WRC - All eyes on Italy as WRC trials new compact format

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2024 Rally Italia Sardegna - Event preview

T. Neuville/M. Wydaeghe, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid, winners of Rally Italia Sardegna 2023.

Rally Italia Sardegna will be an FIA World Rally Championship round with a difference when it takes place for the 21st time next week (May 30-June 2).

Organiser Automobile Club d’Italia, with the FIA’s full support and approval, has developed a compact schedule marked by a Friday afternoon start and a reduction in timed kilometres.

What will serve as a trial format could be adopted by other events in the future as part of ongoing measures to further improve the appeal and spectacle of the WRC, while also reducing the financial outlay of competitors and organises alike.

The second of seven consecutive WRC events on gravel, Rally Italia Sardegna has formed Italy’s round of the world championship since 2004, with the 20th edition to count for WRC points taking place on the back of an action-packed start to the 2024 season. Four drivers representing two manufacturers (Hyundai and Toyota) have triumphed on the five events that have been completed so far, while the M-Sport Ford alliance has registered two podium finishes to underline the highly competitive nature of the WRC.

Rally Italia Sardegna also counts as a round of the FIA Junior Rally Championship for identical Ford Fiesta Rally3s run by M-Sport Poland on Pirelli tyres. Among the prospective world champions in action are FIA Rally Star drivers Romet Jürgenson, Taylor Gill, Jose ‘Abito’ Caparó and Max Smart.

The talented quartet were selected for the FIA’s highly regarded talent detection initiative via selection events organised by their respective FIA Member Clubs. They have since progressed through a rigorous Training Season into the Junior WRC and continue to demonstrate their huge potential despite their limited experience. Find out more by watching the five episodes of the Be The Next One mini-series on the FIA’s YouTube channel. 

With a hard base and a soft and sandy surface, road cleaning is a notable characteristic of Rally Italia Sardegna, while the second pass offers an additional challenge due to the stage surface deteriorating. The stages are a mix of high- and low-speed sections often lined with trees and rocks. Hanging dust provides an additional challenge, as will the early starts and late finishes.

All RC1, RC2 and RC3 cars competing in the WRC use tyres from official supplier Pirelli. For Rally1 cars competing on Rally Italia Sardegna, the maximum number of tyres is 24, including four used in shakedown. Pirelli is providing its Scorpion KX hard- and soft-compound tyres for the gravel event with the hard compound the first choice for warm and dry weather. The soft compound option tyre is designed for cool and damp conditions.



Running out of Alghero to the northwest of Sardinia after having been based in Olbia to the east in 2023, Rally Italia Sardegna’s compact route features 16 stages over a timed distance of 266.12 kilometres. As a comparison, the traditional itinerary followed last year consisted of 19 stages and 320.88 kilometres of competitive action. 

The work of Tiziano Siviero, who co-drove Miki Biasion to 16 event wins and the FIA World Rally Championship title in 1988 and 1989, the 2024 route begins with a loop of two repeated stages from 14:33 CET on Friday May 31. Located northeast of host town Alghero and split by a regroup in Castelsardo, leg one covers 77.82 kilometres and includes Osilo - Tergu, the rally’s longest stage at 25.65 kilometres, complete with its all-new road for the second part. 

Leg two on Saturday June 1 covers 149 kilometres and consists of four double-use stages. Tempio Pausania and Tula Erula are run twice in the morning with Monte Lerno and Coiluna - Loelle visited twice in the afternoon following a Tyre Fitting Zone in Pattada. Monte Lerno includes the iconic Micky’s Jump, but its overall length is trimmed to achieve the shorter format on show at this event. 

With two repeated stags over 39.30 timed kilometres, Sunday’s rally-deciding leg is tamer in comparison to the previous two days. It concludes with the 7.10-kilometre Sassari - Argentiera Wolf Power Stage from 12:15 CET. 



Stage distance: 266.12 km
Total distance: 1035.46 km
Number of stages: 16



Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team: The provisional WRC points leader after five rounds, Thierry Neuville is a three-time Rally Italia Sardegna winner and drives the lead Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid. He’s joined in the Germany-based squad by double event winners Ott Tänak and Dani Sordo. Tänak was the highest-scoring Hyundai driver on Vodafone Rally de Portugal earlier this month, while Sordo is making his second appearance of the season.

Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team: The first driver to win twice this season, Sébastien Ogier can draw level with Sébastien Loeb at the top of the Rally Italia Sardegna all-time winners’ list if he wins for a third time in 2024. Team-mates Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta will try to stop him in their Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid cars run by the Finland-based team.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team: With two podium finishes so far in 2024, Adrien Fourmaux leads the line at the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team with Grégoire Munster piloting a second Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid for the British outfit. 



The popularity of the FIA’s Rally2-based WRC2 category is once again demonstrated by a 41-car entry. Yohan Rossel (DG Competition-prepared Citroën C3) heads the provisional standings, 10 points clear of Oliver Solberg (Toksport WRT Škoda Fabia RS) and 13 ahead of Nikolay Gryazin (DG Competition Citroën C3). Solberg will be competing on Rally Italia Sardegna, won by his father Petter in 2004, but hasn’t nominated the event as one of his scoring rounds.

Jan Solans (Toyota GR Yaris) and Josh McErlean (Toksport WRT2 Škoda Fabia RS) continue their WRC2 campaigns in Sardinia after scoring the first category win and podium finish respectively in Portugal. 

Pierre-Louis Loubet (Toksport WRT2 Škoda Fabia RS) and Teemu Suninen (Hyundai i20 N) bring Rally1 experience to the category, while Roberto Daprà graduated to WRC2 from FIA Junior ERC with the support of the ACI Team Italia talent-backing programme in a Škoda Fabia Evo. Pepe López is the leading Ford Fiesta Rally2 driver, Kajetan Kajetanowicz (Škoda Fabia RS) is the reigning WRC Challenger champion, while Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy’s William Creighton is competing in WRC2 in a Ford Fiesta Rally2 as part of his prize for winning the FIA Junior WRC title in 2023.

Mauro Miele from Italy is the highest-placed FIA WRC Masters’ Cup competitor on the entry list. 

Ghjuvanni Rossi (Renault Clio Rally3) heads a packed FIA WRC3 line-up with FIA Rally Star Romet Jürgenson from Estonia the first of 18 FIA Junior WRC drivers followed by Australian team-mate Taylor Gill and Romanian Norbert Maior, the Junior ERC champion from 2023. Runner-up behind Jürgenson in the 2024 Junior WRC standings, Sweden’s Mille Johansson is not competing in Sardinia.




Media accreditation

Media accreditation must be collected in person by accredited pass holders from Hotel Catalunya, Via Catalogna, 22, Alghero. GPS coordinates: 40°33'39.3"N 8°19'02.0"E. 

The Media Accreditation Centre is open as follows:
Tuesday 28 May: upon request only to Lluïsa Torras l.torras@rallyitaliasardegna.com  
Wednesday 29 May: 08:00 – 20:00 hrs
Thursday 30 May: 07:00 – 20:00 hrs


Media Centre

The Media Centre is located at Lungomare Garibaldi, 35, Alghero. GPS coordinates: 40°33.690’ N - 8°18.978’ E. 

The Media Centre is open as follows: 
Tuesday 28 May: upon request only to Lluïsa Torras l.torras@rallyitaliasardegna.com
Wednesday 29 May: 08:00 – 20:00 hrs
Thursday30 May: 07:00 – 21:30 hrs
Friday 31 May: 07:00 – 24:00 hrs
Saturday 1 June: 06:30 – 24:00 hrs
Sunday 2 June: 07:00 – 23:00 hrs


