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Elfyn ends Day 1 in Sardinia in ninth place

The pair ran third on the road on Day 1, which meant acting as high-speed road sweepers for much of the day and helping to clear a path through the loose gravel for the crews running further down the order. As a result, Elfyn and Giovanni were in tenth place after the first loop of stages, with Elfyn confessing that he was over-thinking and so wasn’t particularly happy with his rhythm.

The afternoon’s re-run of the three stages meant both a cleaner line and an improvement in Elfyn’s confidence. Despite a small brake problem on SS6, he ended the day in a comfortable ninth place, while the day’s final stage – Gallura 2 – saw Elfyn set the eighth fastest time, taking nearly seven seconds off the driver ahead of him on the leaderboard. Eight more stages on the rally’s final day still remain.

Elfyn said:

The road conditions have improved a lot since this morning, so the feeling is getting better all the time. The first two stages that we repeated went reasonably well. I can see improvements everywhere – the feeling with the car, the relationship with Giovanni – I think we’re making some positive steps in all areas.

We had a little bit of an issue with an overheating brake – which was down to me – in SS6, but up until then the feeling was good. Obviously we lost a few seconds, but it is all part of the learning experience and I’m still really enjoying the opportunity.