Back row start once again for JML

Unlike most, if not all, other forms of motorsport, in rallying, starting from the back is actually beneficial in some events and on some surfaces. So you drive flat out in qualifying not to secure first starting position, but to be the first to pick the starting position for the day 1 of the rally. Jari-Matti Latvala did just that today – he was fastest in qualifying stage and converted that into the bottom row of the starting order for tomorrow’s stages.

It was obvious that Sardinian gravel will once again be faster and grippier for the crews and cars starting lower down the order – after early starters sweep the loose dust and gravel and expose the harder layers of soil below.

There is almost no chance of rain, and rain is, usually, the only thing that can mix the usual ways of doing things on gravel. Latvala will start right behind the flying Russian Evgeny Novikov in 12th place and Sebastien Ogier, who got to select position number 11.

Many eyes will be watching the fourth Qatar M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, usually driven by Nasser Al-Attiyah. Qatari driver had to skip this event due to some commitments back home, so once again, he decided to give another driver a chance to prove their worth. M-Sport’s test driver and one of the several talented hopefuls emerging on British scene got the chance this time – Elfyn Evans and Giovanni Bernachini will compete in fourth Fiesta. Hoping to first reach the finish without major problems. It is, after all, their first rally together, and in a WRC car, doing a WRC event. That’s a lot of big “firsts” for anyone to digest in one bite. Good luck.

1. Khalid Al-Qassimi
2. Michal Kosciuszko
3. Elfyn Evans
4. Per-Gunnar Andersson
5. Martin Prokop
6. Andreas Mikkelsen
7. Dani Sordo
8. Mads Ostberg
9. Thierry Neuville
10 Mikko Hirvonen
11 Sebastien Ogier
12 Evgeny Novikov
13 Jari-Matti Latvala