WRC, Rally Portugal, PE4 (Arganil): Sébastien Loeb is the new leader

Sébastien Loeb/Isabelle Galmiche (Ford Puma Rally1) are the new leaders of Rally de Portugal and they have Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) in half a second.

Sébastien Loeb/Isabelle Galmiche (Ford Puma Rally1) were the fastest on the Arganil sector, beating Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai I20 N Rally1) by 2.8s, Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) losing 6.1 sec.
Sébastien Ogier/Benjamin Veillas (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) finished fourth at 8.6s, Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1) retiring in this section 10.6s, thus losing command of Rally de Portugal, which is now in possession by Sébastien Loeb, 0.5s ahead of Elfyn Evans. Large expanse of French.
Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai I20 N Rally1) are sixth and fall to fourth in favor of Thierry Neuville, second in this section. Ogier also fell to sixth place, as did Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Ford Puma Rally1) and Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota Gr Yaris Rally1).
The tires were of great importance in this special because being the last in this sector, this is where the management of the tires made itself felt the most. Gus Greensmith said he was riding well until he ran out of tyres, Craig Breen had issues with the door, as did Loeb and the driver’s heat and sweat began to disturb his vision. Neuville said he saved tires at Góis, but shouldn’t have done so much. Finally, Rovanpera is happy because he only gave up a 5.7 second lead and the afternoon section will not be so problematic at this level because they are the second passages on the same three sections, except for Mortágua where he passes only once.

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In WRC2, at the end of the third special, Suninen retains the lead, 5.5s ahead of Mikkelsen.

Arganil is one of the legendary qualifiers of the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. It winds through the Serra do Açor mountains, between the trees, leaving no room for error. It alternates fast areas with narrow and technical areas and with many difficult turns.

Carro # 69. ROVANPERÄ / HALHUNEN

“I didn’t expect so much tire wear on the first few laps, but we managed to get by with only four tyres. There shouldn’t be any problems for the rest of the rallies and I think we did a good job as we open the road”.

Wagon No. 11. NEUVILLE / VYDAEGHE

Neuville was 3.3s faster than Rovanperä. “In the previous stages, I saved too much on my tyres. We should have done better but it’s hard

Square #42. BREEN/NAGLE

Lost more than 10 seconds in Neuville, continuing to complain about the dust in the car interior. “I tried to close the doors as hard as possible. But the problem is that I’m also sweating a bit and the dust is also starting to stick to my glasses”.

Car number 19. LOEB/REGISTER

Fastest yet, leaving Neuville at 2.8s. “I tried to ride very hard and I think I had a very good qualifying session. With what I can do in these conditions I think it was a good race”.

Carro # 8. TODAY / LAKES

Loses 10.8s to Loeb. “I don’t know if I’m losing just for the tyres. No problem, I can’t get a good idea of ​​the car. I will try to do what I can”.

Carro # 18. KATSUTA / JOHNSTON

“There are ups and downs between the sections, I have some difficulties with the balance of the car and in some sections I have no speed. I have to improve my driving somehow, but it’s also very hot inside the car”.

Car #44. GREEN/ANDERSSON

Loses 16.2s to Loeb. “Now it seems to me that I did a good stage, clean and without faults, so I’m a little surprised at the timing. I lost a few tires, but I have no answers.

Car #1 OGIER/VOILES

Loses 8.6s to Loeb. He arrives at the end with the front tires completely worn out. “To be honest, I push. I don’t know how to be faster at this point. We need to review this with the team now.

Basket No. 33. EVANS / MARTIN

Evans loses 10.6s to Loeb and, worse than that, the rally leads to the Frenchman. “It wasn’t perfect, to be honest. The grip is not very good and I’m not happy with it. Let’s see how the battle goes, we are only at the beginning”.

Car #6. DEAF/RACED

Lose 12.9s to Loeb.

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