Paolo Andreucci has reclaimed the Rally Italia-Sardegna lead from Kris Meeke with a masterful performance on the final two stages of leg one.
The Italian star won both passes through the Monte Lerno stage this afternoon and evening, and turned his 10-second deficit to fellow Peugeot driver Meeke into a 7.4sec advantage heading into day two. Meeke admitted that he could not get a comfortable feeling on the slippery and narrow stage, but remains close behind Andreucci with six stages to go on Sunday.
Skoda's Juho Hanninen is also still very much in contention. Despite running first on the often dusty roads for much of the day after Sebastien Ogier's early puncture and subsequent engine failure, Hanninen completed the leg within 11.3sec of leader Andreucci, and just 4sec behind Meeke.
Jan Kopecky is still fourth in the second Skoda, with Thierry Neuville (Peugeot) now clear of top Group N driver Teemu Arminen in fifth.
Following his first stage tire damage, P-G Andersson has mounted an impressive recovery drive in his Group N Mitsubishi, progressing from 30th to seventh during the course of the day, although next target Arminen is nearly two minutes ahead.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Paolo Andreucci Peugeot 1h13m34.2s
2. Kris Meeke Peugeot + 7.4s
3. Juho Hanninen Skoda + 11.3s
4. Jan Kopecky Skoda + 41.2s
5. Thierry Neuville Peugeot + 2m55.4s
6. Teemu Arminen Subaru + 3m46.3s
7. P-G Andersson Mitsubishi + 5m31.7s
8. Luigi Ricci Subaru + 5m35.4s
9. Daniele Battistini Peugeot + 5m37.8s
10. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot + 6m24.0s