Rally Italia Sardegna 2024 Ogier Leads After Day One

The first day of Rally Italia Sardegna 2024 has come to an end. Sebastien Ogier leads the event after the days four stages.

SS1, Osilo-Tergu 1

Sebastien Ogier picked up where he left off in Portugal. As the Frenchman took home the stage win on the weekend’s first stage. With a time 7.7 seconds faster than Ott Tänak. Adrien Fourmaux and Dani Sordo tied for third fastest on the stage. With both drivers finishing 14.5 seconds slower than Ogier and 6.8 seconds slower than Tänak. Takamoto Katsuta rounded out the top five times on the stage, finishing 0.3 seconds slower than Fourmaux and Sordo. Elfyn Evans suffered a slow puncture on the stage. The Welshman managed to finish eighth fastest on the opening stage.

SS2, Sedini-Castelsardo 1

Ott Tänak took home the stage win on the second stage of Rally Italia Sardegna. As the Estonian posted a time 1.2 seconds faster than Thierry Neuville to top the stage. Adrien Fourmaux finished third fastest on the stage, 1.9 seconds slower than Tänak and 0.7 seconds slower than Neuville. Takamoto Katsuta set the fourth fastest time on the stage, 2.7 seconds slower than Fourmaux. Sebastien Ogier rounded out the top five on the stage, 1.3 seconds slower than Katsuta. No drivers reported any issues on the stage. Sebastien Ogier remains in the event lead after the stage only 1.8 seconds ahead of Tänak.

SS3, Osilo-Tergu 2

Sebastien Ogier also took home the stage win on the second running of the Osilo-Tergu stage. With a time 2.9 seconds faster than Ott Tänak this time around. Dani Sordo had his first top-three time this weekend on the stage, finishing 8.8 seconds slower than Ogier and 5.9 seconds slower than Tänak. Grégoire Munster was fourth fastest on the stage, 4.9 seconds slower than Sordo. Takamoto Katsuta rounded out the top five on the stage, 0.4 seconds slower than Munster. Adrien Fourmaux suffered a puncture on the stage. Much like Evans, he was still able to have a decent finishing time on the stage, finishing 9th, 39.4 seconds slower than Ogier. Sebastien Ogier was able to expand his lead to 4.7 seconds ahead of Tänak heading into the fays final stage.

SS4, Sedini-Castelsardo 2

Thierry Neuville capped off the first day of Rally Italia Sardegna 2024 with his first stage win of the weekend. As the championship leader set a time 3.7 seconds faster than Ott Tänak on the stage. Sebastien Ogier finished third fastest on the stage, 3.9 seconds slower than Neuville and 0.2 seconds slower than Tänak. Takamoto Katsuta was fourth fastest on the stage, 6.9 seconds slower than Ogier. Elfyn Evans rounded out the top five on the stage, 0.2 seconds slower than Katsuta. Fourmaux retired in the stage due to an electrical issue.

What To Expect From Rally Italia Sardegna 2024 Day Two

The second day of Rally Italia Sardegna 2024 will see drivers contest 149 km across eight stages. The day will feature no midday service. Adrien Fourmaux will be first on the road followed by Grégoire Munster and Elfyn Evans. Sebastien Ogier takes a 4.5-second lead over Ott Tänak into the day. Ogier will be looking to expand on that lead to take home his third consecutive win this season and 61st career win.

Driver And Team Quotes

Toyota Gazoo Racing

Jari-Matti Latvala – Team Principal

“Generally I’m very happy tonight with how our rally has started. I could see already in shakedown that Seb’s confidence levels were high and he started the rally very strongly. He showed a great performance and to be leading the rally after the first day is really nice. Taka started with a careful approach but he was improving his pace all the time so it’s been generally a good start for him as well. Unfortunately, Elfyn already got damage to one of his tyres very early on and then had to be more careful in order to get through the loop. But overall I’m pleased with our performance at the start of the rally, as this hasn’t been the easiest event for us in the past, and hopefully, we can continue this progress, but tomorrow will be a long and tough day for everybody.”

Sebastien Ogier – 1st Overall

We’re in the lead tonight so it’s been a positive start. It’s been tough: we expected a difficult loop with some abrasive sections that would be tough for the tyres, especially this first stage, Osilu-Tergu. It was also my first time driving this stage in that direction. Still, we went with an aggressive choice of five tyres for the afternoon and I did have to take care a little bit in some sections to manage it, but it’s nice to be in the lead. We made a positive step today that now gives us the optimum start position for tomorrow, but the gap to second place is close so it’s going to be an intense fight.”

Elfyn Evans – 6th overall

“It’s been a tough start for us. Picking up a puncture near the end of the first stage was not ideal, and then both times through the second stage of the loop was difficult for us. We struggled with the feeling in there and we were having to be careful with no spare tyre left to use. It was just a pity that happened so early on because that made it hard to manage the wear across the rubber we had left. It’s a long and difficult rally to go still and we’ll keep going and see what comes. We need to keep learning on this type of surface, try to find improvements and keep working towards where we want to be.”

Takamoto Katsuta- 4th Overall

“We are not in a bad position tonight. I’m not fully happy with myself, I was struggling a bit through most of the stages and it was a bit of a pity that I could not finish one place higher to get the better road position for tomorrow. But still, there’s a long way to go. I just need to find what I can improve in my driving to be better tomorrow and to push with a bit more confidence. With no mid-day service, there’s not much we can change on the car during tomorrow so as drivers we will need to adapt, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Hyundai Shell Mobis

Cyril Abiteboul – Team Principal

“It has been a good opening day here in Sardinia. It was our first experience of this new sprint format and it unfolded as we both expected and hoped it would. Ott had very strong pace, which has put him in a good position for a push tomorrow. He will be supported by Dani, who managed to keep Katsuta and Evans behind him today. Thierry had dealt with his road position very well, and we end the first day in pretty much the best situation possible. However, we have to stay focused on the job at hand, as tomorrow is going to be a long and unpredictable day.”

Ott Tänak – 2nd Overall

“We can be happy after our day, and we have a good road position for tomorrow. It would have been nice to have been one better but we can be content with what we have. It was a bit challenging in that last stage on both runs – the loss of the hybrid boost wasn’t as important on the first, as there was not much grip on the loose gravel, but the second was very grippy and it would have helped a lot. Thankfully, the strong Hyundai engine pulled us through and ensured we didn’t lose too much time. Tomorrow is going to be very demanding, particularly the first four stages; they are very slow, narrow and twisty – there’s no flow at all, but you have to push.”

Thierry Neuville – 5th Overall

“Today was worse than I expected if I am honest. We hoped that we could take some softs to try and minimise the disadvantage of our road position, but ultimately it was very warm and we had to go with full hard tyres on the abrasive stages. In hindsight, we should have taken one more with us to allow us to properly attack in every single corner, but I’m still happy with my day. I would love to have been third overnight rather than fifth, but we are constantly adapting and there is still an opportunity for a podium. Tomorrow we need to make sure we don’t lose too much time and score the maximum points as we push for the top three.”

Dani Sordo – 3rd Overall

“I’m happy to finish the day in third, especially as it wasn’t certain in those last two stages that we would have a good road position for tomorrow. We had to manage the tyres because we were really on the limit at the end, but it has been a nice day. I expected to be closer to the battle at the front, but Ogier and Ott were on a different level. Although I lost time on the first and last stage, it was important to finish today where we did, as tomorrow is going to be tough.”

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