Rally Italia Sardegna: Elfyn Evans fifth after Rally Italia day one

Elfyn Evans is bidding to become the first Welshman to win the World Rally Championship
Elfyn Evans is bidding to become the first Welshman to win the World Rally Championship

World Rally Championship leader Elfyn Evans ended the first day of the Rally Italia Sardegna in fifth place.

The Welshman was quickest on Special Stage 3, but after six of the 16 stages is 51.9 seconds behind the Hyundai i20 of Spain’s Dani Sordo.

Toyota Yaris’ Evans is bidding to become the first Welsh driver to win the World title.

His closest rival in the Championship is Toyota teammate Sébastien Ogier, who is fourth after day one in Sardinia.

Finland’s Ott Tänak, who is third in the overall standings with one further race to come after this weekend, struggled with the suspension on his Hyundai during the morning and is in eighth place.

Rally leader Sordo was quickest on four of the day’s six stages after Ford’s Teemu Suninen won the opening run. The Finnish driver is in second place with Belgium’s Thierry Neuville, twice a winner of the Rally Sardegna, third heading into the second day.

The first of six special stages on Saturday starts at 06:37 BST, with a further four stages on Sunday.

The World Rally Championship has two more rounds after this one, with the Renties Ypres Rally Belgium next month followed by a season finale ACI Rally Monza in Italy, starting on 4 December.

Rally Italia Sardegna after SS6

1 Dani Sordo (Spa) Hyundai 1hrs 12min 40.9 secs

2 Teemu Suninen (Fin) Ford +17.4 secs

3 Thierry Neuville (Bel) Hyundai +35.2 secs

4 Sebastien Ogier (Fra) Toyota +36.0 secs

5 Elfyn Evans (GB) Toyota +51.9 secs

FIA World Rally Championship standings (before Rally Italia Sardegna)

1 Elfyn Evans (GB) Toyota, 97 points

2 Sebastien Ogier (Fra) Toyota, 79 points

3 Ott Taenak (Est) Hyundai, 70 points

4 Kalle Rovanpera (Fin) Toyota, 70 points

BBC News