Ogier leads Tanak in Rally Italia

Sebastien Ogier leads in Sardinia (Andreas SOLARO)
Sebastien Ogier leads in Sardinia (Andreas SOLARO)

Sebastien Ogier claimed two of the Rally Italia's four stages in Sardinia on Friday to lead Ott Tanak by 4.5 seconds.

Toyota's Ogier has won the world rally championship title eight times and is only competing this season part-time.

"It's good," said the French driver.

"It's been extremely rough and demanding for the tyres and I am happy that we made it because it was challenging with only five tyres."

Tanak, the world champion in 2019, topped the times in stage two behind the wheel of his Hyundai.

Championship front runners Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans endured a difficult day on the Mediterranean island, who go into Saturday's stages placed fifth and sixth.

"That has definitely been the hardest day you could imagine to open the road on in Sardinia," said Hyundai driver Neuville, who headed Evans by 24 points in the drivers' standings before this sixth round of the season.