WRC, Rally Portugal (PE21 Fafe 2-Power Stage): Victory for Kalle Rovanperä, Dani Sordo on the podium

He ended the Vodafone Rally of Portugal in style with battles to the final meters for victory, the pleo podium and in WRC2. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) wins the PowerStage and Rally de Portugal, with a less and less surprising triumph. Despite the opening of the road on Friday, the young Finn overcame everything, came back from behind and was imperial on this last day. To show the confidence of this young man, he easily won the Power Stage and triumphed for the third consecutive time in the WRC, in Sweden, in Croatia and now in Portugal. Do we have a champion?
Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) had a great rally, but they couldn’t make it to Rovanpera. As simple as that. He led as much as he could, did what he had to do, simply Rovanpera is currently unreachable for any other rally driver in the world.
Big fight for third place too, with Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (Hyundai I20 N Rally1) beating Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) on the Power Stage and converting a 2.2s delay into 2.1s of advance, giving Hyundai a tasty and well-deserved podium, for the work the team has done to catch up on its competitive backlog.
For Takamoto Katsuta, a disappointment, but the certainty that he is getting closer and closer to the podiums in his career, as he has made good progress. Toyota came very close to securing three cars on the podium, something it hasn’t been able to do since Rally Germany 2019, when Tanaka won ahead of Kris Meeke and Jari-Matti Latvala.
Fifth place for Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai I20 N Rally1), a duo that deserved better. And he also deserved the team to give him a tougher car. This time, he was second overall towards the end of Day 1, when another mechanical problem, this time with the transmission, propelled him to seventh place, almost two minutes ahead, when he was at 7.0s from elfyn Evans, summit leader. .
Sixth place for Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai I20 N Rally1). He finished second overall to Góis 2, but they were unlucky twice in successive stages; a tire came off the rim of your Hyundai i20 N Rally1 in PE6 before a slow puncture at the left rear in PES7. They lost over three minutes and ended up with the fully conditioned result.
Pierre-Louis Loubet/vincent Landais (Ford Puma Rally1) repeated the Estonians’ seventh place finish last year, their best so far, but here in Portugal they showed a pace they had yet to show. He came 4th on the 1st day, he finished 6th but then a mistake here and there did not allow him to do better. It increases much more this year than last year.
Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Ford Puma Rally1) finished eighth and had several issues, but overall it was one of the worst rallies we’ve seen from him in recent times. Off, no flame. The first day he had some problems, the second he complained about the tire choices he made, it was very noticeable the fact that he had not come to this rally since 2018. That will have a big difference.

To complete the top 10, Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (Ford Puma Rally1) fulfilled their “obligation” to finish the race. But something has to change with the Frenchman, as he cannot finish a rally without major problems eight minutes behind the winner. It was in the 70s and 80s.
Yohan Rossel/Valentin Sarreaud (Citroën C3 Rally2) took advantage of the “freedom” given by Teemu Suninen in the last stage and won the WRC2, Armindo Araújo/Luís Ramalho (Skoda Fabia Evo Rally2) once again won the “title of Best Portuguese in Rally Portugal, beating Ricardo Teodósio/José Teixeira (Hyundai I20 N Rally2) by 32.5s.
After yesterday’s retirement, José Pedro Fontes/Inês Ponte (Citroën C3 Rally2) returned today and finished third among the Portuguese in the race.

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