WRC Sardinia schedule sheds light on part-time driver programmes

The Italian gravel rally, which hosts the sixth round of the championship, has confirmed an eight-car Rally 1 field primed to tackle the event’s new 48-hour sprint format from 31 May – 2 June.

Eight-time world champion Ogier is on the list, meaning he will contest three consecutive events for the first time this season, having won in Croatia last month ahead of an outing in Portugal this weekend, which marks the fifth round of the championship.

The Frenchman, who was bestowed the title of Knight in the Legion of Honour by President Emmanuel Macron last week, has four Sardinia wins under his belt (2013, 2014, 2015, 2021). Ogier’s schedule beyond Sardinia is yet to be officially announced.         

It is anticipated that Kalle Rovanpera, who is also in action this week in Portugal, will pilot the third GR Yaris in Lativia and his native Finland.

The entry list also confirmed that Sordo will remain behind the wheel of the third Hyundai i20 N following his first appearance of the season in Portugal.

Sardinia has proved to be a happy hunting ground for the 41-year-old Spaniard, who has scored two (2019, 2020) of his three career WRC wins at the event. Sordo will hand over the car to Andreas Mikkelsen for Rally Poland from 27-30 June.

Rally Sardinia will be held over 16 competitive stages covering a total of 266.48 kilometres and will be based around the city of Alghero, which last hosted the event in 2022.

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

There has been a push from within the WRC to have the ability to run more condensed rallies. It is understood a proposal to condense events is part of a package of rule changes the championship wishes to implement in the future.

Previously, rallies have operated a stage distance in excess of 300 kilometres.

Watch: Vodafone Rally de Portugal Trailer

Under this new format, the rally will begin with the shakedown held on Friday morning before the first of four stages beginning at 1:30pm local time. Friday afternoon will feature two loops of two stages followed by an end-of-day service.

Saturday will feature eight stages split by a midday tyre-fitting zone. The schedule will see crews complete two passes of four stages before returning to Alghero for an end-of-day service.

Four stages will complete Sunday’s leg, with the rally set to finish at 1:15pm local time.

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