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RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA: PREVIEW TOYOTA GAZOO RACING SETS SAIL IN SEARCH OF SARDINIAN SUCCESS

After victory in Portugal, the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team moves quickly onto another gruelling gravel event in the shape of Rally Italia #sardegna (June 3-6) with the aim of continuing its strong recent form.

Toyota Yaris #wrc duo #sebastienogier and #elfynevans lead the way in the drivers’ championship after the latter’s victory on the first gravel round of 2021 in Portugal – and are separated by just two points, with a further 20 points back to the competition. Fifth in the standings is #kallerovanpera and sixth is TGR #wrc Challenge Program driver Takamoto Katsuta – fresh from taking his best ever result of fourth in Portugal.

Rally Italia #sardegna returns to its traditional June date this year after the 2020 edition was switched to the autumn. That should mean a return to some of the highest temperatures experienced all season, which combined with rough and abrasive roads can make the event particularly tough on cars and tyres. The stages are fast but narrow and lined with bushes, trees and rocks, making them tricky for the drivers too.

The service park moves back to #olbia in the northeast of the island after seven years in Alghero on the west coast – although Alghero will still host the start of the rally on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday feature mostly familiar roads from recent years, with each day consisting of a pair of stages run twice in the morning and another pair of stages run twice in the afternoon. Saturday afternoon’s Bortigiadas – Aggius – Viddalba test was last driven in 2005, while Sunday has a completely different look, with two passes over the Arzachena – Braniatogghiu stage last run in 2009 plus the all-new Aglientu – Santa Teresa test on the northern coast, which will serve as the rally-ending Power Stage.

Quotes:
Jari-Matti Latvala (Team Principal)
“We had a fantastic result in Portugal and that gives us a good feeling moving onto another gravel rally in Sardinia. We also have to be realistic going into the event. Seb and Elfyn will be the first two drivers on the road during day one, and this is usually one of the most difficult rallies in terms of road cleaning, especially now we are going back there in the summer. But we fought back well from a difficult start in Portugal and again we will try to take as many points as we can in Sardinia. We know it will be a great challenge but that’s what rallying is all about.”