Tänak leads the way after Rally de Portugal SS1

by Vince Pettit
Tanak

Ott Tänak leads the way after the first stage of the Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2018 as competitors took on the 3.36km Lousada super special stage that puts two drivers in a head to head battle in front of a crown of 30,000 fans.

It was the WRC2 competitors that got the action underway as Stéphane Lefebvre in the Citroën C3 R5 took on Pedro Meireles.

The Frenchman would record a time of 2:41.7, good enough to put him in joint fifth in class alongside the Ford Fiesta R5 of Gus Greensmith.

The top of the WRC2 class would see another equal time with Pontus Tidemand and Juuso Nordgren both recording a time of 2:40.5 in their Škoda Fabia R5’s. Pierre-Louis Loubet and Benito Guerra Jr. filled third and fourth.

Mads Østberg and Yazeed Al Rajhi were the first of the WRC competitors to take on the stage with  Østberg coming out top of the pair with a time of 2:36.0.

Suninen-WRC-Portugal

Credit: M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Teemu Suninen was next up as he went up against Hayden Paddon, the Finn was impressive as he recorded a time of 2:34.7, which would put him in joint second place alongside reigning champion Sébastien Ogier, Paddon would finish with a time good enough for tenth.

Elfyn Evans is searching for form after a slow start to the season, he would take the fastest time as he went-head-to-head with Craig Breen, but only good enough for seventh place, with Breen in eleventh.

Hyundai are running a fourth car this round with Dani Sordo taking on driving duties in the non-point scoring car, he pushed hard to equal Evans’ time of 2:35.9 as Esapekka Lappi took ninth place.

Kris Meeke finished fastest of the Citroën’s in joint fourth place as he went up against Jari-Matti Latvala, the Toytota driver spun on stage and dropped down the order, finishing down in twelfth.

Tänak took the fastest time of the session as he went up against Andreas Mikkelsen, while Sébastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville did battle in the final WRC runners. The reigning champion recorded the second fastest time with Neuville down in sixth place.

In JWRC Emil Bergkvist leads the way ahead of Ken Torn and Jean-Baptiste Franceschi, British driver Tom Williams ended the day in joint twelfth.

WRC Results after Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2018 SS1

1 Ott Tanak – Toyota Yaris WRC – 2:34.3
2 Sébastien Ogier – Ford Fiesta WRC +0.4
= Teemu Suninen – Ford Fiesta WRC + 0.4
4 Andreas Mikkelsen – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1.4
= Kris Meeke – Citroën C3 WRC +1.4
6 Thierry Neuville –  Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC + 1.5
7 Elfyn Evans – Ford Fiesta WRC + 1.6
8 Mads Østberg – Citroën C3 WRC +1.7
9 Esapekka Lappi – Citroën C3 WRC +1.8
10 Hayden Paddon – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +2.4
11 Craig Breen – Citroën C3 WRC +2.5
12 Jari-Matti Latvala – Toyota Yaris WRC +3.9

WRC2 Results after Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2018 SS1

1 Pontus Tidemand – Škoda Fabia R5 – 2:40.5
= Juuso Nordgren – Škoda Fabia R5 +0.0
3 Pierre-Louis Loubet – Hyundai i20 R5 +0.7
4 Benito Guerra Jr. – Škoda Fabia R5 +1.1
5 Gus Greensmith – Ford Fiesta R5 +1.2
= Stéphane Lefebvre – Citroën C3 R5 +1.2
7 Kevin Abbring – Ford Fiesta R5 +1.4
8 Łukasz Pieniażek -Škoda Fabia R5 +2.2
9 Jari Huttunen – Hyundai i20 R5 +3.1
= Nils Solan – Ford Fiesta R5 +3.1
= Simone Tempestini -Ford Fiesta R5 +3.1
12 Fabio Andolfi – Škoda Fabia R5 +3.5
13 Pedro Heller – Ford Fiesta R5 +3.6
14 Takamoto Katsuta – Ford Fiesta R5 +3.7
15 Hiroki Arai – Ford Fiesta R5 +4.3
16 Max Vatanen – Hyundai i20 R5 +4.9
17 Murat Mostanci – Ford Fiesta R5 +5.5

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