FIA World Rally Championship

Evans on fine form in Portugal after day 2

4 Mins read
Credit: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Elfyn Evans finishes the second day with the fastest time on Rallye de Portugal’s last stage of the day which was the Super Special Stage at the rallycross track in Lousada, the Welshman leads the rally when the first tough day is completed.

Evans took over the lead from Thierry Neuville already on the second stage of the rally, Neuvillenwas fastest on Thursday’s Coimbra opening stage. Evans continued to be fastest on SS3 but had to hand over the lead to M-Sport Ford’s Sébastien Loeb after SS4. But the rally lead for Loeb was short lived as he lost the control of his Ford Puma Rally1 and hitted a brick wall which tored off the rear-right wheel, the nine-time champion had to retire for the day.

Evans won two more stages on the afternoon loop, the other two stage wins went to the current points leader and teammate Kalle Rovanperä. The young Finn is also second overall, a strong achievement considering the challenging conditions out in the woods with 13.6 seconds are taken on leading Evans before Saturday.

Credit: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

In third place currently is the returning Hyundai driver Dani Sordo who struggled with the pace, but when the other drivers had problems as Ott Tänak, Craig Breen and Sébastien Ogier suffered from punctures on SS6.

Ogier caught up a second puncture on SS7 and the day was ruined as the Frenchman was forced to retire from the day. On SS8 Neuville also disappeared from the battle for the lead as he had drive shaft problems and service on the transport between the stages made so the Belgian lost a lot of valuable time.

Outside of the top 3 currently is the Toyota’s Next Generation driver Takamoto Katsuta in fourth with 5.2 seconds after Sordo and 11.1 seconds ahead of M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith, who unfortunately caught a puncture on the Lousada super special at the end of the day. Greensmith’s teammate Pierre-Louis Loubet is sixth, Neuville seventh and further down are the M-Sport’s duo of Breen and Adrien Fourmaux, and Tänak rounds up the top 10.

PositionDriver / Co-driverNationalityTeamCarClassTime
1.Elfyn Evans / Scott MartinGreat BritainToyota Gazoo Racing WRTToyota GR Yaris Rally1WRC59:04.3
2.Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne HalttunenFinlandToyota Gazoo Racing WRTToyota GR Yaris Rally1WRC+ 13.6
3.Dani Sordo / Cándido CarreraSpainHyundai Shell Mobis WRTHyundai i20 N Rally1WRC+ 44.4
4.Takamoto Katsuta / Aaron JohnstonJapan / Great BritainToyota Gazoo Racing NGToyota GR Yaris Rally1WRC+ 49.6
5.Gus Greensmith / Jonas AnderssonGreat Britain / SwedenM-Sport Ford WRTFord Puma Rally1WRC+ 1:00.7
6.Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent LandaisFranceM-Sport Ford WRTFord Puma Rally1WRC+ 1:15.6
7.Thierry Neuville / Martijn WydaegheBelgiumHyundai Shell Mobis WRTHyundai i20 N Rally1WRC+ 1:46.4
8.Craig Breen / Paul NagleIrelandM-Sport Ford WRTFord Puma Rally1WRC+ 1:49.3
9.Adrien Fourmaux / Alexandre CoriaFranceM-Sport Ford WRTFord Puma Rally1WRC+ 2:03.6
10.Ott Tänak / Martin JärveojaEstoniaHyundai Shell Mobis WRTHyundai i20 N Rally2WRC+ 3:38.4

Suninen takes over the WRC2 lead as Mikkelsen suffers from an engine problem

Credit: WRC

After day two of Portugal it was the Hyundai’s Teemu Suninen who took over the WRC2 lead as the current championship leader Andreas Mikkelsen suffered from a misfire on before the afternoon service.

Suninen had been leading the class after winning five consecutive stages from the morning but on the challenging and rough SS7, the Finn unfortunately caught up a puncture and lost almost a minute, which handed the class lead over to Mikkelsen.

However the class lead was also short lived for the Toksport WRT driver as the Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo developed a misfire but the Norwegian managed to get the car back to the service park at Matosinhos with 37 seconds ahead of Suninen but he later retired the car and Suninen could then retake the lead and has a 17.1 seconds advantage over Yohan Rossel in second.

Credit: WRC

Suninen’s teammate Oliver Solberg is currently in third with 23 seconds after Rossel, the Swede has been comfortably in second for most of the day but lost time after having two punctures. The two Poles of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Mikołaj Marczyk are in fourth and fifth respectively.

Out of the 40 class entrants only 25 made it back after the day, the retirements of the day including Eric Camilli who dropped out early on Thursday with an electric failure, Eerik Pietarinen with a brake pipe failure, Josh McErlean with broken steering, Erik Cais who lost a wheel and Marco Bulacia with punctures.

PositionDriver / Co-driverNationalityTeamCarClassTime
1.Teemu Suninen / Mikko MarkkulaFinlandHyundai Motorsport NHyundai i20 N Rally2WRC21:30:49.5
2.Yohan Rossel / Valentin SarreudFrancePH SportCitroën C3 Rally2WRC2+ 17.1
3.Oliver Solberg / Elliott EdmondsonSweden / Great BritainHyundai Motorsport NHyundai i20 N Rally2WRC2+ 40.1
4.Kajetan Kajetanowicz / Maciej SzczpaniakPolandN/AŠkoda Fabia Rally2 evoWRC2+ 1:26.2
5.Mikołaj Marczyk / Szymon GospordarczykPolandN/AŠkoda Fabia Rally2 evoWRC2 Junior+ 1:55.0
6.Chris Ingram / Craig DrewGreat BritainN/AŠkoda Fabia Rally2 evoWRC2 Junior+ 2:16.4
7.Fabrizio Zaldivar / Carlos del BarrioParaguay / SpainHyundai Motorsport NHyundai i20 N Rally2WRC2 Junior+ 3:33.1
8.Benito Guerra Jr. / Sara FernándezMexico / SpainN/AŠkoda Fabia Rally2 evoWRC2+ 3:36.1
9.Ricardo Teodósio / José TeixeiraPortugalN/AHyundai i20 N Rally2WRC2+ 4:08.8
10.Martin Prokop / Michal ErnstCzech RepublicN/AFord Fiesta Rally2WRC2+ 5:07.0

Pajari tops WRC3 and JWRC classes

Credit: WRC

The Flying Finn Sami Pajari is topping both of the single-make Ford Fiesta Rally3 classes of WRC3 and the Junior WRC after the challeging second day.

Pajari took an early lead on the Thursday’s opening stage just ahead of Jon Armstrong but lost the rally lead on the second day’s morning loop to the Britoin.

The Finn then lost more time to Armstrong as the Finn was unlucky with a puncture and was 1 minute and 32.7 seconds behind at the midday tyre fitting zone. However Armstrong later retired from the huge lead when a rear suspension arm sheared which graduated Pajari to leading the two classes.

The Croatia Rally winner and fellow Finn Lauri Joona is currently in second with a large gap behind of 4 minutes and 48.5 seconds while the third and final JWRC driver to finish the day, the Estonian Robert Virves is 15 minutes and 22 seconds back from the lead as the car suffered an enginr control unit issue. The local hero Nuno “Kaetanen” Caetano is the only driver who is not entered in both classes and he is currently in third in the Rally3 class.

William Creighton had to retire due to punctures and Kimathi Mcrae crashed out on the Mortágua test.

PositionDriver / Co-driverNationalityTeamCarClassTime
1.Sami Pajari / Enni MälkönenFinlandM-Sport PolandFord Fiesta Rally3WRC3 / JWRC1:37:28.1
2.Lauri Joona / Mikael KorhonenFinlandM-Sport PolandFord Fiesta Rally3WRC3 / JWRC+ 4:48.5
3.“Kaetanen” / Sofia MoutaPortugalN/AFord Fiesta Rally3Rally3+ 10:45.9
4. Robert Virves / Aleks LeskEstoniaStarter Energy RacingFord Fiesta Rally3WRC3 / JWRC+ 15:22.0
5.Jon Armstrong / Brian HoyGreat Britain / IrelandM-Sport PolandFord Fiests Rally3WRC3 / JWRC+ 28:53.7
6. Kimathi McRae / Stuart LoudonKenya / Great BritainM-Sport PolandFord Fiesta Rally3WRC3 / JWRC+ 29:24.8
7.William Creighton / Liam ReganIrelandMotorsport Ireland Rally AcademyFord Fiesta Rally3WRC3 / JWRC+ 36:13.8

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