SS19: Ogier solidifies lead amidst fog – Tänak concedes defeat

Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier still holds the lead in Rally de Portugal.
Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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The champion set an impressive fastest time on the opening special stage of Sunday morning, Cabeceiras de Basto. In the overall standings, Ogier’s lead has extended to 18.1 seconds ahead of Hyundai’s Ott Tänak.

“(Time) sounds good. Difficult, I was watching the live and saw the fog. I was thinking it would get better but there is more fog than the first cars,” Ogier summarised.

“Seb is quicker. Nothing I can do, I finished the stage already. Let’s carry on. All OK,” Tänak retorted.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville remains in third place, over a minute behind the leader. For the championship-leading Belgian, third place is an excellent result, and there is no need to take unnecessary risks.

“I had a good stage but I got into the fog in the middle and lost a bit of speed. We can be satisfied with the rhythm. The car works well, but the fog is moving a lot. It’s not easy,” Neuville stated.

M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux moved up to fourth place in the event, overtaking Hyundai’s Dani Sordo. Toyota’s Elfyn Evans is in sixth place. Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä, who retired on Saturday, couldn’t match the leading pace as a road-sweeper. He lost over 20 seconds to the stage leaders.

In the Rally2 category, Nikolay Gryazin still holds the fastest pace, with Jan Solans trailing just under ten seconds behind. Josh McErlean is in third place, only three seconds behind Solans. Among the trio, Gryazin is not competing for WRC2 points in Portugal.

Lauri Joona and co-driver Janni Hussi climbed into a podium position in the WRC2 category. Frenchman Yohan Rossel received a time penalty and was also slower than the Finnish duo on Sunday’s opening stage.

“It was a really tricky stage with fog and everything. We drove pretty well, but a couple of mistakes happened. However, we are at the finish, and that’s the most important thing. Happy Mother’s Day to everyone,” Joona enthused.

Three more special stages remain in Rally de Portugal.

Rally de Portugal standings after SS19/22:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota3:15:14.3
2.Ott TänakHyundai+18.1
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+1:14.7
4.Adrien FourmauxFord+1:41.3
5.Dani SordoHyundai+2:06,3
6.Elfyn EvansToyota+3:32.3
7.Nikolay GryazinCitroen+10:15.4
8.Jan SolansToyota+10:24.9
9. Joshua McErleanSkoda+10:27.9
10. Lauri Joona Skoda+11:48.7
11. Fabrizio ZaldivarSkoda+12:11.2

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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