SS21: Terrible setback for Toyota star! Ford driver blunders again

Toyota's Elfyn Evans' troubles continued at the Rally de Portugal, as his lackluster performance extended into the penultimate stage.
Elfyn Evans
Elfyn Evans. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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Evans suffered an engine problem and finished over a minute and a half behind the leader. The Welshman limped to the finish on electric power alone, with his co-driver Scott Martin having to push the car to the interview point. It is clear that Evans can forget about scoring any points on Sunday, and his continuation in the rally is in jeopardy.

Evans spent a long time making repairs after the stage finish before he could finally continue toward the last special stage.

“I don’t know what’s wrong. We have to keep going,” Evans remarked.

M-Sport Ford’s Gregoire Munster also spoiled his rally again. The Luxembourger rookie’s first season in the top class has been challenging. This time, he went off the road and got stuck in a ditch.

Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier is firmly on track for his sixth career victory at the Rally Portugal. With only one special stage remaining, Ogier holds a 10.1-second lead over Hyundai’s Ott Tänak. Thierry Neuville is in third place.

In the “Super Sunday” situation, Tänak took the lead by a margin of 1.8 seconds over Ogier. Neuville is third, trailing the Estonian by 2.5 seconds.

“We will try and control the gap,” Ogier stated.

“What time did Thierry drive? Let’s see what happens. It’s going to be close,” Tänak added.

Continuing in fourth place in the race is M-Sport Ford’s Adrien Fourmaux. Fifth place is being cautiously held by Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, focusing on securing points on Sunday. Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä is not attempting to score points on Sunday but is focusing on the concluding Power Stage of the rally.

Among the Rally2 cars, Nikolay Gryazin has been the fastest so far, but he is not competing for WRC2 class points in Portugal. The class lead has been taken by Spanish driver Jan Solans, who has a 6.5-second advantage over Irish driver Josh McErlean. Lauri Joona is currently third in the class.

One more special stage remains in the Rally de Portugal. The concluding Fafe Power Stage starts at 13:15 (CET).

Rally de Portugal standings after SS21/22:

1.Sebastien OgierToyota3:35:06.3
2.Ott TänakHyundai+10.1
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+1:12.1
4.Adrien FourmauxFord+1:44.0
5.Dani SordoHyundai+2:44.2
6.Elfyn EvansToyota+5:00.5
7.Nikolay GryazinCitroen+11:19.8
8.Jan SolansToyota+11:25.1
9. Joshua McErleanSkoda+11:31.5
10. Lauri JoonaSkoda+13:07.4

Sunday’s standings after SS3/4:

1.Ott TänakHyundai33:08.7
2.Sebastien OgierToyota+1.8
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai+2.5
4.Adrien FourmauxFord+12.9
5.Takamoto KatsutaToyota+30.0
6.Kalle RovanperäToyota+1:14.3
7.Dani SordoHyundai+1:20.4

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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