Rally Portugal Day 1: Tanak Leads After Sordo Loses Time With Spin – The Checkered Flag


Ott Tanak bounced again from a subdued drive on final month’s Croatia Rally to steer Rallye de Portugal in his Hyundai i20 WRC, after what seemed to be a dominant day for Hyundai unravelled on stage seven. Maintaining himself on the tails of Dani Sordo all through the day, he was in a position to revenue from the dramas of stage seven and maintain a six second lead.

Tanak took the opening stage by simply 0.4 second from teammate Sordo, the Spaniard then held the lead all through the day, setting a string of quickest occasions earlier than tyre points brought on him to need to again off, because the tread of the tougher Pirelli tyres appeared to coming away from the carcass. This was additional compounded with a spin on stage seven which dropped him to 3rd general.

In second was Toyota’s Elfyn Evans. Maintaining the Hyundai’s inside arms attain in his Toyota Yaris WRC, the Welshman was the lead Toyota for a lot of the day and moved into second after stage seven, with a notional time being given to him after being caught up within the mud of Thierry Neuville.

Neuville had been finishing what seemed to be an ideal first day for Hyundai with all three vehicles filling the rostrum positions, however an formidable tempo word on the penultimate stage of the day meant Neuville entered a left hander far too fast and hit his rear proper off an object to the aspect of the street. This pitched the automobile right into a roll which he righted, however regardless of their efforts to restore in conjunction with the street the crew needed to retire for the day.

Takamoto Katsuta continued his spectacular begin to the season, having already collected three consecutive sixth place finishes. The Japanese driver had a gradual day, briefly being on the rostrum earlier than Evans’ notional time promoted him again forward of his group mate. Katsuta would lead a trio of Yaris’ within the prime ten on the finish of day one as a subdued Sebastien Ogier held fifth general.

Main the vehicles out on the morning loop, the Frenchman would sweep the street for the remainder of the crews and was down in a lowly seventh earlier than sharing a quickest stage time on seven with Evans. This propelled the reigning champ as much as fifth from seventh general, a handful of seconds forward of the ultimate Toyota of Kalle Rovenpera.

Having not accomplished a WRC stage since February following his retirement 4 minutes into the final spherical in Croatia, it was an understandably mild begin to the day for Rovenpera.  He was finally to complete the day annoyed with extra tyre woes, a theme amongst the drivers, and misplaced 17.4 seconds on the penultimate stage of the day.

A troublesome day for Ogier was improved with a late quickest stage time.
Credit score: WRC.com

Gus Greensmith stunned everybody posting a time third quickest in his Ford Fiesta WRC on the opening stage, however all that hope was to be undone on stage 3 as a puncture would lose the Brit over 50 seconds and trigger substantial harm to the rear left on the Fiesta. With no service and solely a tyre zone in the midst of the day, Gus would undergo from the lack of aero for the remainder of the levels and end the day in seventh.

Teammate Adrian Fourmaux was seeking to proceed the shape he produced in Croatia, impressing sufficient for the M-Sport Ford group to present him his WRC gravel debut on the very subsequent spherical. The Frenchman was constantly within the prime ten stage occasions till a puncture on seven misplaced him over 50 seconds dropping him to eight general. WRC2 entrance runners Esapekki Lappi and Nikolay Gryazin rounded out the highest ten.

1. Ott Tanak – Hyundai i20 WRC
2. Elfyn Evans – Toyota Yaris WRC +6.0
3. Dani Sordo – Hyundai i20 WRC +9.0

FIA World Rally Championship 2

Esapekki Lappi leads the FIA World Rally Championship 2 help collection by a slender 2.2 seconds after a day of buying and selling stage occasions with fellow VW Polo GTi R5 driver Nikolay Gryazin. The Finn gained the class in Arctic Rally Finland and can be keen so as to add one other win to his tally as he enters rallies on a occasion by occasion foundation. Russian Gryazin was once more on the tempo, the lead altering quite a few occasions between the pair and he can be seeking to rating good factors after displaying good velocity in Croatia however rolling out on the ultimate day.

