The changes of position at Hyundai Motorsport continue. Thierry Neuville was the author of an excellent race in Stage 13, the Amarante 2 of 37.24 kilometres, and managed to overtake teammate Esapekka Lappi.
Neuville set the third time of the special, Lappi the fourth, but the Finn was 8″5 slower than the Belgian and had to give him third place in the general standings.
Certainly good news for the Belgian in his run-up to the title, just as it is good news to have found more feeling with the car during today’s afternoon lap after having struggled quite a bit throughout yesterday and this morning.
However, it was above all Dani Sordo who took advantage of the situation. The Spaniard, who was also fighting with his teammates for a podium position, won the special – the second of his weekend – increasing his advantage over Neuville and Lappi.
This means that in the last 2 races of the day he will be able to manage a 12″8 advantage over Neuville. Kalle Rovanpera was author of the second time, but lost just 7 tenths against Sordo. Now his margin from the top of the general classification is 54″5 on Dani Sordo.
Very hard test for Ott Tanak. In the second sector, the Estonian’s windshield cracked due to a rock lifted by the front of the Ford Puma Rally1 and landed right on the glass. Fortunately this resisted and the ramifications of the fractures only spread to Martin Jarveoja’s side.
However, Tanak’s pace is strange. Already in the first round of the afternoon he had set a slower time than the one achieved by Takamoto Katsuta, who returned to the race today after retiring yesterday. Beyond the windshield, the number 8 Ford Puma appears to have no other apparent damage.
In WRC2 Oliver Solberg continues to manage his advantage over his team mates, but Gus Greensmith has reduced his gap to 30 seconds flat with 6 special stages still to go in Rally Portugal. It is unlikely that the British will be able to recover, but today he has a better pace than the Norwegian.