FIA World Rally ChampionshipWRC2

2019 Rally Portugal: Tanak Leads Toyota One-Two-Three

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Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Ott Tänak led Toyota teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke to the top of the Rally Portugal standings after the opening seven stages.

Tänak will take a 17.3 seconds advantage into Saturday after being seemingly unaffected by running second on the road, behind Sebastien Ogier, not suffering from any issues with road sweeping.

The day got underway with Dani Sordo setting the pace at the front, but both him and Hyundai teammate Sebastien Loeb suffered fuel pressure problems on stage three, both dropping significant amounts of time as a result.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Behind the leader, Latvala led Meeke by just 5.5 seconds with the gap being shortened after the Finn stalled on stage six.

The Irishman, who had been suffering from intercom issues earlier in the day, managed to stay ahead of Teemu Suninen after the M-Sport Ford driver suffered a brake failure on the same test that forced him down to sixth by the end of the day.

The battle for third remains close however, with both championship challengers Thierry Neuville and Ogier completing the top five overall, just 1.4 and 1.6 seconds behind Meeke respectively.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

With Suninen sixth, seventh is M-Sport teammate Gus Greensmith at the end of his first day of action behind the wheel of a WRC-spec Fiesta and he is ahead of Esapekka Lappi in the second Citroen after being delayed with a puncture that cost him a minute in lost time.

Elfyn Evans had been running fifth, but an electrical glitch on stage five forced him down the leaderboard after losing four minutes.

Ole Christian Veiby leads WRC2 in ninth ahead of PRO leader Jan Kopecký who complete the top 10 overall with Skoda teammate Kalle Rovanperä just 4.8 seconds adrift.  Fellow WRC2 competitor Pedro Meiereles suffered a major fire with his Volkswagen Polo R5 which destroyed the car.

Saturday in Portugal sees a further six stages totalling 160.7km.

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