WRC, Sardinia Rally: Esapekka Lappi and Ott Tanak 0.7 seconds behind

Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) leads Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) by 0.7 seconds to complete day two of the Sardinia Rally, the surprising Pierre Loubet/Vincent Landais (Ford Puma Rally1) ) finished third in 15.1 seconds.
It was a rough day for championship leader Kalle Rovanpera, who lost a lot of time by driving and Toyota also saw Elfyn Evans retire with a mechanical problem after hitting a rock that damaged the crankcase and the engine overheated. Strongly, the lead pilot was abandoned. As Kalle Rovanperä was late in the back row of Rally1, this time it was Esapekka Lappi fighting in the front row.

On a day of ups and downs, Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Ford Puma Rally1) was fourth with 15.5 seconds, followed by Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) six tenths behind.
Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1) finished sixth with a time of 30.8 seconds, well ahead of Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) by over a minute and a completely different race from Portugal .
Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) was eighth with a time of 1:13.1, still ahead of Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) who had been ahead by more than two minutes.

highs and lows
Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) had a cautious start to 5th place because of the dust, but he quickly took the lead in the second stage of the day after questions from Elfyn Evans. At Monti di Ala and Budduso, a touch of a rock scared them and they took the lead, but Tanak took the lead after Lappi’s puncture and didn’t waste much time holding the 3.7sec lead.
He was 6.4 seconds behind in the early afternoon, but the Estonian suffered a mechanical failure on PE7 which gave Esapekka Lappi the lead.
Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) finished second in 0.7 seconds, but he could have come out on top had it not been for a new mechanical problem with his Hyundai.
Starting the next day, PE4 moved on but didn’t like his car, he started well in the afternoon, but then a gearbox failure caused him to run on three drive wheels intermittently, losing time and test leadership.
Pierre Loubet/Vincent Landais (Ford Puma Rally1) Good morning, they finished third. He had a dust problem at the start of the day and was still in 3rd, he lost two places after the summit but was back in 3rd, passing Craig Breen and taking advantage of Evans’ retirement.
They remained in the front row and Brin passed him early in the afternoon, but then it was the Irishman’s turn to spin and lose position again, with Craig Brin/Paul Nagel (Ford Puma Rally 1) with a 15.5sec Distance ends the day. Nice rhythm, but small mistakes reverse the time gained with the rhythm. He was lucky not to be “glued” to the wall in PE6.
Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) got off to a bad start but improved, finishing fifth with 16.1 seconds ahead, a decent enough distance to recover.
He won two stages in a row in the morning, rising from 11th to 5th and is fighting for the podium. At least.
Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1) was sixth with a time of 30.8 seconds and the driver was gaining confidence and was doing better than the Portuguese race. He started the day as the best driver in the Ford team despite a puncture, but ended the day in no man’s land, 14.7 seconds ahead of sordo and ahead of Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) 34.7 seconds, the latter had a lot of dust problems in the morning and ran slower than the best WRC2.
To make matters worse, Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) finished eighth in 1:13.1. No dust, but a lot of grime to “clean up”. And there are no “miracles” like in Portugal, because in our country the roads were repaired on the first day, and without knowing it, they helped the Finns because there was so much dirt in these sections, even those that were more People who are far away also suffer.
He started 7.9 seconds from the front, then 12.5, 19.2, 42.5 before having a “moment” between the trees, ripping the rear spoiler off his GR Yaris, battered in the final stage before the assist. Some WRC2s are slow.

Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) ninth, he started wasting time in the dust, if in Portugal he lost more than a minute to a propshaft failure, this time a new transmission failure led to more waste time.
Game over for good results.
To make matters worse, Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) retired after passing the lead. With a light touch, a moment later, the engine temperature “spiked”. Giving up is inevitable. It lost control in electric mode and gave up shortly after PE4.
Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (Ford Puma Rally1) gave up almost two minutes after losing hope of a good result after a technical problem with the top. The car won’t start and ended up being spoiled.
Andreas Mikkelsen/Torstein Eriksen (Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2) leads the WRC2 Open with 15.8 seconds and leads Nikolay Gryazin/Konstantin Aleksandrov (Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2) after Yohan Rossel/Valentin Sarreaud (Citroën C3 Rally2) leaves the road.

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