SS20: Tänak launched a fierce attack, but Ogier’s lead holds – “It’s not relaxing to drive”

Hyundai’s Ott Tänak set a notable fastest time on SS20 of Rally de Portugal.
Ott Tänak.
Ott Tänak. Photo by: Dufour Fabien/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Tänak, who is second overall, beat his teammate Thierry Neuville by four seconds. The rally leader, Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier, lost 4.5 seconds to the Estonian. However, Ogier continues to lead the event with a margin of 13.6 seconds over Tänak.

Fog has been troubling the drivers on the special stages this Sunday morning.

“With the fog it is not completely relaxing to drive so let’s hope the second loop will be better,” Ogier chuckled.

“It was getting surprisingly difficult at the top, but it seems as though it is moving at the moment,” Tänak described.

Hyundai driver Neuville remains in third place, over a minute behind the leader. M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux has moved up to fourth, overtaking Hyundai veteran Dani Sordo, who is not keen on challenging his teammates for points on “Super Sunday.” Toyota’s Elfyn Evans is in sixth place.

After two of Sunday’s special stages, Ogier is set for the largest points haul of the day with a 1.7-second lead over Tänak. Neuville is 2.8 seconds behind the French champion in the sprint day standings. Evans is nearly ten seconds behind the leader.

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä, who retired on Saturday due to an off, admitted that there is no chance of scoring points on Sunday.

“It’s clear that today there is too much cleaning for us to drive for the day points. We’re just saving the tyres for the Power Stage hence why we were a bit slow in there,” Rovanperä explained.

In the Rally2 category, Nikolay Gryazin has been the fastest, though he is not competing for WRC2 points in Portugal. Josh McErlean took the class lead on SS20, but the Irishman’s lead is just one-tenth of a second ahead of Jan Solans.

Lauri Joona and Janni Hussi are in a podium position, as the Finnish duo is third in the WRC2 category before the final two special stages.

Two special stages remain in Rally de Portugal.

Rally de Portugal standings after SS20/22:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota3:21:54.1
2.Ott TänakHyundai+13.6
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+1:14.2
4.Adrien FourmauxFord+1:45.8
5.Dani SordoHyundai+2:21.8
6.Elfyn EvansToyota+3:33.1
7.Nikolay GryazinCitroen+10:35.0
8.Joshua McErleanSkoda+10:45.2
9. Jan SolansToyota+10:45.3
10. Lauri JoonaSkoda+12:16.1

Sunday’s standings after SS2/4:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota19:58.3
2.Ott TänakHyundai+1.7
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+2.8
4.Elfyn EvansToyota+9.3
5.Adrien FourmauxFord+12.9
6.Takamoto KatsutaToyota+17.7
7.Gregoire MunsterFord+40.9

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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