The European gravel season is in full swing as the World Rally Championship heads to Rally Italy Sardinia this weekend.
It’s one of the WRC’s most iconic events, and with the return of Sébastien Ogier for the weekend, it means all of the championship contenders will be tackling the Italian gravel in anger.
And that means one thing – it’s going to be another fascinating event!
Here’s all the key information you need ahead of Rally Italy Sardinia 2023:
Total 74 crews
9 Rally1 crews
44 WRC2 crews
12 WRC3 crews
There will be nine Rally1 crews taking to the Italian gravel this weekend, as Ogier returns to action for the first time since Croatia.
Running third on the road, he stands a real chance of putting himself firmly back in the championship battle, with current championship leader Kalle Rovanperä expecting to have a difficult weekend from the front.
Dani Sordo remains in the third car for Hyundai this weekend, competing alongside Thierry Neuville and Esapekka Lappi, while M-Sport will field its usual two-car lineup of Pierre-Louis Loubet and Ott Tänak.
Yohan Rossel tops the WRC2 bill in Sardinia, and he will be hoping to have a much better event than last time out in Portugal.
Gus Greensmith is also on the entry list, but he won’t be scoring any WRC2 points this weekend. Instead, he will essentially be using the rally as a test as he evaluates what events to contest for the remainder of the year.
But they aren’t the only top two drivers contesting this weekend. The WRC2 contingent is packed with strong entries once again, with both Oliver Solberg and Andreas Mikkelsen attending the Italian round.
So too is Adrien Fourmaux, fresh from his British Rally Championship win on the Jim Clark Rally, while Teemu Suninen is also taking part.
A total of 19 stages over three days make up this year’s Rally Italy Sardinia.
The action gets underway early on Thursday evening as the drivers tackle the Olbia – Cabu Abbas test, while the event begins properly on Friday morning.
Tantariles 20Ris, Terranova and Monte Lerno – Sa Conchedda are the three stages drivers will contest on the opening day, before facing 83 miles worth of stages on Saturday.
Four stages await the drivers on the final day of the rally, with the 4.84-mile Sardegna test rounding out the event as the powerstage.