Having claimed six podium-finishes in seven races since the start of the year and secured stage wins at every round contested thus far on gravel in the C3 WRC, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia really are the kings of consistency. They will be intending to make use of their unrivalled competitiveness and incredible race craft again at this rally, where they have already scored three wins (2013, 2014 and 2015). Despite Citroën’s experience in Sardinia, where the team has won five times, it will be difficult to repeat the feat this year, given that the crew will be first in the running order on Friday and that the grip on the gravel roads here improves significantly as more cars complete the stages. However, comforted by the valuable and effective work done in testing with the team in first-run conditions, the championship leaders will undoubtedly once again be digging deep to make the very best of their situation as they continue to chase a seventh consecutive world title.
Best performer with six stage wins, including the Power Stage, on only their second race in a WRC in 2017 before going even better last year to finish third overall, Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm have performed brilliantly during each of their appearances in Sardinia in a top-flight car. It is an event they are getting to know well and Citroën’s Finns will also have a good position in the running order on Friday’s leg (ninth). They will therefore be able to get their bearings from the word go and then attempt to build on the clear breakthrough made in Portugal in handling the C3 WRC on gravel and secure a strong result here.
The Citroën Total World Rally Team prepared for Portugal and this round, one of the most technical of the season, during two days of testing in Sardinia back in mid-May on stages previously used as part of the island rally. Encouraged by the progress seen in the C3 WRC in Portugal, the French team has redoubled its efforts behind the scenes to keep improving on the Italian island.
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