SS3: Dani Sordo’s stunning performance – new leader in the Rally de Portugal

Hyundai’s Dani Sordo set a clear fastest time on the third special stage of the Rally de Portugal.
Dani Sordo
Dani Sordo. Photo by: Vincent Thuillier/Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Sordo had not kept up with the pace at the front on Friday morning’s opening stage, but on the next stage, he outperformed the entire field. The Spanish driver, competing in his first rally of the WRC season, posted the fastest time by a margin of 3.2 seconds.

In the overall standings, Sordo climbed to seventh, 9.3 seconds behind the leader.

“First stage was really bad for me, I never liked it. It was to come back or stay home and I needed to come back. I just need to drive and enjoy,” Sordo remarked.

Thierry Neuville, who had led the competition after the previous stage, struggled with his first starting position on the Lousã special stage and dropped to third in the overall standings. He was overtaken by Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta and teammate Ott Tänak.

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä recorded the second fastest time in Lousã. In the overall standings, he climbed to fourth.

“I don’t know, just driving a bit better. Still not so good, not feeling happy with the car. Tricky. Let’s hope the rest of the loop is better conditions wise,” Rovanperä said.

The situation at the top of the competition is very tight. Katsuta, who has taken the lead, has a 1.5-second advantage over Tänak. Neuville (+2.4), Rovanperä (+4.5), Elfyn Evans (+6.8), Sebastien Ogier (+7.1), and Sordo (+9.3) are all within striking distance.

There are six more special stages to be driven on Friday in the Rally de Portugal. The event concludes on Sunday.

Rally de Portugal standings after SS3/22:

1.Takamoto KatsutaToyota23:00.8
2.Ott TänakHyundai +1.5
3.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai +2.4
4.Kalle RovanperäToyota +4.5
5.Elfyn EvansToyota +6.8
6.Sebastien OgierToyota +7.1
7.Dani SordoHyundai +9.3
8.Adrien FourmauxFord +11.5
9. Gregoire MunsterFord +45.9
10. Oliver SolbergSkoda +47.0

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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