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Tanak outlasts team-mates to win Rally de Portugal

Speedcafe.com

Monday 3rd June, 2019 - 11:35am

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Ott Tanak

Ott Tanak has taken a second straight event victory as the 2019 World Rally Championship reached its halfway mark in Portugal.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver won the seventh round of the season by 15.9s from Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, with Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier retaining the championship lead by finishing third overall and claiming maximum Power Stage points.

Dani Sordo won Special Stage 1 on Friday morning and remained on top at the end of the next test before his Hyundai slowed with a fuel pressure problem.

Tanak assumed the lead of the rally and held it for the balance of the event, although his weekend was not without its challenges.

His team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke remained in touch through much of the first two days before the former retired with a damper failure during the Saturday afternoon loop.

Tanak also had damper problems which saw him hold a 4.3s lead over Meeke heading into Sunday.

The Brit got even closer before spinning on the penultimate stage and hitting a tree stump on the Power Stage.

It could have been a bigger victory for Tanak but he slowed on the Power Stage, through which he was ultimately third quickest, to ensure that Ogier would be first on the road next time out in Italy.

Neuville was second for the rally, and the Power Stage, by virtue of being in the right spot when Latvala and Meeke struck trouble.

Ogier had already been hampered by opening the road on the Friday and finished the event 41.2s behind Neuville.

M-Sport Ford’s Teemu Suninen and Elfyn Evans ended Sunday in fourth and fifth respectively, the former also collecting two Power Stage points.

Such was the attrition in the Manufacturer ranks, WRC2 Pro winner Kalle Rovanpera finished sixth outright in his Skoda Fabia R5 Evo.

Latvala was seventh overall and Sordo 23rd with just a Power Stage point to show for the Spaniard’s efforts.

Hyundai’s other driver, Sebastien Loeb, also suffered fuel pressure problems before his rally came to a slightly early end when he hit a bank during the Power Stage.

Esapekka Lappi was fifth when he rolled his Citroen on the Sunday morning, coming to rest on his wheels only for broken suspension to finish him off later in the day.

Ogier is two points ahead in the drivers’ standings from Tanak, and Neuville another eight points behind.

Hyundai’s advantage over Toyota at the top of the manufacturers’ championship is 20 points.

Rally Italia Sardegna is next up on June 13-16.

Rally de Portugal: Results (Top 10)

Pos Num Driver Team Elig Grp cls Time/Gap
1 8 O. TÄNAK Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT M RC1 3:20:22.8
2 11 T. NEUVILLE Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT M RC1 +15.9
3 1 S. OGIER Citroen Total WRT M RC1 +57.1
4 3 T. SUNINEN M-Sport Ford World Rally Team M RC1 +2:41.5
5 33 E. EVANS M-Sport Ford World Rally Team M RC1 +7:08.3
6 23 K. ROVANPERÄ Skoda Motorsport WRC2Pro RC2 +10:34.2
7 10 J. LATVALA Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT M RC1 +11:28.2
8 24 J. KOPECKY Skoda Motorsport WRC2Pro RC2 +11:41.9
9 51 P. LOUBET Pierre-Louis Loubet WRC2 RC2 +12:46.3
10 47 E. BERGKVIST Emil Bergkvist WRC2 RC2 +14:28.4

Rally de Portugal: Power Stage (Bonus points)

Pos Num Driver Team Time/Gap Bonus
1 1 Sébastien OGIER Citroen Total WRT 6:35.0 5
2 11 Thierry NEUVILLE Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT +0.8 4
3 8 Ott TÄNAK Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT +1.5 3
4 3 Teemu SUNINEN M-Sport Ford World Rally Team +3.9 2
5 6 Dani SORDO Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT +5.0 1

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Nat Pts
1 Sébastien OGIER FRA 142
2 Ott TÄNAK EST 140
3 Thierry NEUVILLE BEL 132
4 Elfyn EVANS GBR 65
5 Kris MEEKE GBR 56
6 Teemu SUNINEN FIN 44
7 Sébastien LOEB FRA 39
8 Jari-Matti LATVALA FIN 38
9 Andreas MIKKELSEN NOR 36
10 Esapekka LAPPI FIN 34
11 Dani SORDO ESP 27
12 Kalle ROVANPERÄ FIN 12
13 Benito GUERRA MEX 8
14 Gus GREENSMITH GBR 6
15 Marco BULACIA BOL 6
16 Mads OSTBERG NOR 4
17 Pontus TIDEMAND SWE 4
18 Yoann BONATO FRA 4
19 Jan KOPECKY CZE 4
20 Stéphane SARRAZIN FRA 2
21 Ole Christian VEIBY NOR 2
22 Pierre-Louis LOUBET FRA 2
23 Adrien FOURMAUX FRA 1
24 Janne TUOHINO FIN 1
25 Ricardo TRIVINO BUJALIL MEX 1
26 Pedro HELLER CHI 1
27 Emil BERGKVIST SWE 1
28 Lorenzo BERTELLI ITA 0
29 Marcus GRÖNHOLM FIN 0

Manufacturers’ championship

Pos Team Pts
1 Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT 202
2 Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT 182
3 Citroen Total WRT 158
4 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 122

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