Rally Italia Sardegna Preview 2024

We’re really getting into the mid-part of this season’s championship and the top two crews will continue to fight for the points which they hope will take them to their first drivers and co-drivers’ championship’s.

The crews will face 266km’s over sixteen stages with the longest day being Saturday with 149km’s over eight stages. In another unusual move is that Friday’s action does not start till the afternoon with the first stage at UK time due to get underway at around half past two. Shakedown starts at just after 8am UK time on Friday as well, giving the event quite a different feel along with no service on any of the days.

Let’s hear from the crews.

Hyundai Motorsport

Thierry Neuville

“Rally Italia Sardegna is a very technical rally, so we need to have a faultless drive across the weekend. We need really accurate pacenotes and a good setup; the difference in stages between the first and second pass can be huge, so we need to be able to adapt the car to those changes as well. The heat, tyre wear and length of the days are some of the biggest challenges we face throughout the event. This paired with the little amount of sleep we get due to long road sections makes it a unique challenge. Our approach to the weekend is the same as usual: we will be pushing for the best possible result considering the conditions, car and other important factors that can influence a rally. There’s no pre-event test and shakedown is not representative at all of the remainder of the rally, so that will be the biggest obstacle for us. However, we will work to overcome this and bring home the best result possible.”

Ott Tänak

“I would say we had a good and solid weekend in Portugal, so we want to build on that and it’s a bit easier now that we have more pace. Sardinia has some big challenges; it can be very slippery and hard to get the necessary amount of grip. That paired with the very hot temperatures makes everything much more of a challenge. Running the same tyres over the first and second loop makes it harder to put a strong package together, so we need a lot of traction from the setup, especially when we start early on the road. It’s an event where rallying is a lot more interesting, and I always prefer that. We were very close to the win in Portugal before the puncture ruined it, so our plan is to do better this time in Sardinia.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship Round 5, Rally de Portugal, 9-12 Mayy 2024
Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, Action during Day 2 of WRC Rally de Portugal 2024
Photographer: Vincent Thuillier
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Dani Sordo

“Sardinia is a very similar surface to Portugal, but a bit more slippery in places. Portugal gave me good preparation for the event; I completed some good gravel kilometres at the last round. This year’s event is a lot more condensed, so we need a really fast start to get us the best possible road position for Saturday onwards. It’s an event where road position is really important, so we will see what we can do to optimise that. We need a lot of precision in the car because some passes are really narrow, meaning even more grip is needed to get the car through each pass safely. The target is definitely to finish on the podium, but it would be really nice to go one step further and fight for the victory.”


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Elfyn Evans

“For us, Portugal was a difficult weekend, but it’s still quite early in the season and we just have to aim for some stronger rallies ahead. Every rally is important, and we need to try and make the most of the opportunity in Sardinia. We definitely made some progress with the feeling in the car in Portugal and we’re working with the team to try and come up with some further improvements for Sardinia, even though it’s difficult with the limited testing we have. It’s quite a similar rally to Portugal in some ways and maybe trickier in others, but I’m sure we can turn things around and make it a better weekend.”

Sébastien Ogier

“We have been on a good run recently with our wins in Croatia and Portugal and we would of course like to try and carry on like this – so the target for Sardinia has to be to continue the sequence if we can. I think we are in a good position: we had a good test there recently, and in Portugal when the surface was sandier and more like Sardinia the car was working well, so hopefully that can be the case there as well. It’s always a difficult challenge with long stages and the need for tyre management, but it’s a rally that I learned to love and to master over my career and I hope we can have another successful trip there.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“My result in Portugal was not what I wanted but I had a good feeling with the car during the weekend and I hope we can take that feeling into the next rally in Sardinia. The gravel and the surface on this rally are a bit different, so there are some things that we need to adjust, but we had a good test in Sardinia recently and I know that the engineers and the whole team are working hard to be stronger there. Usually, I don’t feel as confident on this event with the more slippery surface, but our starting position should be good for Friday, and I will try to find confidence from the beginning.”


M-Sport Ford WRT

Adrien Fourmaux

“Sardinia is one of the rallies I have the most experience; we know it’s a rough event, a bit smaller in mileage than previous years, but we know the competition will be very high. It’s going to be like a sprint rally, and we will do our best to get the best result as possible. We are now fourth in the championship, and we want to be back in the podium places.

“Sardinia is a small island, it’s really rough and normally a really warm event. There’s a lot of rocks when you’re going through the second pass of the stages, so it’s going to be quite tough on the car, the mechanics, and the crews so its going to be an interesting rally to follow. There are some beautiful landscapes to enjoy, so let’s have some fun!”

Grégoire Munster

“We’re really looking forward to Rally Sardegna. We know from previous years that the weather can be tricky; we went from extreme rainy conditions to sunny and hot weather last year, so we will have to see what it is like this time. For this year, the itinerary is similar to 2022 with the rally based in Alghero, so we’re lacking a bit of experience there but we’re hoping to carry some momentum and lessons from Portugal to Sardinia. We’re looking forward to continuing our learning curve!”



Oliver Solberg

“Sardinia is a tough rally,” said Oliver. “We were leading [WRC2] last year when we had our suspension problem. I have to say, it’s one I don’t have so much experience of, so it’s good to go there without quite the same stress of driving for the points.

“All around, this is a hard rally. The weather is usually hot which gives the car and Elliott [Edmondson, co-driver] and I quite a big work out.

“It’s important for us to get back out and competing again. Like you can imagine, Portugal was disappointing. It’s always so frustrating to crash, but it’s even worse when your opposition hits trouble too. We know that could have been a good score for us, but OK. That’s done. We only look forward and we look to make a good, positive story from Italy.

“It’s always really nice to go to Italy. We did events like Monza, Sanremo, Alba before and it’s always the same – there’s so much passion for the sport in Italy. I love it!”

William Creighton

“Sardinia has got a lot of similarities to Rally Portugal, it’s more technical but it has got the same challenge of rough stages and trying to manage the tyres. There are things that I want to improve on after Portugal so it’s nice to be heading to a similar rally to continue building experience in WRC2 category and the Fiesta Rally2.”


We are set then for a really quick rally, but how much jeopardy will the lack of any service on any of the days throughout the weekend play into the round and ultimately decide the final standings.

Elfyn and Scott will want to outscore Thierry and Martijn after the Belgian paring increased their championship lead last time out.

Who could win this weekend then? Well, it’s hard to look past two parings with Ott and Martin and Seb and Vincent both benefitting from good road positions.

Enjoy the rally!

Share the passion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

©2014-2024 ThePitCrewOnline