After the Rally Acropolis was removed from the WRC calendar, the Rally Italia Sardegna is considered as the toughest gravel event in the championship. The Friday featured four tough gravel stages in the north of the island, each being run twice. On the first stage on Friday morning, Kopecký / Dresler stormed into the lead with their ŠKODA FABIA R5. Veiby, who just won his first Rally in Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) for Team ŠKODA MRF, had a tough fight with the Italian Hyundai driver Andolfi for the second position.

Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, Printsport Oy. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017

Nevertheless, in the fourth stage he moved into second position and scored his first fastest time on gravel in WRC 2 one stage later.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017

Jan Kopecký and Pavel Dresler drove faultlessly into a lead with 52 seconds ahead of Norwegian youngster team Ole Christian Veiby/Stig Rune Skjaermœn.

While the Hyundai driver Andolfi and the French Ford pilot Loubet had to retire, both ŠKODA Teams were clearly dominating the WRC 2 category at the end of the first leg of Rally Italia Sardegna.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, Ole Christian Veiby / Stig Rune Skjærmoen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Italia Sardegna 2017

On Saturday, the longest and toughest day of the rally with six special stages covering 144 kilometres is waiting for the teams at Rally Italia Sardegna.

Rally Italia Sardegna 2018 – Průběžné pořadí WRC2 po 1. etapě:
1. Stéphane Lefébvre / Gabin Moreau (FRA/FRA) Citroën C3 R5 1:39:59,8
2. Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler (CZE/CZE) FABIA R5 + 14,0
3. Nicolas Ciamin / Thibault de la Haye (FRA/FRA) Hyundai i20 R5 + 1:17,8

Number of the day: 5

On five out of nine special stages Jan Kopecký was the fastest driver in the WRC 2 category. Norwegian youngster Veiby was two times fastest.

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