Rally Sardinia - 3rd Day - 1st Loop: Ogier back on top after Lappi's puncture, three drivers fell victims of water splashes

At the end of the Saturday morning, Sebastien Ogier takes back the lead of Rally Italia Sardegna from Esapekka Lappi with Thierry Neuville following them.

Sebastien Ogier stole the lead from Esapekka Lappi at the end of Stage 11 taking advantage over his rival's problem and setting the fastest time on that stage. The Frenchman was leading after the opening stage of the day, but he dropped behind EP after SS10 for three tenths of a second.

Esapekka Lappi slipped behind Ogier after the penultimate stage of the Saturday morning as he suffered from a front left puncture resulting in losing 13 seconds in SS10. However, he was not able to set a fastest time in this loop and was beaten by his teammate for 2,2 seconds in SS9 while he said after SS11 that he had no tyre left and was not able to push to decrease his gap from the leader Ogier.

Thierry Neuville completes the 2-3 for Hyundai Motorsport and was the fastest driver in three stages of the loop increasing his gap from the fourth Kalle Rovanpera who changed his set-up for SS11 as he had understeer in low-speed sections on the previous stages. Their between gap is at 38,8 seconds before the start of the afternoon stages.

Elfyn Evans gained one place and is now in fifth place overall after Takamoto Katsuta's retirement. However, the Welshman fell victim of the water splash in SS10 and lost more than two minutes there as his Yaris sustained a damage.

Dani Sordo climbed to sixth from outside the top ten at the end of SS11 while the one side of his i20N's bonnet has lifted slightly during SS8.

Ott Tanak was forced to retire from Saturday after SS9 as his Puma stalled after going through a water splash in that stage resulting in dropping 20 seconds and driving in EV mode. He and Martin Jarveoja tried to repair their car on the road section before SS10, but M-Sport Ford confirmed their retirement from their sixth place.

Takamoto Katsuta was among the drivers who retired from the day as his Yaris's front end was damaged after a water splash 14 Km into SS8 and the car was down on power. He tried to make some repairs before starting in SS9, but he stopped again on the road section and Toyota decided to retire his car.

M-Sport Ford confirmed last night that Pierre-Louis Loubet and Nicolas Gilsoul would restart today under the regulations of Rally2, but eventually the team decided not to begin the stages as the mechanics detected further damage to his Puma after the mechanical problems he faced on Friday afternoon.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS11:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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