italia sardinia rally

Rally Italia Sardinia, Tanak Snatches Victory On Power Stage. The New Scorpions Work Well Even In Extreme Conditions

  • After fighting back all through Sunday morning, the Estonian does it, finishing 0.2 seconds ahead of Ogier on the final stage
  • The hard and soft tyres perform well on all road surfaces and overcome the unknowns of an all-new rally format
  • Testoni: “It’s nice to get compliments from the drivers, but it’s even better knowing we have achieved our development goals. I’d say the new rally format went down well”

Alghero, 2 June 2024 – Ott Tanak took his first win of the season in the Rally of Sardinia beating Sebastian Ogier by the skin of his teeth, fighting back all day, taking the lead in the power stage to come out 0.2 seconds ahead, after starting the Sunday 17.1 seconds down on the Frenchman. Rounding off the podium positions was Dani Sordo in the Hyundai at the end of an event that was very different to usual, with a shorter format making its debut in Sardinia. The valuable points for Super Sunday and the Power Stage actually went to Thierry Neuville who ruled himself out of a podium finish after going off the road on SS8.

Apart from seeing Tanak return to the winner’s circle, the Italian round also rubber-stamped the effectiveness of the new generation Pirelli Scorpion gravel tyres which, after making their debut in Portugal in mid-May, have now won on the Sardinian roads that represent probably the toughest challenge of the whole season.

The tyre strategies adopted by the teams were largely influenced by the characteristics of the roads and the introduction of the format that saw crews having to make the second passes without service or tyre changes. Friday was the toughest test of the tyres, because of the abrasive nature of the road surface and the Scorpion Hard (the prime for this rally) was the only tyre chosen by all the cars. The only difference was in the number of spares, with Sordo, Neuville, Evans and Ogier risking just taking one. On Saturday morning, the more mixed surfaces of the four scheduled stages prompted the crews to go for a strategy with 4 Scorpion Soft and 2 Hard, apart from Adrien Fourmaux, who went 3 and 3 and Ogier who opted for 2 prime and 3 option. In the afternoon, only Hyundai favoured going with 4 prime and 2 option, while the majority of drivers chose 3 hard and 3 soft, including Ogier who, in the second part of the day, pulled away from the field. On Sunday morning, with softer and more consistent surfaces, all went for 5 soft compound tyres, apart from Sordo who inserted one hard in the quintet.

WRC2 was won by Finland’s Sam Pajari in a Toyota Yaris, while 24 year old Spaniard, Diego Dominguez, won in JWRC.

Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli Activity Manager: “Rally Sardinia has confirmed that our gravel tyre development of the past few months has produced the expected results. We are very pleased with the strength and durability they demonstrated on these very tough stages, even when already worn from the first passes and with the positive comments from the drivers. Especially on Friday, the new hard tyres clearly proved to be very resistant to wear, while on Saturday and Sunday, the new soft tyres demonstrated they were resistant to punctures. The new shorter rally format proved to be a challenge for everyone, but overall I’d say that this experiment carried out by the ACI at the behest of the Promoter and the FIA, was a success and was appreciated by the spectators. Apart from Ott, my congratulations also go to Sam who dominated in WRC2 and Diego for his win in the Junior, both youngsters are fine representatives of their two rally schools. It’s a shame for Seb who, starting last in the power stage, had to deal with a very cut up road surface and terrible conditions, which damaged a rim and lost him precious seconds.”

Worth noting the excellent performance from Roberto Daprà, supported by ACI Team Italia and Pirelli who finished ninth on his world championship debut in WRC2.

Here below a graphic summary of the Rally Italia Sardegna: