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OLBIA – There are three world rally champions who entered the first class in the 20th edition of the Rally di Sardegna, the only Italian circuit of the world championship organized between 1 and 4 June in the north of the island. The first is Sébastien Ogier, the eight-faced French world champion who has already won 4 times in the land of the Four Moors and who in the event of success would be the most winner in the history of the Sardinian competition. The second is Kalle Rovanperä, the Finn who last season interrupted the reign of the transalpine girl, who is employed only temporarily by one team, Toyota Gazoo Racing. The third is Ott Tänak, an Estonian hired by M-Sport to drive the Ford Puma plug-in with which he has already won the Swedish snow test.
For Ogier it is of the fourth presence of this season (first two and fifth place so far with a total of 69 points, third place) after those of Monte Carlo, Mexico and Croatia. The Frenchman’s in 2021 is Toyota’s only victory in Sardinia so far. In addition to the two champions, the Japanese team also includes Elfin Evans (who shares third place with Ogier) and Takamoto Katsuta, whose performance this year is lower than expected with Gr Yaris. Tänak won the Quattro Mori rally in 2017 with a Ford Fiesta and last year with a Hyundai i20: between Thursday and Sunday he tries again with a new car from the Blue Oval. Another driver who will race on the dirt road of Sardinia with Puma. is the Frenchman Pierre Louis Loubet, only twice out of 10 so far (sixth in Sweden and seventh in Croatia).
Hyundai has a tradition glorious in Sardinia, where it has already won 5 victories, the same as Citroen and more than Volkswagen (3) which had dominated the area for several years at international level. In addition to the old Tänak, Dani Sordo (2019 and 2020) and Thierry Neuville (2016 and 2018) have climbed the top step of the podium twice: the Belgian’s confirmation at the expense of the five-year-old Ogier is almost “epic” does in part only 7 tenths. The third driver sent by Hyundai at the wheel of the i20 N is Finland’s Esapekka Lappi, back from two consecutive third places.
The sixth stage of the world championship is 322 km long, spread over 19 special stages (only the first one, the one in front of the sea, Olbia – Cabu Abbas on Thursday afternoon from more than 3,000 meters, does not include two routes) for a total of 1,170 km of Travel. The almost 50 km Monte Lerno scheduled for Friday is the longest in the island’s event history. There are 74 registered workers and they represent a large number of nations, 27. To ensure safety, 130 medical workers, 80 technical intervention vehicles and 53 rescue vehicles will be in service. State television ensured adequate coverage, including – for the first time – live coverage of special events.