19/05/2017 – A total of 55 crews entered edition 2017 of the Rally Italia Sardegna, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship that will be also valid for Wrc2, Wrc3 and Junior. The event organized by Automobil Club d’Italia with the support of Regione Sardegna, is scheduled for next June 8-11 in the north part of the island. This year’s event has an interesting number of cars involved, especially considering that despite the rally being valid also for the Junior Championship, it is not mandatory for Wrc2 cars, which would have increased the participation by some ten units.
The International character of the event is confirmed by the fact that 22 different countries will be represented (Italy, France, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Belgium, Spain, Poland, New Zealand, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Holland, Mexico, Bolivia, Argentine, Germany, Japan, Australia and Czech Republic), which will contribute to the promotion of the image of Sardinia all around the world.
The Italian lot will be quite numerous, 18 drivers will in fact partake the event (8 of which coming from Sardinia). They are followed by France that will be represented by 7 drivers, Norway with 3 and the the others.
The entry list features also 13 Wrc Plus entrants (4 Ford Fiesta, 3 Hyundai i20, 3 Citroen C3 and 3 Toyota Yaris), three Ford Fiesta Wrc and 1 Citroen Ds3 Wrc. Nine drivers entered the seventh round of Wrc 2, while 12 will compete for Wrc 3 and 9 for the Junior.
THE PROTAGONISTS. All the main crews contesting the World Rally Championship will be present in Sardinia, starting from the three MSport works drivers on the Ford Fiesta Plus, namely, classification leader and four time World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier, Ott Tanak and Elfyn Evans, while the three works drivers of Hyundai Thierry Neuville, Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon will be on the i20 Wrc Plus. The three works Toyota Yaris Wrc will be driven by the Finns Jari-Matti Latvala, Juho Hanninen and Esapekka Lappi, while the Ford Fiesta Wrc Plus run by Team Jipo Car One Bet will be driven by the Norwegian Mads Ostberg. The Czech driver Martin Prokop, Saudi Arabia’s Yazzed Al Rajhi (both on Ford Fiesta Wrc 2016) and the French Jean-Michel Raoux (Citroen Ds3 Wrc) will also be present. A total of 9 crews entered Wrc 2. Among these, the two works Skoda Fabia R5 will be driven by the Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen and by the Czech Jan Kopecky, the other Fabia R5 by the Norwegian Veiby, the Ford Fiesta R5 by Corsica’s Pierre-Louis Loubet and the Hyundai i20 R5 run by Romeo Ferraris by Aci Team Italia’s Fabio Andolfi. An Italian, Enrico Brazzoli (Peugeot 208 R2), will also be present in Wrc 3, as 8 drivers from Sardinia will be present in the event too (Paolo Liceri, Giuseppe Dettori, Francesco Marrone, Giovanni Bitti, Maurizio Pusceddu, Alessandro Leoni, Raffaele Donadio and Giovanni Martinez).
THE RACE. Edition 2017 of the Rally Italia Sardegna will get underway next June 8 – 11 and will be run on 312 competitive kms split in 19 stages. Alghero will house again the headquarters, service park and press room. The rally will kick off with the shakedown on Thursday June 8th in Olmedo at local 8 am. The “Ittiri Arena Show”, the opening 2km special stage will take place at local 18. Drivers will then head to the Brin Pier of Olbia that they will reach from 20,30. Gravel roads of the north part of Sardinia will host the three rally days of June 9th, 10th and 11th. The event will end on Sunday June 11th with the prize ceremony in Alghero harbour.