Spanish veteran quickest in WRC warm-up – Kalle Rovanperä’s situation raises questions

Dani Sordo clocked the fastest time in the shakedown for the WRC Rally de Portugal on Thursday morning.
Dani Sordo
Dani Sordo. Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport
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The Hyundai driver is making his season debut this weekend, returning to WRC action after a six-month absence. Despite the long break, Sordo showed no signs of rust during the shakedown.

Sordo started strong, posting the second-fastest time behind Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä on his opening run. He then delivered the best overall time on his second attempt.

Hyundai drivers showed impressive pace in the warm-up session for the Rally de Portugal, with Ott Tänak securing second place and Thierry Neuville finishing third. Tänak was 0.5 seconds behind Sordo, while Neuville trailed by 0.9 seconds.

Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier placed fourth on the test stage, ahead of M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux and teammate Takamoto Katsuta. Toyota drivers Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans shared seventh place.

After his first run, Rovanperä noted that his car was not in top form. His situation raised questions as he immediately returned to service after his initial run to adjust his vehicle.

Rovanperä eventually returned to the stage and completed two more runs, but he didn’t improve his time.

Read also: Hyundai’s WRC star suffers unfortunate incident in rally opening – “We had a dog in the middle of the road”

In the WRC2 category, Gus Greensmith set the fastest time, followed by fellow Skoda driver Pierre-Louis Loubet. Oliver Solberg, Sami Pajari, and Roope Korhonen completed the next positions.

The Rally de Portugal officially kicks off on Thursday evening with the opening super special stage. The gravel rally will conclude on Sunday.

Results of the shakedown for the WRC Rally de Portugal:

1.Dani SordoHyundai2:51.2
2.Ott TänakHyundai2:51.7
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai2:52.1
4.Sebastien OgierToyota2:52.2
5.Adrien FourmauxFord2:52.3
6.Takamoto KatsutaToyota2:52.4
7.Kalle RovanperäToyota2:52.7
7.Elfyn EvansToyota2:52.7
9.Gregoire MunsterFord2:56.2
10.Gus GreensmithSkoda2:57.7
11.Pierre-Louis LoubetSkoda2:58.0
12.Oliver SolbergSkoda2:58.5
13.Sami PajariToyota3:00.1
14.Roope KorhonenToyota3:00.3
15.Joshua McErleanSkoda3:00.4
15.Kris MeekeHyundai3:00.4
17.Teemu SuninenHyundai3:00.6

Rally de Portugal itinerary (CET):

Thursday, 9th May

09:01 Shakedown: Baltar (4.61 km)
20:05 SS1: Figueira da Foz (2.94 km)

Friday, 10th May

09:05 SS2: Mortágua 1 (18.15 km)
10:35 SS3: Lousã 1 (12.28 km)
11:35 SS4: Góis 1 (14.30 km)
12:35 SS5: Arganil 1 (18.72 km)
15:05 SS6: Lousã 2 (12.28 km)
16:05 SS7: Góis 2 (14.30 km)
17:05 SS8: Arganil 2 (18.72 km)
18:35 SS9: Mortágua 2 (18.15 km)

Saturday, 11th May

09:05 SS10: Felgueiras 1 (8.81 km)
10:05 SS11: Montim 1 (8.69 km)
11:10 SS12: Amarante 1 (37.24 km)
12:35 SS13: Paredes 1 (16.09 km)
15:35 SS14: Felgueiras 2 (8.81 km)
16:35 SS15: Montim 2 (8.69 km)
17:40 SS16: Amarante 2 (37.24 km)
19:05 SS17: Paredes 2 (16.09 km)
20:05 SS18: Lousada (3.36 km)

Sunday, 12th May

08:05 SS19: Cabeceiras de Basto 1 (19.91 km)
09:35 SS20: Fafe 1 (11.18 km)
10:32 SS21: Cabeceiras de Basto 2 (19.91 km)
13:15 SS22: Fafe 2 (11.18 km)

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