SS16: Sebastien Ogier’s plan succeeds

Sebastien Ogier launched a strong attack on the second run of the longest special stage at the Rally de Portugal
Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier. Photo by: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool
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Ogier had mentioned at the end of the previous stage that his car was specifically set up for the 37-kilometer Amarante special stage. The plan worked for the Toyota French star, as he managed to beat Hyundai’s Ott Tänak by 4.1 seconds.

Leading the rally, Ogier now has an 11.9-second overall lead over Tänak before the last two special stages on Saturday.

“Sounds good,” Ogier quickly remarked upon hearing about his fastest time compared to Tänak.

Ogier was able to conserve his tires a bit better than Tänak in Amarante.

“For some reason the engine was pushing so hard this stage, so I was not able to protect the tyres so it was a difficult stage,” Tänak said.

Tänak would like to overtake Ogier on Saturday, as the first conditional points of the weekend are distributed at the end of the day. Tänak needs as many points as possible for his championship fight, as his season has not started well.

Championship leader Thierry Neuville continues in third place ahead of his teammate Dani Sordo. The gap between Neuville and Sordo is only 1.5 seconds, but Sordo is not allowed to attack on the day’s final stages, as he is only participating in a few rallies this season. Neuville, on the other hand, is seeking his first world championship.

M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux is in fifth place, one and a half minutes behind the leader. The Frenchman recorded the third fastest time in Amarante.

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

Rally de Portugal standings after SS16/22:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota2:47:47.1
2.Ott TänakHyundai+11,9
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+1:12.3
4.Dani SordoHyundai+1:13.8
5.Adrien FourmauxFord+1:33.8
6.Elfyn EvansToyota+3:12.2
7.Nikolay GryazinCitroen+8:55.2
8.Joshua McErleanSkoda+8:59.4
9. Jan SolansToyota+9:00.7
10. Yohan RosselCitroen+9:21.0

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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