Rally Sardinia - 2nd Day - 2nd Loop: Lappi's attack puts Ogier behind for 0,1s as rain mixes up the standings

At the end of Friday, Esapekka Lappi retakes the lead of Rally Italia Sardegna from Sebastien Ogier with Thierry Neuville moving up to third.

Esapekka Lappi bounced back on the afternoon stages and set the fastest time on the opening stage of the loop. He was very close to Sebastien Ogier as their gap was at 6,7 seconds after SS6, but he managed to overtake the part-time Toyota driver in Monte Lerno and now their gap is only at one tenth of a second. Last but not least, EP suffered from a left rear puncture in SS7, but it did not affect his attack as he was the second fastest driver there.

Sebastien Ogier dropped behind EP after SS7 as he could not match the times of the last one while he did not want to take any unnecessary risk on the longest stage of the rally which took place in Monte Lerno.

Thierry Neuville gained one place and is now third overall after Pierre-Louis Loubet's problems in SS5 and Elfyn Evans's struggles in SS6. The Belgian said at the end of SS5 that his i20N carried an issue which was related to the handbrake. It must be mentioned that Neuville's driving characteristic is the use of the handbrake even at high-speed sections.

Kalle Rovanpera climbed from eighth to fourth place overall and took advantage of his road position and the weather conditions as the rain started to fall heavily when he was near the end of SS7.

Takamoto Katsuta remains fifth overall and dropped time compared to his rivals as he wanted to avoid the risks.

Elfyn Evans was third overall after SS5, but he lost his place over Neuville after SS6 as he was struggling with his car. After the end of Stage 7, he lost two places due to a front right puncture which happened on the final section.

Ott Tanak ended up in seventh place at the end of Friday as he lost over 30 seconds in Stage 7, because he lost the water pump in the beginning of the stage, but it came back in some bumps. In addition to this, he had no water pressure and no power in the engine in Monte Lerno.

Dani Sordo is outside the top ten and the stewards will give him a notional time for SS5 as this stage was cancelled due to safety reasons and he had to drive on road mode.

Pierre-Louis Loubet escaped his retirement from Rally Italia Sardinia on the opening stage of the afternoon as he suffered from a technical issue before the start line of SS5 as he could not get his Puma to engage the gears. However, he managed to repair his car and drove on road mode that stage while he was back at full speed in Stage 6 having rectified his Puma's gearbox issue. Unfortunately, he had to retire in Stage 7, as he slid off the road into a ditch, and received a 3-minute time penalty for what happened in SS5.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS7:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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