Tanak leads after Stage 1 of Rally de Portugal

Ott Tanak

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)

Pos Num Driver Nat Team Car   Time/Gap
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

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