SS14: Tänak sets fastest time keeping the fight alive, British driver faces harsh fate

Hyundai's Ott Tänak recorded the fastest time on the 14th special stage of the Rally de Portugal.
Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak. Photo by: Vincent Thuillier/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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The Estonian was 2.4 seconds faster than his teammate Thierry Neuville on the Felgueiras stage, reducing the gap to the leading Toyota driver, Sebastien Ogier, to 10.4 seconds.

“The conditions are nearly perfect. There are lots of nice ruts. However, I would like to drive much better,” said Tänak, who has been complaining about his car’s drivability throughout the rally.

Ogier, who lost 3.2 seconds to Tänak’s fastest time, didn’t seem overly concerned. The French master is likely saving his tyres for the final stages. Neuville remains third in the rally, but his gap to the lead has widened to 53.6 seconds, with teammate Dani Sordo only 4.2 seconds behind him.

“Dani will definitely try to pass. He will push and wants to beat us. Things aren’t working as well as yesterday. I’m not feeling the best,” Neuville commented.

In fifth place in the rally is M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux, ahead of Toyota’s Elfyn Evans. Leading the Rally 2 class is Bulgaria’s Nikolay Gryazin, who maintains a 4.2-second lead over Irishman Josh McErlean . In third place in the class is Jan Solans, only 12.6 seconds behind the leader.

British driver Gus Greensmith crashed out in a peculiar manner on the 14th special stage. The Skoda driver was leading the WRC2 class by about 45 seconds, but the car slid into a bank and got stuck. It’s possible there was something wrong with the car, but the crash looked strange in the television footage.

Lauri Joona, with co-driver Janni Hussi, has moved up to fifth place in the Rally2 class.

Four more special stages will be run on Saturday in the Rally de Portugal. The competition concludes on Sunday.

Rally de Portugal standings after SS14/22:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota2:18:06.2
2.Ott TänakHyundai+10.4
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+53.6
4.Dani SordoHyundai+57.8
5.Adrien FourmauxFord+1:23.3
6.Elfyn EvansToyota+2:44.0
7.Nikolay GryazinCitroen+7:21.6
8.Joshua McErleanSkoda+7:25.8
9. Jan SolansToyota+7:34.2
10. Yohan RosselCitroen+7:49.6
11. Lauri JoonaSkoda+8:23.6

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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