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Sordo holds on for Sardinia double in dramatic finale

Sordo claimed his second consecutive Sadinia win

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By www.wrc.com

11 October 2020 - 18:04
Sordo holds on for Sardinia double (...)

Dani Sordo held off FIA World Rally Championship title-chasing pair Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier to seal back-to-back Rally Italia Sardegna wins on Sunday afternoon.

The Spaniard, driving only his second WRC rally this year, came under intense pressure as the duelling duo ate into his half-minute lead in the final four gravel speed tests. He hung on to win this sixth round by 5.1sec in a Hyundai i20.

It marked a third WRC victory for 37-year-old Sordo, who was never headed after taking the lead on Friday morning. It was also his second consecutive triumph on the Mediterranean island after a dramatic last-gasp success in 2019.

“This place is really special, and we have seen a strong performance across the whole team. I’m not particularly pleased with my pace today. We had a big lead coming into Sunday morning, but I wasn’t able to set the same times as Thierry and Ogier, so things were a bit too close by the end,” he said.

Behind, team-mate Neuville and Ogier fought tooth-and-nail. After trading places all rally, Ogier defended second throughout Sunday, until a blistering drive from his Belgian rival enabled him to snatch the position by 1.0sec in a tense final stage shootout.

“I was on the limit and pushed very hard,” admitted six-time champion Ogier, who won six of the rally’s 16 rocky tests over three days in northern Sardinia. “It was intense the whole weekend. We gave everything in the last stage and there is not much more I could have done.”

Hyundai’s 1-2 promoted the Korean squad into the lead of the manufacturers’ series with a seven-point advantage over Toyota Gazoo Racing. Just 6.1sec covered the podium places, the smallest margin in championship history.

Elfyn Evans holds a 14-point lead over Toyota team-mate Ogier in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining. The Welshman guided his Yaris to fourth, just over a minute behind Sordo.

Pierre-Louis Loubet was seventh, ahead of WRC 3 support category winner Jari Huttunen, who held onto eighth after Kajetan Kajetanowicz suffered a late puncture. Kajetanowicz headed WRC 2 winner Pontus Tidemand in 10th.

The penultimate round takes competitors to Belgium for the first time. The asphalt Renties Rally Ypres Belgium takes place on 19 - 22 November.

Teemu Suninen led initially but after slipping back with mechanical problems on his Ford Fiesta, the Finn finished fifth, 31.6sec behind Evans.

It was a disappointing weekend for world champion Ott Tänak. Suspension problems on his i20 cost time on the opening morning. He recovered to sixth and gained maximum bonus points in the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, but trails Evans by 28 points in the title fight.

Pierre-Louis Loubet was seventh, ahead of WRC 3 support category winner Jari Huttunen, who held onto eighth after Kajetan Kajetanowicz suffered a late puncture. Kajetanowicz headed WRC 2 winner Pontus Tidemand in 10th.

The penultimate round takes competitors to Belgium for the first time. The asphalt Renties Rally Ypres Belgium takes place on 19 - 22 November.

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