Rally Portugal: Ogier takes control

Rally Portugal: Ogier takes control

Victim of going off the road in the eleventh special, Kalle Rovanperä ceded the lead of the Rally Portugal to Sébastien at the end of the morning’s loop. The Gapençais, a time contested by Ott Tänak, also took advantage of the Estonian’s puncture at the very end of the morning.

It was a lively morning in Portugal. While Kalle Rovanperä and Sébastien Ogier were only separated by a second at the end of the day on Friday, the situation suddenly changed at the end of SS11. After getting off to a flying start with the best time in the 10th timed sector, pushing the Gapençais back four seconds, the reigning world champion made a mistake. Potentially distracted by the irruption of a hare on the road, Kalle Rovanperä lost control of his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 after 3800 meters of racing.

An exit from the track which put an irremediable end to the Finn’s hopes of victory, fortunately emerging unscathed from the accident just like his co-driver Jonne Halttunen. Sébastien Ogier then took the opportunity to take the lead in the general classification but the eight-time world champion was not safe from the charge of Ott Tänak, then just over three seconds behind. The Estonian then gave everything in SS12 to set his first scratch time of the weekend by 3”6 against Sébastien Ogier.

Tänak betrayed by his tires, Ogier takes advantage

A sufficient gap to allow the Hyundai driver to take first place before the last special of the morning by two tenths of a second. This 12th timed sector of the rally saw Takamoto Katsuta in turn fall victim to a road trip while he was fighting for a podium in a very tight general classification. While the observers thought that the morning was going to end with this hierarchy, the 13th special experienced a new incident. This time, it was Ott Tänak who suffered a puncture which caused him to lose almost fourteen seconds.

“It handicapped me over 8.5 kilometers so we lost 20 seconds,” summarized the Estonian. I had to drive really slowly so the tire wouldn’t come off the rim. We had a good pace but it came slowly from the start of the special. » Sébastien Ogier will thus approach the five special stages of the afternoon with a little less than fourteen seconds ahead of Ott Tänak while Thierry Neuville passes between the drops almost a minute behind the Frenchman. Adrien Fourmaux shows his consistency and is in fifth place in the general classification.

RALLYE – WRC / PORTUGAL
General classification at the end of SS13 – Saturday May 11, 2024
1- Sébastien Ogier – Vincent Landais (FRA-FRA/Toyota) in 2h12’17”1
2- Ott Tänak – Martin Järveoja (EST-EST/Hyundai) à 13”6
3- Thierry Neuville – Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL-BEL/Hyundai) à 54”4
4- Dani Sordo – Candido Carrera (ESP-ESP/Hyundai) at 58”
5- Adrien Fourmaux – Alexandre Coria (FRA-FRA/Ford M-Sport) at 1’18”4

Special stage winners
Neuville: 2 (SS1, SS5)
Katsuta: 1 (ES2)
Deaf: 3 (ES3, ES4, ES7)
Ogier : 4 (ES6, ES9, ES11, ES13)
Rovanperä : 2 (ES8, ES10)
Thank you : 1 (ES12)

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