MOTORSPORT NEWS

Rally Sardegna: SS6/7: LATVALA, NEUVILLE HIT TROUBLE

JARI-MATTI LATVALA ROLLED OUT OF THE RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA LEAD ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON AS THIERRY NEUVILLE’S WRC TITLE CHALLENGE ALSO RECEIVED A SETBACK WHEN HE DAMAGED HIS CAR’S RADIATOR AFTER CRASHING INTO A DITCH.

Latvala started the afternoon with a 2.8sec lead over Toyota Gazoo Racing team-mate Ott Tänak but the Finn rolled his Yaris two-thirds of the way through the Tula speed test.

He and co-driver Miikka Anttila manhandled the car back onto four wheels before limping to the finish with a smashed windscreen and panel damage. They lost almost 8min 30sec.

An exhausted Latvala slumped by the roadside before receiving medical treatment, after which he was given the all clear to continue. The shattered windscreen was removed.

“I used so much power to get the car back on its wheels. There were no people there, nobody would help. I cut the hairpin a little bit and we rolled from there,”he explained.

Neuville’s drama happened less than a kilometre before the finish of Tula. The Belgian lost control of his Hyundai i20 which slid nose first into a ditch. Onboard footage revealed co-drive Nicolas Gilsoul apologising to Neuville as the car went off the road.

“We had a misunderstanding with the pace notes,” said Neuville, who stopped on the following liaison section to plug two holes in his car’s radiator, which was leaking fluid.

“It can happen, it’s part of the game. I don’t blame anyone. We had to fix the car. We can drive and it’s OK but it’s all shaking around and I don’t want to damage it further,” he added.

Teemu Suninen was fastest in his Ford Fiesta by 3.4sec from Dani Sordo, with Ott Tänak a further 0.7sec adrift leaving the leaderboard delicately poised. Sordo and Tänak were tied at the top, with Suninen just 0.8sec behind.

The following Castelsardo test was cancelled following a medical emergency in the stage involving a spectator. Only Tänak, Neuville and Evans started before the test was halted, and remaining competitors were diverted to SS8 using an alternative route. Notional times will be issued later.

 

Top ten overal after stage ten 

    POS CAR NO DRIVER CO-DRIVER TEAM ELIGIBILITY GROUP CLASS TIME DIFF PREV DIFF 1ST
    1. 6 ESPD. SORDO ESPC. DEL BARRIO HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM M RC1 1:08:10.4
    2. 8 ESTO. TÄNAK ESTM. JÄRVEOJA TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT M RC1 1:08:10.4
    3. 3 FINT. SUNINEN FINJ. LEHTINEN M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM M RC1 1:08:11.2 +0.8 +0.8
    4. 33 GBRE. EVANS GBRS. MARTIN M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM M RC1 1:08:15.6 +4.4 +5.2
    5. 89 NORA. MIKKELSEN NORA. JAEGER HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM M RC1 1:08:26.4 +10.8 +16.0
    6. 5 GBRK. MEEKE GBRS. MARSHALL TOYOTA GAZOO RACING WRT M RC1 1:08:27.9 +1.5 +17.5
    7. 11 BELT. NEUVILLE BELN. GILSOUL HYUNDAI SHELL MOBIS WORLD RALLY TEAM M RC1 1:08:35.8 +7.9 +25.4
    8. 4 FINE. LAPPI FINJ. FERM CITROEN TOTAL WRT M RC1 1:09:11.4 +35.6 +1:01.0
    9. 69 FINJ. HÄNNINEN FINT. TUOMINEN TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING OY NONE RC1 1:09:31.6 +20.2 +1:21.2
    10. 22 FINK. ROVANPERÄ FINJ. HALTTUNEN SKODA MOTORSPORT WRC2PRO RC2 1:10:24.5 +52.9