Rally Italia: Hirvonen assumes cosy lead as rivals fall away

Mikko Hirvonen

Mikko Hirvonen is clutching a comfortable lead as the attrition rate claimed more scalps in the Rally Italia in Sardinia.

The Citroen pilot holds a 1:09.6s advantage as Petter Solberg crashed out.

Solberg joined Citroen legend Sebastien Loeb, Thierry Neuville and Jari-Matti Latvala as casualties in the WRC event.

The Russian Evgeny Novikov has inherited second place more than a minute adrift of fellow Ford M-Sport driver Ott Tanak.

Skoda driver Sebastien Ogier has climbed into fourth place fractionally ahead of Australia’s Chris Atkinson who is driving the Team Italia Mini.

Atkinson is ready to pounce despite fighting grip problems in the Mini.

“We’re really happy to finish the day in fifth,” Atkinson told Speedcafe.com

“ Unfortunately our problems with grip and control continued this afternoon. However, we still have a few tricks up our sleeve to try and fix them at evening service.

 

1 Mikko Hirvonen Citroen 1h56m25.5s
2 Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 1m09.6s
3 Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 2m18.3s
4 Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 3m35.7s
5 Chris Atkinson Italia Mini + 3m54.9s
6 Andreas Mikkelsen VW Skoda + 4m40.3s
7 Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 4m46.0s
8 Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 7m13.0s
9 Karl Kruuda ME3 Ford + 8m26.2s
10  Petter Solberg  Ford + 10m15.7s

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