Tänak heads for Rally Italia Sardegna in search of victory

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Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja in action in Sardinia in 2020. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

Estonian rally star Ott Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja are in action in the Hyundai i20 in Sardinia this weekend for round five of the 2021 World Rally Championship.

Tänak will be hoping to retrieve the form he had four years ago, when he won the event - his maiden WRC victory.

"We demonstrated great speed in the gravel in Portugal," Tänak said ahead of this weekend's event.

Suspension issues forced Tänak to withdraw from that event, which he had been leading going into day three, though he returned to bag five points in the final speed test.

"I hope we can bring bring some of this to Italy and that we can fight for victory again," he added.

Hyundai team boss Andrea Adamo said: "Victory is our clear goal in Sardinia, and we are trying to take advantage of the opportunities missed out on in Portugal. The WRC series is far from over, so we have to get back into the fight."

Hyundai lies in second place (out of three) in the manufacturers' table, behind Toyota, at present.

Tänak won his first ever WRC race in Sardinia in 2017 but subsequent performances have been less stellar, and he and Järveoja have not made the podium there since. Last year's event, postponed to autumn due to COVID-19 restrictions, saw the pair beset with suspension issues.

Like Portugal last month, Rally Italia Sardegna contains plenty of gravel stages, while the course's total length is over 300 km. The rally park's location has been moved, but otherwise the race is largely unchanged from previous years, with plenty of boulders and vegetation lining the tracks.

Thursday, day one of race weekend, sees one 2.89 km speed stage start at a little after 10.00 a.m. Estonian time.

French driver and six-time champion Sebastien Ogier goes into the race in first place in the drivers' table; last year's runner up, Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota) is second, with Tänak's teammate Thierry Neuville of Belgium in third, and the Estonian himself fourth.

Tänak has won one race so far this season, in February, at the Arctic Rally.

Schedule:

Thursday

Test Loiri Porto San Paolo 2,89 km 10.01

Friday

SS1 Filigosu - Sa Conchedda 1 22,29 km 9.02
SS2 Terranova 1 14,36 km 10.02
SS3 Filogosu - Sa Conchedda 2 22,29 km 11.47
SS4 Terranova 2 14,36 km 12.47
SS5 Tempio Pausania 1 12,08 km 15.47
SS6 Erula - Tula 1 14,97 km 16.47
SS7 Tempio Pausania 2 12,08 km 18.32
SS8 Erula - Tula 2 14,97 km 19.32

Saturday

SS9 Coiluna - Loelle 1 15,00 km 9.08
SS10 Lerno - Monti di Ala 1 22,08 km 10.08
SS11 Coiluna - Loelle 2 15,00 km 11.38
SS12 Lerno - Monti di Ala 2 22,08 km 12.38
SS13 Bortigiadas - Aggius - Viddalba 1 14,70 km 16.10
SS14 Sedini - Castelsardo 1 13,03 km 17.08
SS15 Bortigiadas - Aggius - Viddalba 2 14,70 km 18.40
SS16 Sedini - Castelsardo 2 13,03 km 19.38

Sunday

SS17 Arzachena - Braniatogghiu 1 15,25 km 8.33
SS18 Aglientu - Santa Teresa 1 7,79 km 9.38
SS19 Arzachena - Braniatogghiu 2 15,25 km 11.09
SS20 Aglientu - Santa Teresa 2 (PK) 7,79 km 13.18

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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