SS1: Neuville sets fastest time on opening stage – “A challenging weekend is ahead”

Rally Portugal got underway on Thursday evening with a super special stage.
Thierry Neuville
Thierry Neuville. Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport
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Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville was the fastest on the 2.94-kilometre Figueira da Foz stage. The Belgian driver beat Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier, who set the second-fastest time, by 0.6 seconds.

“A challenging weekend is ahead. I tried to drive cleanly, but I don’t know if I drove too carefully already. There was a big crowd. Hopefully, they saw something,” Neuville said.

“I tried to be cautious with the tyres. We did our best with the tools we had,” Ogier summarised.

Hyundai’s Ott Tänak and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta shared the third-fastest time, finishing two seconds behind the leader. Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä was fifth, 2.4 seconds off the pace.

“It wasn’t that enjoyable, though it’s great to drive for the fans. We also had to save tyres for tomorrow. I tried to take care of them,” Rovanperä said.

M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux started with the sixth-best time. Hyundai’s Dani Sordo was seventh, followed by Toyota driver Elfyn Evans.

Rally Portugal continues on Friday with eight special stages. The event concludes on Sunday.

Standings at the Rally de Portugal after SS1/22:

1.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai2:24.2
2.Sebastien OgierToyota +0.6
3.Ott TänakHyundai +2.0
3.Takamoto KatsutaToyota +2.0
5.Kalle RovanperäToyota +2.4
6.Adrien FourmauxFord +3.1
7.Dani SordoHyundai +4.1
8.Elfyn EvansToyota +4.3
9.Yohan RosselCitroen +4.7
10. Pierre-Louis LoubetSkoda +5.2
11.Kris MeekeHyundai +5.8
12.Oliver SolbergSkoda +6.3
13.Armindo AraujoSkoda +6.5

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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