What looks like an idyllic island in the Mediterranean actually features the especially rough special stages of the fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship 2021. Rally Italia Sardegna is the second gravel event of the series in less than three weeks. WRC2 category leader Andreas Mikkelsen, who had to skip Vodafone Rally de Portugal due to a positive COVID-19 test, is highly motivated. “I cannot wait to prove how fast the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo is on the Sardinian gravel roads. Victory in the WRC2 category is my clear target”, says the Norwegian. His Toksport WRT teammate, 20 years old Marco Bulacia from Bolivia, currently lies third in the WRC2 overall standings and looks to consolidate this position with a good result from Sardinia.
Sharing a private ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak (POL/POL) won WRC3 at Rally Croatia and Vodafone Rally de Portugal. In Italy, they chase a hat-trick of category victories. In this category, two more ŠKODA privateers are counted as favourites: 2019 FIA European Rally Champions Chris Ingram/Ross Whittock (GBR/GBR) of team SXM Competition and Toksport WRT’s Emil Lindholm/Reeta Hämäläinen from Finland. Among the 37 cars strong group of Rally2 cars, which are used mainly in WRC2 and WRC3, ŠKODA again is with 18 entries the most popular brand.
The Rally Italia Sardegna features three legs with 20 special stages totalling 303.10 kilometres. After ceremonial start (Thursday, 3 June) and start (Friday, 4 June) hosted by Alghero on the north-western coast of the island, the rally changes to Olbia in the east for overnight halts. The podium ceremony is scheduled for Sunday (6 June), 3:00 p.m. local time.
Did you know, …
…that the Italian round of the FIA World Rally Championship until 2003 was held on the mainland, based in Sanremo, before it moved to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia?
…the event today known as Rally Italia Sardegna first took place in 1928 under the name
“Rally of the Flowers” and was (except for 2010, when it was counting for the Intercontinental Rally Championship IRC) part of the FIA World Rally Championship ever since its inauguration in 1973?
…that the iconic stage “Monte Lerno” of Rally Italia Sardegna features “Micky’s Jump”,
spectacle-wise comparable only to the famous Fafe jump of Vodafone Rally de Portugal?
Top-3 overall WRC2/Drivers (before Rally Italia Sardegna)
1. Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 68 points
2. Esapekka Lappi (FIN), VW Polo GTI R5, 59 points
3. Marco Bulacia (BOL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 45 points
Top-3 overall WRC2/Teams (before Rally Italia Sardegna)
1. Movisport, 125 points
2. Toksport WRT (ŠKODA), 100 points
3. M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, 71 points
Top-3 overall WRC3/Drivers (before Rally Italia Sardegna)
1. Yohan Rossel (FRA), Citroën C3 Rally2, 70 points
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz (POL), ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo, 56 points
3. Nicolas Ciamin (FRA), Citroën C3 Rally2, 49 points
2021 FIA World Rally Championship
Rallye Monte-Carlo 21 – 24 January
Arctic Rally Finland powered by CapitalBox 25 – 28 February
Rally Croatia 22 – 25 April
Vodafone Rally Portugal 20 – 23 May
Rally Italia Sardegna 3 – 6 June
Safari Rally Kenya 24 – 27 June
Rally Estonia 15 – 18 July
Renties Ypres Rally Belgium 13 – 15 August
Rally Acropolis Greece 9 – 12 September
Rally Finland 30 September – 3 October
RallyRACC Rally de España 14 – 17 October
Rally Japan 11 –14 November