Ott Tanak has taken the early lead in Round 6 of the FIA World Rally Championship in Portugal having topped Thursday night’s super special stage.
Tanak took his Toyota Yaris around the 3.36km Lousada Rallycross Circuit in a time 0.4s faster than the M-Sport Ford pair of Elfyn Evans and Sebastien Ogier, who tied for the second-quickest time.
Kris Meeke was a full second further back in his Citroen, ahead of the Hyundais of Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville.
Mikkelsen had run against Tanak and Neuville against Ogier as drivers went head-to-head on the stage.
Dani Sordo is currently eighth while Hayden Paddon, whose Hyundai ride normally alternates with the Spaniard, is 11th.
Jari-Matti Latvala is the last of the factory-run World Rally Cars in 13th after his Yaris stalled in a hairpin.
Day 2 starts tonight at 1815 AEST and features eight stages, with two runs through the same loop of three stages before two street stages in Porto totalling 148.66km.
Meanwhile, M-Sport’s appeal against Ogier’s penalty incurred during Rally Mexico has failed.
The Frenchman therefore still leads the world championship by 10 points.
Rally de Portugal: After Special Stage 1 (Top 10)
|1||8||Ott Tanak||EST||Toyota Gazoo||Yaris WRC||2:34.3|
|2||3||Teemu Suninen||FIN||M-Sport Ford||Fiesta WRC||+0.4|
|3||1||Sebastien Ogier||FRA||M-Sport Ford||Fiesta WRC||+0.4|
|4||10||Kris Meeke||GBR||Citroen||C3 WRC||+1.4|
|5||4||Andreas Mikkelsen||NOR||Hyundai||i20 WRC||+1.4|
|6||5||Thierry Neuville||BEL||Hyundai||i20 WRC||+1.5|
|7||2||Elfyn Evans||GBR||M-Sport Ford||Fiesta WRC||+1.6|
|8||16||Dani Sordo||ESP||Hyundai||i20 WRC||+1.6|
|9||12||Mads Ostberg||NOR||Citroen||C3 WRC||+1.7|
|10||9||Esapekka Lappi||FIN||Toyota Gazoo||Yaris WRC||+1.8|