14/05/2014 - Are 57 the crews that will take part in 2014 Rally Italia Sardegna, event organised by Automobile Club d´Italia supported by Region Sardinia. The sixth round of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship, valid also for WRC-2, with 25 participants over 38 entrants to the Championship that represents the season record so far, and Production Cup, is taking place from June 5th to 8th. This substantial number of entries is a positive sign for the event, considering that it´s not valid for the Junior Championship, nor for the DMack Trophy, which would have add approximately twenty cars to the entry list.
Entries to the Italian race, valid for the Italian Rally Championship that will start behind the WRC event, will close next May 23rd.
There are 28 different nationalities represented in this rally, confirmation of the internationality of the event that will also be important to promote the image of Sardinia in the world. The Italian crews are 15, four of them from Sardinia, followed by the French having 4 entrants, while there are 6 Arabs entrants representing Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arabs Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan and Lebanon. The others are, Finnish, Spanish, Germans, Russians, Belgians, Czechs, Slovaks, Polish, Ukrainians, Argentinians, Chileans, Peruvians, British, Irish, Austrians, Estonians, Portuguese and New Zealanders.
There is a season´s record number of WRC entrants with three Volkswagen Polo WRC, three Citroen Ds3 WRC, six Ford Fiesta WRC, and three Hyundai i20 WRC. Furthermore there are 25 entrants to the sixth round of the WRC-2 Championship, six of them will also take part in the Production Cup.

The Protagonists. At the start of the event there will be all major crews of the World Rally Championship, starting with the three officials Volkswagen Polo R WRC: for the actual leader of the Championship and World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier, for the recent winner of Rally Argentina, Jari-Matti Latvala and for Andreas Mikkelsen. Three officials Citroen Ds3 WRC for Kris Meeke, Mads Ostberg and Khalid Al Qassimi; three Ford Fiesta WRC of MSport for Mikko Hirvonen, Elfyn Evans and Robert Kubica; three official Hyundai i20 WRC for Thierry Neuville, Juho Hanninen and Hayden Paddon. At the start also the Ford Fiesta WRC of Jipo Car for Martin Prokop and Jaroslav Melicharek, and the other MSport´s Ford Fiesta WRC for Henning Solberg.
In the WRC-2, series in which are taking part the Italians Lorenzo Bertelli, Alessandro Rendina, Gianluca Linari, Marco Vallario and Giuseppe Dettori, stand out the actual leader of the series, the Ukrainian Yuriy Protasov, the Qatar drivers Nasser Al-Attiyah and Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, and the Estonians Ott Tanak and Karl Kruuda. This will be the debut WRC race for the Citroen Ds3 R5 driven by the French driver Sébastien Chardonnet. The Sardinian drivers are Dettori, Francesco Marrone, "Piano" and Donadio.

The race. The 2014 edition of Rally Italia Sardegna, 5 to 8 June, provides 372 timed kilometres divided in 17 Special Stages. This year for the first time the town of Alghero will host the Rally HQ, the Service Park and the Press Office. The race is going to start with the 3.50 km long Shakedown on June 5th in the morning at Putifigari. On the same day (June 5th) the Ceremonial Start will take place in Cagliari, the regional capital of Sardinia will also host, at the port area, the 1.30 kilometres long Super Special Stage at 09,06 pm. On June 6th, 7th and 8th the programme will take participants to the gravel roads of Monte Acuto, of the Sassari, Anglona and Nurra provinces, for the three legs of the event, which will finish on Sunday June 8th with the Final Arrival and Prizegiving Ceremony at Alghero port.

(picture courtesy of Daniele Carta)