On Friday evening the balance of power on the Rally Portugal has undergone major changes – from the struggle for the leadership of retired Jari-Matti Latvala, Kris Meeke and Hayden Paddon.
Before the special stage from Ponte de Lima, the first eight drivers separated by only 8.9 seconds, while the Ott Tanaka had the advantage of just 0.1 seconds over Latvala.
Finn first ran into trouble when the car started acting weird on the brake, and eventually it skidded, and the car was damaged. Fixing them took almost five minutes.
Mick in the early evening of the section took the lead, but on the sixth SU fell back to fifth place in an attempt to preserve the rubber. However, further happened to him just two troubles: first, puncture the rubber and after – damage to the mount, which he finally withdrew.
Hayden Paddon has moved into third place, but on the seventh SU his Hyundai was stopped due to mechanical problems. The engineering team of the new Zealander on the radio helped him again to join in the fight, but with a time lag.
Thus the leaders were the Tanak, although it has not escaped the problem – as recognized by the Estonian, it is “something bent” on his car on the sixth SU.
Dani Sordo and Sebastien Ogier settled for second and third places, while Craig Breen with a lag of just 10.8 seconds – the fourth.
The fifth and sixth positions are occupied by Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville.
|1.||Ott Tanak||M-Sport World Rally Team||+1:33.41,4|
|2.||Dani Sordo||Hyundai Motorsport||+3,6|
|3.||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport World Rally Team||+6,2|
|4.||Craig Breen||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||+10,8|
|5.||Elfyn Evans||M-Sport World Rally Team||+18,1|
|6.||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai Motorsport||+23,4|
|7.||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+49,8|
|8.||Esapekka Lappi||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC||+1.05,6|
|9.||Andreas Mikkelsen||Skoda Motorsport||+3.16,5|
|10.||Mads Ostberg||M-Sport World Rally Team||+3.49,6|
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