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Neuville tries to repeat victory in Italy to get closer to Ogier

Neuville tries to repeat victory in Italy to get closer to Ogier
Belgian Thierry Neuville (Huyndai i20) will try to reissue the victory achieved last year in the Rally from Italy-Sardinia, which takes place between Thursday and Sunday, to get closer to the leader of the World Cup, the Frenchman Sebastien Ogier (Ford Fiesta).
Neuville, winner this year of the rallies in France and Argentina and second in the last rally, that of Portugal, is second in the championship with 22 points less than Ogier, who after winning the inaugural test (Ogier) had to wait until the test lusa to return to the path of victory.
The Belgian pilot was the winner of the 2016 edition of the rally Italian, a triumph that snapped Ogier’s three-game winning streak in Sardinia.
The island was the scene of the first rally with three team cars in 2014, first podium for New Zealander Hayden Paddon completing a double podium in 2015, and a victory for Thierry Neuville twelve months ago.
“The Rally Italy-Sardinia is special to me, especially after our victory last year. I still have fond memories of our entire team jumping into the water at the harbor in celebration. We already have a couple of victories this season, but this is a technical race in which we can take nothing for granted, “explains Neuville in statements released by his team.
“The roads are very hard and dry, and they can be difficult for cars, especially for tires. Therefore, the choice of tire can be crucial depending on the position on the road, and it will be something that we will take care of. In general, we are happy, we are confident, and we hope we can achieve a positive result, “adds the Belgian.
Ogier and Neuville are the only drivers with two victories. The Frenchman has a 22-point lead after his triumphs in Monte Carlo and Portugal, while Neuville prevailed in Corsica and Argentina. Both arrive in Sardinia with the aim of being the first to score three victories in a new generation car.
“We are going to face having to open the track on the first day, but we have a good record in Sardinia and I have learned to enjoy these demanding stages,” explains Ogier on the World Cup website.
“It is not the easiest of rallies. You have to keep a margin and be focused from start to finish. Tire conservation can also be very important and that could be especially important on Saturday with two 70km loops, “adds the Frenchman, four-time world champion between 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016).
NOT only Ogier and Neuville have options in Italy. The Finn Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota Yaris), third in the World Cup and winner in Sweden, also aspire there; or the Spanish Dani Sordo, Neuville’s teammate who hopes to maintain his good streak after achieving his second podium of the season in Portugal (the first was in France).
The Cantabrian, who ranks fifth in the drivers’ championship, explains: “I loved getting back on the podium in Portugal and showing that we can fight on gravel. Sardinia is not one of my favorite tests, but the second steps through the stages are better, since they are a little cleaner.
“The stages themselves are very narrow so it is always difficult to gain confidence. The podium in Portugal shows what we are capable of and the consistency that we have had since the beginning of the season gives me encouragement. I just hope we can take advantage of this positive moment to tackle this next challenge with the best, ”says Sordo.
The Rally Italy-Sardinia, the seventh round of the World Championship and which is based in the port of Alghero, will start on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. with a 2-kilometer superspecial on the old Ittiri motocross track.
Friday’s itinerary includes a loop of four sections that will be covered twice for a total of 125.46 timed kilometers.
On Saturday there will be 143.16 kilometers divided into six stages. The last of them includes the famous ‘Salto Micky’, in which hundreds of spectators gather and is one of the attractions of this rally.
The last day, on Sunday, there will be only four short sections totaling 42.04 kilometers.
In total, 19 stages are disputed with 312.66 km. timed. EFE
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