SS7: Major blunder by Toyota star’s co-driver – they lost a lot of time

Toyota's Elfyn Evans faced unfortunate issues during the seventh special stage of the Rally de Portugal.
Elfyn Evans
Elfyn Evans. Photo by: Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT
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For some reason, Evans’s co-driver Scott Martin had to read the pacenotes from his smartphone. Additionally, a tyre on Evans’s Toyota broke after the midpoint of the stage, and he eventually finished nearly a minute behind the leader.

Evans did not stop to comment on his problems after the special stage. Later, television footage revealed that co-driver Martin had left the pacenote book at the finish area of the previous special stage.

Evans, who is second in the championship standings, has fallen over a minute behind the rally leader and is now in eighth place in the competition.

Hyundai driver Dani Sordo set the fastest time on the second run of the Gois stage. The Spaniard beat the second-placed Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier by 1.1 seconds.

“On this stage I gave it all; the car was working like hell. Every part of my body was working,” Sordo said.

Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä continues to lead the gravel rally, but the situation at the top is extremely tight. Takamoto Katsuta is in second place (+0.2), Ogier is third (+1.7), Ott Tänak fourth (+3.6), Sordo fifth (+4.4), and Thierry Neuville sixth (+6.3).

Rovanperä, who finished third on the Gois stage, was not satisfied with his performance.

“It’s tough; we are definitely nowhere near where the car should be. I am fighting all the time; we have understeer and everything, so it is making tyre wear worse and worse,” Rovanperä snapped.

The battle is also heating up in the WRC2 class. Oliver Solberg leads, but Yohan Rossel is only 1.5 seconds behind.

Two more special stages are scheduled for Friday in the Rally de Portugal. The rally concludes on Sunday.

Rally de Portugal standings after SS7/22:

1.Kalle RovanperäToyota1:01:57.0
2.Takamoto KatsutaToyota +0.2
3.Sebastien OgierToyota +1.7
4.Ott TänakHyundai +3.6
5.Dani SordoHyundai +4.4
6.Thierry NeuvilleHyundai +6.3
7.Adrien FourmauxFord +19.3
8.Elfyn EvansToyota +1:14.1
9. Gregoire MunsterFord +1:49.4
10. Oliver SolbergSkoda +2:33.2
11.Yohan Rossel Citroen +2:34.7
12. Gus GreensmithSkoda +2:45.4

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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