SS10: Stunning drive by Kalle Rovanperä – “Just drive faster than the others”

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä was in impressive form on the Saturday morning's opening special stage of the Rally de Portugal.
Kalle Rovanperä.
Kalle Rovanperä. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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Rovanperä recorded a dominant fastest time on the short Felgueiras stage. The Finnish star was 4.2 seconds quicker than Hyundai’s Ott Tänak, who posted the second-fastest time.

In the overall standings, Rovanperä extended his lead to 6.7 seconds ahead of his teammate Sebastien Ogier. Tänak moved up to third place in the competition, surpassing Toyota driver Takamoto Katsuta. Tänak’s gap to Rovanperä is 9.6 seconds.

“Just drive faster than the others. Let’s see, it’s only one stage. When the car and setup is better for me, it’s quite easier,” Rovanperä commented.

“Trying hard for sure. Let’s see how it works out. We try all we can,” Tänak remarked.

Ogier lost nearly six seconds to Rovanperä in the Saturday morning opener. The multi-champion was not satisfied with his performance.

“It’s a fun road, but very narrow. Not a 100% easy to start the day. A bit too careful in places. In this fight there is no room for sleeping,” Ogier said.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, who leads the WRC standings, moved up to fifth place in the rally. The gap to the lead is 23.8 seconds.

“We have a bit better road position, but it isn’t good enough. It’s so easy to lean into ruts and it will get deeper faster. We will see,” Neuville noted.

In sixth place is Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, who is half a minute behind Rovanperä. M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux is seventh, ahead of Toyota’s Elfyn Evans.

The Rally de Portugal features eight more special stages on Saturday. The event concludes on Sunday.

The standings after SS10/22 of the Rally de Portugal:

1.Kalle RovanperäToyota1:30:44.7
2.Sebastien OgierToyota +6.7
3.Ott TänakHyundai +9.6
4.Takamoto KatsutaToyota +10.9
5.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai +23.8
6.Dani SordoHyundai +30.3
7.Adrien FourmauxFord +46.0
8.Elfyn EvansToyota +1:54.5
9. Gregoire MunsterFord +2:50.4
10. Oliver SolbergSkoda +4:01.7
11.Yohan RosselCitroen +4:11.9
12. Gus GreensmithSkoda +4:17.0

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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