"It's not easy for me to push on these stages yet but I'm happy with my morning loop."
He completes but his Citroen looks in a terrible state. The right-hand side, roof, rear and bonnet are badly damaged. It looks like he's rolled - at least once. Kris does not give any comments at the finish control before leaving for service.
"It's getting better and better. I adjust my driving to the car and how to drive it. I have to change my driving style quite a lot."
"I don't know how he saw us behind but he pulled straight over - so thanks to him. The car has been really, really good this morning. Let's see what we can do now for the afternoon."
stopped at the 4.6km, off road, moving again, but at reduced speed
"We are driving to a plan. Today is all about driving cleanly. It's very noisy in the car and difficult to concentrate on the pace notes."
"I don't know - we have a problem with the engine. From the middle of the stage we have no power. Incredible, but that's life. I don't know what the problem is."
"I didn't think about my tyres at all in there - I attacked as hard as I could. I wasn't confident in some of the corners near the beginning."
"Apart from one mistake it has been a good loop. I pushed like hell on this one and the stage before. I tried to increase the gap to Seb. I think he made a mistake choosing all-soft tyres."
retired after SS4
"Při brzdění upadlo kolo. Ustřihl se šroub na zavěšení. Nevíme proč, možná to byl následek defektu nebo jen zradil materiál."
"The car is working really well. The speed is not correct yet, but there is more to come."
"A quite okay stage. A good feeling."
"I saw Prokop - he's off the road. I saw the 'okay' board. Very slippery in the last section here."
"Very slippery and sandy, and I couldn't feel any grip. I felt I had a good rhythm but I'm not sure. Not a good time."
"I drove carefully. Very rough and technical in here. The time is okay. I'm happy with my rhythm."
"Okay, slippery near the finish but otherwise nothing special."
"Just trying to drive nice and clean. The exhaust has burned a hole in the car so there are fumes and dust getting inside. That's a bit of a distraction. We will get that fixed with cable ties and duct tape."
DMACK say Evans is "off the road and stuck, trying to get back on and assess any damage"
"Very slippery everywhere."
off the road, crew OK
"Not a good time. I don't know what I'm doing wrong but the time is not good. Maybe too careful with the tyres and that was confusing my mind."
"Generally a good stage. It's getting hotter now and the tyre were getting soft."
"A good stage for us. I tried to push very hard - to the maximum. Hopefully it's enough. We try our best against Seb."
"The sweeping is as tough and Mexico and Australia."
He has retired before SS4. And this time it's official. Citroen confirm his car has a gearbox oil leak caused by a heavy landing.
"Okay, a little gamble maybe, but the surface is so loose it's okay. No moments, I tried to push a bit more here."
"I lost second gear on the first stage - so that's it," he says. "I think we can get through but I cannot drive normally. Braking without second gear is not good, I spun once already. I need to keep calm until we can get to service."
He's still going. The oil leak was traced to the gearbox (gearbox housing damaged after a heavy landing ) - not the engine.
"There is a lot of dust in the forest section. A two-minute gap for us is not enough."
Reports a missed junction in SS2. "The stages are quite rough already"
"Difficult conditions. I made a mistake on the first one, it's difficult to read the road."
"Not good. I got a puncture 500 metres into the first stage. Now I'm struggling with the way the car feels on one hard and three soft compound tyres."
"Encouraging, yes but very difficult to find the rhythm - especially in the dust. In places it feels like we're catching the car ahead."
"I'm not concerned. Just getting used to the car and learning it."
"The stages are rougher than I anticipated. Hanging dust is a big problem. For sure we have a good road position, but it's not easy to drive when you can't see."
"Very, very tricky with the dust. Okay, the road position is helping us a bit but the car feels comfortable and the time is good. It's like the old me is back again."
Second quickest but there's a strong smell of burning oil coming from Craig's Citroen and he looks concerned. What's wrong? "I'll find out in a minute." Is it a problem? "Could be..." Craig drives away from the control to investigate.
"No prefect by any means, because of the dust and changeable grip. Okay but not great."
"It's cleaning a bit but not much. Slippery everywhere. A lot of dust in the stage too - so I lost some time there."
There is some foliage poking from the front of his Fiesta. Has he been off? "There was a bad jump and I took it a bit on the side. Messy stuff in places. In a few places I was not comfortable."
He missed a junction "I went in a little bit too fast and had to stop and reverse. I lost four or five seconds there. It's hard to stay committed on these stages, it's very easy to make a mistake."
"This stage is the most difficult of the rally but if you are confident here you can make a big difference."
"It felt quite okay, I enjoyed it."
"It wasn't perfect but I think I drove okay."
"I enjoyed it quite a lot, the car was working well. It was very abrasive so the tyres suffered."
"I'm a bit surprised, I thought I was driving well but it seems I wasn't."
"Not so bad, I tried to push a bit. The wipers were stuck so were lucky.'
"Quite slippery in there."
"I'm sure the guys behind will go quicker."
Hanninen loses a small section of his rear wing after clouting a hay bale. "The right corner was extremely slippery but luckily no big damage," he says.
"We put the previous rallies out of our head and tried to have a clean run."
"On the first corner I lost the front and understeered, the rest was okay. It's good to be back in a World Rally Car."
"It feels good. This is a tricky stage, I never managed to do well here before."
"The car is fantastic. There was no big damage to the car after the accident so we could start the rally."
"It's nice to put some show on. It was very slippery so lots of sideways. We'll have an advantage tomorrow."
"We enjoyed the stage and hope to continue like that."
"This stage is fun. It's a very difficult rally, we must be careful with punctures."
"Great rally, the stages are nice but really rough. The rally starts tomorrow."
"We are here to try to finish the rally and gain experience. Clean first stage, tomorrow is the real start."
"I love this stage, a lot of pleasure, good start for me. It will be a hard weekend for the cars, divers and codrivers."
"No electronics, no power to the windscreen wipers."
"It was really slippery, we were cleaning the road."
"I'm hoping for a positive weekend and that the car is okay."