The end of this year’s slightly shortened WRC season is not far away. Rally Italia Sardegna is next up and the Swedish rally ace Pontus Tidemand travelled to the Mediterranean island as the leader of the WRC 2 championship. He is ready, highly motivated and excited about a new, big challenge as he takes on the Italian event for the first time.
Pontus Tidemand and his co-driver Patrik Barth have had a great season so far in the WRC 2 championship with the German team Toksport WRT. They have finished on the podium at all rallies, including two victories, and after the latest of these two – an impressive performance on Turkey’s rough roads – they are leading the championship.
“It feels fantastic for sure” said Pontus. “We’re showing that we want to be here and that we are competitive. But the championship is far from decided. I did the recce here in Sardinia a few years ago but I have never competed here. Maybe that’s a big disadvantage for us compared to our main competitors, but we will do everything in our power to have a good rally and we aim to score points.”
During the two weeks that has passed by since the event in Turkey, Pontus have been testing with Skoda Motorsport in Germany and he is still in rally mode:
“I have barely had time to sit down since we left Turkey and right now that is something very positive. I’ve had quite some time behind the wheel so I’m hoping that I’m still in the rally bubble and that it will make it easier to throw myself into a new event.”
Rally Italia Sardegna is based in the city of Alghero and the rally’s 16 special stages run on the island’s characteristically sandy roads. They are fast but narrow and are lined with bushes, trees and rocks, which leave no room for mistakes.
“The roads are not as rocky and rough as in Turkey, but they are far from smooth and you need to drive a bit with your head here too and have a thought through strategy. We also need to get through two loops of stages in the mornings before coming back to service so you don’t want to make a mistake. It will be very challenging and tough but mostly fun and we want nothing more than to get a good result” said Pontus.