Teemu Suninen was once more in WRC2 motion in a Ford Fiesta Rally 2 as Adrian Fourmaux stuffed his WRC seat, ending the day in third general. The Finn could be seeking to get a while again from the organisers as he felt he misplaced a number of seconds in mud earlier within the day. Being solely 9.8 seconds off the lead, any time given again might throw him straight again into a 3 approach battle for the lead.

Oliver Solberg would finish the day fourth after the Lousada Tremendous Particular Stage, stage seven proving to be a spotlight as he stormed to a time 11 seconds faster than anybody else. Marco Bulacia had a quiet day in fifth general, bettering his driving all through the day. Reigning champion Mads Ostberg was in a really sad sixth place, having a tough day the place he couldn’t get any enjoyment or tempo from his Citroen C3 Rally2. A puncture on stage three meant the Norweigan needed to cease and alter and misplaced over two minutes.

Martin Prokop (Ford Fiesta Rally2) and Eric Camilli (Citroen C3 Rally2) rounded out the highest eight in WRC2, with Tom Kristensson having to retire his Fiesta Rally2 on stage two. Right down to rear wheel drive solely, the Swedish reigning JWRC champion dropped his automobile right into a ditch and couldn’t get clear.

1. Esapekki Lappi – VW Polo GTi R5
2. Nikolay Gryazin – VW Polo R5 – +2.2
3. Teemu Suninen – Ford Fiesta Rally 2 – +9.8

Esapekki Leads WRC2 after day one in Portugal
Credit score: Esapekki Lappi Twitter

FIA World Rally Championship 3

Yohan Rossel led the way in which in FIA World Rally Championship 3 in his Citroen C3 Rally2 after early chief Jan Solans slid off the street on stage 5 and retired for the day. Behind him was Polish driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz who was simply 3.5 seconds behind in his Skoda Fabia evo Rally2.

The ultimate podium step was stuffed by Nicolas Ciamin in a Citroen C3 Rally2 and he was just below 18 seconds off the lead. Brit Chris Ingram had a stable day in his Fabia evo Rally2, ending the day 53.5 seconds off the lead in fourth.

It was a day to neglect for Emil Lindholm who suffered with two punctures in stage 5 and 6, a 3rd puncture on the street part meant the Finn needed to retire for the day with no additional spares.

1. Yohan Rossel – Citroen C3 Rally 2
2. Kajetan Kajetanowicz – Skoda Fabia evo Rally2 +3.5
3. Nicolas Ciamin – Citroen C3 Rally2 +17.7

Brit Chris Ingram accomplished the day in fourth general.
Credit score: Skoda Motorsport

FIA Junior World Rally Championship

It was a tricky day within the FIA Junior World Rally Championship for a lot of drivers, because the robust Portuguese roads took their toll on the Ford Fiesta Rally4’s, however Sami Pajari threaded his approach by the rocks to leads going into day 2.

He held a 25.7 second lead from Martin Koci, with Martins Sesks 44.5 additional again. The day appeared to belong to Britain’s Jon Armstrong as he took an early lead and was joined by William Creighton to carry a British 1-2 in JWRC after the morning loop.

A puncture on stage six would lose Armstrong over 3 minutes because the automobile fell off the jack and Creighton retired on the next stage with a damaged driveshaft. Lauri Joona and Robert Badiu have been one other two retirements struggling driveshaft and steering harm to convey a untimely finish to their day.

1. Sami Pajari – Ford Fiesta Rally4
2. Martin Koci – Ford Fiesta Rally4 +25.7
3. Martins Sesks – Ford Fiesta Rally4 +44.5

Pajari saved his automobile out of bother to carry an in a single day lead.
Credit score: Sami Pajari Twitter


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