Media activities and opportunities 


Thursday May 30 
16:15Mandatory Tabard Media Safety Briefing, Media Centre
17:00 – 18:00 WRC’s official photograph with all P1 and Junior WRC crews (Bastioni Marco Polo)
18:10 – 18:40Autograph signing with all P1 crews (Casa ACI, Service Park)
18:50 – 19:00Meet and Greet for invited drivers (Casa ACI, SP)
 T. Katsuta, G. Munster, D. Sordo, Y. Rossel, O. Solberg, N. Ciamin, R. Jürgenson 
19:00 – 19:30FIA WRC Meet the Crews for invited crews – see below (Podium, Alghero)
19:30Ceremonial Start and Alghero Parade (Podium, Alghero)
Friday May 31 
08:01 – 10:00 Shakedown for P1 drivers and invited drivers (Ittiri, 2.08 km)
10:01 – 12:00 Shakedown for P2, P3 and P4 drivers (Ittiri, 2.08 km 
11:00 – 12:30 FIA WRC Media Pen for P1/P2 drivers and P1 Team Principals (SP, Alghero)
13:30Start of Section 1 (SP, Alghero)
20:15 (approx)FIA WRC Meet the Crews with P1 Team Principals and top three drivers (SP, Alghero)
Saturday June 1 
05:40Start of Section 3 (Parc Fermé, Alghero)
20:30FIA WRC Meet the Crews with P1 Team Principals and top three drivers (SP, Alghero)
Sunday June 2 
07:00Start of Section 7 (Parc Fermé, Alghero)
12:15Start of Wolf Power Stage (SS16 Sassari - Argentiera)
13:15Rally Finish TC16A (Parc Fermé, Alghero)
15:00FIA Post-rally Press Conference (Podium, Alghero) 
15:30Prize Giving Ceremony (Podium, Alghero)


(All times local, approximate and subject to change)


Media zones

Media Zones attended by all drivers and selected team representatives will operate as follows: 
TC4A, TC8A, TC12A and TC16A.


FIA WRC Meet the Crews live interviews, Podium, Alghero, Thursday 30 May

19:00 - FIA WRC Team Principals and key personnel
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT - Cyril Abiteboul (FRA)
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT - Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)
Sport Ford WRT - Richard Millener (GBR)
Pirelli Motorsport - Terenzio Testoni (ITA)
FIA Junior WRC Championship - Maciej Woda (POL)

19:10 - FIA WRC Support Championships
FIA WRC2/FIA WRC2 Challenger: Roberto Daprà (ITA), Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo 
FIA WRC2/FIA WRC2 Challenger: Toksport WRT2 – Josh McErlean (IRL), Škoda Fabia RS Rally2
FIA WRC2/FIA WRC2 Challenger: Jan Solans (ESP), Toyota GR Yaris Rally2
FIA WRC3/FIA Junior WRC: Diego Domińguez (PRY), Ford Fiesta Rally3
FIA WRC3/FIA Junior WRC: FIA Rally Star – Max Smart (ZAF), Ford Fiesta Rally3

19:20 - FIA WRC Championship
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Thierry Neuville (BEL), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT – Elfyn Evans (GBR), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid
M-Sport Ford WRT- Adrien Fourmaux (FRA), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid


FIA Post-event Press Conference, Podium, Alghero, Sunday June 2, 15:00

Top 3 drivers in overall classification, winning co-driver and representative of winning manufacturer
Winning FIA WRC2, WRC2 Challenger, WRC3, Masters Cup and FIA Junior WRC drivers

* The Thursday FIA WRC Meet the Crews and FIA Post-event Press Conference live interviews will be broadcast on FIA and WRC social media channels.




Toyota Gazoo Racing WRTElfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR) - #33
 Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Vincent Landais (FRA) - #17
 Takamoto Katsuta (JPN)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) - #18
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRTThierry Neuville (BEL)/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) - #11
 Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST) - #8
 Dani Sordo (ESP)/Cándido Carrera (ESP) - #6
M-Sport Ford WRTAdrien Fourmaux (FRA)/Alexandre Coria (FRA) - #16
 Grégoire Munster (LUX)/Louis Louka (BEL) - #13



The provisional classifications following round five of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship are available here.



1. T. Neuville (BEL)/M. Wydaeghe (BEL)Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid3h40m01.4s
2. E. Lappi (FIN)/J. Ferm (FIN)Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid+33.0s
3. K. Rovanperä (FIN)/J. Halttunen (FIN)Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid+1m55.3s



2023Thierry Neuville (BEL)/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL)Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
2022Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST)Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
2021Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Julien Ingrassia (FRA)Toyota Yaris WRC
2020Dani Sordo (ESP)/Carlos del Barrio (ESP)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
2019Dani Sordo (ESP)/Carlos del Barrio (ESP)Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC