Mads Ostberg and Thierry Neuville are the first leaders of the Rally of Portugal after tracing his days in the special round in the track of rallycross de Lousada. Before thousands of fans, the two riders have scored a 2:36.6 that can serve as the first episode of the battle they expect to fight DMACK and Michelin in the sixth round of the WRC. However, Ostberg appear in the sections lusos with the tyres DMACK for the first time, which places him as an alternative candidate to the victory. With claims of being able to fight for the podium, Dani Sordo has been fifth after being left 0.5 seconds on the two leaders.
As was to be expected, especially in the rallycross de Lousada has left few differences between the pilots head. In fact, Ostberg and Neuville have been overcome by a tenth of a second to Hayden Paddon, while Elfyn Evans has fallen to 0.4 seconds. A tenth behind has been placed Dani Sordo in a real mass bathing for the pilot cantabrian, since a good number of Spanish fans have been moved to the neighbouring country taking advantage of the proximity of the test to be able to support the pilot of Hyundai. Nil Solans also be able to enjoy this heat.
With new chassis and without taking too many risks, Sébastien Ogier has been placed in the sixth position after battling in a direct duel with Jari-Matti Latvala, which in turn has been seventh after scoring the same time Stéphane Lefebvre, better classified at the controls of a Citroen C3 WRC. In fact, Kris Meeke has finished tenth behind Hänninen, while Craig Breen has been eleventh. More back if it has finished Khalid Al-Qassimi in his first few kilometres in competition with the C3 WRC, although it has been surpassed in direct fight for Esapekka Lappi, at the controls of the third Toyota Yaris WRC.
Also in fighting one-on-one have been measured the pilots of the second class in the world championship. The result has been that Andreas Mikkelsen is the first leader in WRC2 after marking a time of 2:40.4, registry which has led to overcome by 1.6 seconds to Teemu Suninen and 2.4 seconds to his teammate Pontus Tidemand. The british Gus Greensmith has managed to sneak into fourth position with the Ford Fiesta R5, while Eric Camilli has been the fifth. All in all, the battle between Skoda and M-Sport has only just begun and promises to be one of the points of attention of the rally.
Classification after SS1 of the 51st Rally of Portugal
|Position||Pilot||Vehicle||Time / Difference|
|1||Mads Ostberg||Ford Fiesta RS WRC ’17||2:36.6|
|2nd||Thierry Neuville||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||+0.0|
|3rd||Hayden Padon||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||+0.1|
|4th||Elfyn Evans||Ford Fiesta RS WRC ’17||+0.4|
|5th||Dani Sordo||Hyundai i20 WRC Coupe||+0.5|
|6th||Sébastien Ogier||Ford Fiesta RS WRC ’17||+0.7|
|7th||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1.5|
|8th||Stéphane Lefebvre||Citroen C3 WRC||+1.5|
|9th||Juho Hänninen||Toyota Yaris WRC||+1.8|
|10th||Kris Meeke||Citroen C3 WRC||+2.0|
The Rally of Portugal will continue to this Friday (11:09h) with the dispute of the first stage. The pilots will face a total of eight special 148,32 miles conometrados. The last two stages correspond to the special urban Braga.