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Nouvel takes control of Sardinia

Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) won the opening stage of the Sardinia Rally Thursday, the fifth round of the World Championship (WRC). The double winner of the Sardinia event (in 2016 and 2018), who is currently second in the championship after Finnish prodigy Kali Rovanpera (Toyota), completed the circuit in alternating dirt and the final on the asphalt in the outskirts of Olbia, in the northeast of the island with a time of 22’26 ”800.

The winner of the last three WRC events, Rovanperä set the fourth time in one second, ahead of two other Toyotas, those of Japanese Takamoto Katsuta (second at 0″500) and Britain’s Elfyn Evans (third at 0″700). Spaniard Dani Sordo (Hyundai), the senior specialist in the Sardinia Rally which he won in 2019 and 2020, set the seventh-fastest time in this inaugural “super special”.

France’s Sebastien Loeb, winner of the Monte Carlo Rally in January, and Sebastien Ogier, world champion preparing for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, are in Sardinia. They play only part of the WRC calendar, and are expected to take part in Round Six in Kenya (23-26 June). The drivers will compete, on Friday, in eight stages for a distance of 133 km North Island time.

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