WRC Rally Italy 2021: Quick preview

Rally Italy 2021: Quick preview

Two weeks after Rally Portugal, it’s time for Rally Italy on the gravel roads in Sardinia. Here’s your quick preview of the event.

Just like Rally Portugal, a total of 300 Special Stage kilometres awaits the drivers for the gravel event. Dani Sordo has won the rally in 2019 and 2020 and looks to make it three in a row this weekend. The Spaniard will be seventh on the road on Friday morning which could prove to an advantage in comparison with the front runners.

There are not many surprises on Rally Italy’s entry list. Andreas Mikkelsen is back in Sardinia after sitting out two weeks ago in Portugal after testing postive for COVID-19. Oliver Solberg has been ruled out of Rally Italy after his father tested positive, requiring a close contacts, including Solberg Jr, to quarantine in Portugal.

Teemu Suninen is back behind the wheel of the M-Sport Ford Fiesta this weekend. Adrien Fourmaux, who finished sixth in Portugal, drives in the Ford Fiesta Rally2 in WRC2 this weekend.

Rally Italy itinerary

Rally Italy consists of 20 stages over three days of action. The event gets underway on Thursday morning with shakedown. Shakedown is a 2.89-kilometre long sprint which gets underway at 09:01. The rally starts on Thursday evening with the Rally Start in Alghero.

Sébastien Ogier will be first on the road in SS1 at 08:02 on Friday morning. Day 1 consists of four different stages which will be run twice each. The Filigosu – Sa Conchedda stage (SS1/SS3) is the longest stage of the day with 22.29 kilometres.

Saturday is the longest day of the rally with 129.62 kilometres. Just like day 1, eight stages are planned for day 2. The famous Micky’s Jump in the Lerno – Monti Di Ala stage (SS10/SS12) is part of the run plan for Saturday.

The final day of the rally is just under 50 kilometres in total. 4 stages are to be run, including a new Power Stage. The Power Stage gets underway at 12:18 local time.

Rally Italia Sardegna 2021 itinerary

All times CET.

Thursday, June 3

09:01 Shakedown Loiri Porto San Paolo – 2.89 km

Friday, June 4

08:02 SS1 Filigosu – Sa Conchedda 1 – 22.29 km
09:02 SS2 Terranova 1 – 14.36 km
10:47 SS3 Filigosu – Sa Conchedda 2 – 22.29 km
11:47 SS4 Terranova 2 – 14.36 km
13:06 Service A Olbia
14:47 SS5 Tempio Pausania 1 – 12.08 km
15:47 SS6 Erula – Tula 1 – 14.97 km
17:32 SS7 Tempio Pausania 2 – 12.08 km
18:32 SS8 Erula – Tula 2 – 14.97 km
20:21 Flexi Service B Olbia

Saturday, June 5

06:45 Service C Olbia
08:08 SS9 Coiluna – Loelle 1 – 15.00 km
09:08 SS10 Lerno – Monti Di Ala’ 1 – 22.08 km
10:38 SS11 Coiluna – Loelle 2 – 15.00 km
11:38 SS12 Lerno – Monti Di Ala’ 2 – 22.08 km
13:20 Service D Olbia
15:10 SS13 Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba 1 – 14.70 km
16:08 SS14 Sedini – Castelsardo 1 – 13:03 km
17:32 SS15 Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba 2 – 14.70 km
18:38 SS16 Sedini – Castelsardo 2 – 13:03 km
20:50 Flexi Service E Olbia

Sunday, June 6

06:30 Service F Olbia
07:33 SS17 Arzachena – Braniatogghiu 1 – 15.25 km
08:38 SS18 Aglientu – Santa Teresa 1 – 7.79 km
10:09 SS19 Arzachena – Braniatogghiu 2 – 15.25 km
12:18 SS20 Aglientu – Santa Teresa 2 – 7.79 km

Championship standings

Sébastien Ogier leads the championship with a total of 79 points. His Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans is close behind his with 77 points. Thierry Neuville is third, 20 points behind Evans. Ott Tänak is fourth despite but needs a good result in Sardinia to not lose sight on the top 2. The 2019 WRC champion has 45 points.

Kalle Rovanperä is fifth in the championship (41 points) despite leading after Arctic Rally Finland. The young Finn scored just two points from the last two rallies thanks to a SS1 crash in Croatia and a late Saturday retirement in Portugal.

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Photo: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC