Vodafone Rally de Portugal


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OpenLive Text

Sat 17:23 - SS13: Mikkelsen
7.1sec slower than Ogier. "I had a spin over the finish line! Otherwise the stage was okay. I'm happy enough with our performance. It's not over of course. We will continue to keep the pressure on but I also want to get a good finish too."

Sat 17:21 - SS13: Ostberg
Pleased to get to the end of a difficult day. "We did all the stages this afternoon with little turbo boost at low revs. It's impossible to have a rhythm. I'm using first gear in third gear corners."

Sat 17:19 - SS13: Ogier
His time 25m17.9s. Seb is straight out to look at his tyres. "We took some risk with the tyres choices. It was on the limit but it was good stage. I'll keep pushing. Let's see where it gets us."

Sat 17:14 - SS13: Splits watch
Latvala 0.8sec quicker than Ogier at the 12.10km split

Sat 17:13 - SS13: Splits watch
Meeke 7.2sec slower than Ogier at the 18.40km split. Ogier on course to take second place.

Sat 16:25 - Next stage: SS13
Saturday's final stage, the repeat of Fridão, kicks off at 1647hrs. We'll resume our live text service then.

Sat 16:24 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS12
[+ times compared to leader]: Lappi up to second. 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 2:38:28.8, 2. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): +34.6sec, 3. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +42.6s, 4. Lefebvre (DS 3 R5): +2m10.4sec, 5. Maurin (Ford Fiesta RRC): +2m14.3sec

Sat 16:21 - WRC top 5 after SS12
[+ times compared to leader]: Ogier closing... 1. Latvala (VW): 2:30:57.1, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +10.7s, 3. Ogier (VW): +14.4s, 4. Mikkelsen (VW): +18.9s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +1m01.4s

Sat 16:09 - SS12: Lappi
4.7sec off Al-Attiyah's pace. He's up to second place but is not confident of catching the lead. "Half a minute is too much. For sure, on the long one I think Nasser will take more."

Sat 16:05 - SS12: Tidemand
[WRC 2] 15.5sec slower than Al-Attiyah. "A clean run. No problem."

Sat 16:03 - SS12: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] Happy to be keeping the Skodas at bay. "This afternoon has been much better than the morning - and we have saved four soft tyres for tomorrow."

Sat 16:01 - SS12: Kubica
"This stage was better than the last. It was a bit more fun but we are lacking traction. We come out of corners with so much wheel-spin and I don't know why."

Sat 15:59 - SS12: Paddon
Sixth fastest but the Kiwi is still struggling with the front end of his Hyundai. "I'm having to be really patient with the turn-in."

Sat 15:56 - SS12: Tanak
"We have a good rhythm and I'm in quite in a good mood. We're at a good pace."

Sat 15:55 - SS12: Latvala
He completes 1.9sec slower than Ogier. "I had full hard tyres which will definitely be better on the next stage. I thought we'd lose more time here so I'm happy with what we achieved."

Sat 15:53 - SS12: Prokop
"We changed the set-up between the stages but there's only so much we could do without changing the springs. I get a sense that something is broken somewhere, but the time's good."

Sat 15:50 - SS12: Sordo
"We're losing a little bit of time every stage."

Sat 15:49 - SS12: Meeke
He's slower than Ogier by 3.7sec. The gap behind them in the overall classification is also 3.7sec. It's getting tight. "Yep, Seb is on a big push now but I'm just driving my own rally. Wherever that gets me at the the end I'll be happy."

Sat 15:46 - SS12: Mikkelsen
Slower than Ogier by 4.2sec. "There are some really big rocks in there and to avoid them I have to come out of the lines and onto the loose. Seb is on a mission..."

Sat 15:44 - SS12: Ostberg
He is 21.1sec slower than Ogier. "We still have the engine problem. The sensor is broken. We cannot fix it so we have to carry on like this all afternoon. It's a shame because the car is feeling good to drive. Maybe tomorrow..."

Sat 15:43 - SS12: Ogier
He clears in a benchmark time of 16m58.7s. "It was okay, just one alarm when we hit a rock on the line. I couldn't avoid it but luckily we didn't get a puncture. I'm still in the race. I will push to the maximum to catch the guys in front."

Sat 15:28 - Kruuda update
[WRC 2] Confirmed out for the day. Rear end stepped out in a fourth-gear corner. Rolled.

Sat 15:27 - WRC top 5 after SS11
[+ times compared to leader]: Ogier up to third. 1. Latvala (VW): 2:13:56.5, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +8.9s, 3. Ogier (VW): +16.3s, 4. Mikkelsen (VW): +16.6s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +53.3s

Sat 15:24 - Up next: SS12
The repeat of Marão began at 1520hrs

Sat 15:22 - SS11: Lappi
[WRC 2] 8sec off Al-Attiyah's pace and 5.5sec quicker than Tidemand. "I am driving on the safe side. Many times I'm braking outside the ruts because they have rocks in them. I knew this approach would be slower."

Sat 15:21 - SS11: Lefebvre
[WRC 2] 24sec slower than Al-Attiyah. "A bit better. My pace notes were not so good earlier and we changed the car set-up in service."

Sat 15:19 - SS11: Tidemand
[WRC 2] 13.5sec slower than Al-Attiyah. There is some front-right bodywork damage to the Skoda. Problem? "Nope. It's nothing. We had a good clear run, just driving in the lines."

Sat 15:16 - SS11: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] "We are nine seconds faster than the morning pass. Let's see how that compares."

Sat 15:14 - SS11: Kubica
"Very difficult with lots of ruts and holes but for us all good."

Sat 15:13 - SS11: Kruuda off
[WRC 2] His car is parked 1.4km into the stage. Crew okay.

Sat 15:13 - SS11: Paddon
"Much better conditions than we had on the repeat loop yesterday. We're struggling to keep the rear of the car in the ruts."

Sat 15:10 - SS11: Tanak
A solid fifth for Ott. "Happy. In a good mood. The feeling is encouraging."

Sat 15:08 - SS11: Latvala
He's second quickest, 2.8sec slower than Ogier who is now just 16.3sec behind in the standings. "For me, on my tyres, I'm happy. But Ogier is getting closer and closer..."

Sat 15:06 - SS11: Prokop
"I missed a junction, had to stop and turn the car around. Surprised by how smooth the stage is this time around."

Sat 15:03 - SS11: Meeke
5.6sec slower than Ogier on stage - and wary of the Frenchman's rise up the leaderboard. "Seb's done an incredible time there. He's not so far behind." The gap between them is now 7.4sec.

Sat 15:01 - SS11: Mikkelsen
4.1sec slower than Ogier - and he loses third place to him. "A nice stage. I have three hard and one soft compound tyres. I think this loop is too long for all softs. This stage was okay. I think I'm happy. [he doesn't sound very sure...] Let's see how we go."

Sat 14:59 - SS11: Ostberg
15.6sec slower than Ogier, and it's a mix of good and bad news for the Norwegian. "We found a problem with the rear diff in service and now the car is much better to drive. Unfortunately we now have a turbo boost problem which is costing us engine power."

Sat 14:57 - SS11: Ogier
Another great time for Seb, who completes 50.7sec quicker than Al Qassimi. He has fitted a mix of tyres on his Polo, with soft compounds on the front. "Yes, a risky option but I have no choice. On the second loop the line is not so good, so I put the soft tyres on the front for the extra grip."

Sat 14:53 - SS11: Al Qassimi
The Abu Dhabi driver is first to complete - in 12m33.7s. "Much better than this morning. There is lots of bedrock in the second half of the stage now."

Sat 14:52 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners took for the afternoon stages: Meeke/Ogier: 3H&2S. Ostberg: 3H&3S. Mikkelsen/Latvala: 4H&1S. Sordo: 4H&2S. Paddon/Tanak: 5H.

Sat 14:43 - Weather update
Hot, dry and sunny. The temperature is 24ºC - that's eight degrees higher than the first pass

Sat 14:41 - SS11: Stage Live
We're back at Baião for the repeat pass. This stage is showing live for WRC+ users

Sat 12:39 - Next stage: SS11
The repeat of Baião is due to start at 1439hrs. We'll take a break from our live text until then. Ciao for now.

Sat 12:32 - Up next: Service
Crews are en route to Saturday's midpoint 30-minute service. First car due at 1300hrs

Sat 12:30 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS10
[+ times compared to leader]: Al-Attiyah's lead under threat. 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 2:08:31.8, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +13.6sec, 3. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): +21.9s, 4. Lefebvre (DS 3 R5): +1m19.7sec, 5. Maurin (Ford Fiesta RRC): +1m31.4sec

Sat 12:27 - WRC top 5 after SS10
[+ times compared to leader]: Meeke narrows Latvala's lead. 1. Latvala (VW): 2:02:10.4, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +6.1s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +15.3s, 4. Ogier (VW): +19.1s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +48.9s

Sat 12:25 - SS10: Ketomaa
[WRC 2] He loses 3min as a result of the right-rear damage sustained on the previous stage. "The repair seems to have held, but we didn't manage to get the rear brakes bled properly so they didn't work too well."

Sat 12:17 - SS10: Al Rajhi and Kruuda
[WRC 2] Al-Rajhi is stopped with suspension damage. Kruuda completes with the loss of more than 2m30s. "I think we hit the same rock ," explains Kruuda, who drops out of the top-5. "It wasn't a particularly fast section, I think we hit a loose cobble in a compression and it punctured our tyre. We stopped to change it. Terribly disappointing."

Sat 12:10 - SS10: Lappi
[WRC 2] He is 2.9sec quicker than his Skoda team-mate Tidemand. Both drivers now putting class leader Al-Attiyah under serious pressure - his lead trimmed to 13.6sec. Have you changed anything to improve the car's performance? "We're running the same set-up as yesterday, maybe my driving is better?"

Sat 12:06 - SS10: Lefebvre
[WRC 2] 28.3sec slower than Tidemand. "It's not a good time. I'm not so happy with my driving. I hope to improve for the afternoon loop."

Sat 12:05 - SS10: Tidemand
[WRC 2] He's a massive 8.9sec quicker than Al-Attiyah - and it sounds like there's more in reserve..."A safe and clean run - everything working well. It's important for us to finish this rally. We know we can be quicker but that's not our target this weekend."

Sat 12:00 - SS10: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] "I lost my concentration on the previous stage, not happy with the car's turn in. We made some set-up changes before this one. Let's see how they do."

Sat 11:57 - SS10: Kubica
"A lot of grip changes but a good stage for us. Hard to stay in the line - but it's important to do that. If you get off line it's difficult under braking."

Sat 11:55 - SS10: Paddon
"We're on the mixed hard/soft compound tyre choice again, and it's not easy - it affects the balance of the car."

Sat 11:53 - SS10: Tanak
Another clean run. Fifth fastest, 10.8sec off Meeke's pace.

Sat 11:52 - SS10: Latvala
Meeke thought Latvala would be faster. He's not. He is 5.1sec slower and the gap between them drops to 6.1sec. "The fight is good," says Latvala. "Over 37km I'm happy with that. 7km before the end I hit a rock and I feared a front tyre was flat. I was hesitating afterwards - that's where I lost the time."

Sat 11:48 - SS10: Prokop
"A lot of problems with understeer."

Sat 11:47 - SS10: Sordo
20.4sec slower than Meeke. Sordo still struggling to find the confidence he had on Friday. "Okay, but slippery like the previous stage."

Sat 11:43 - SS10: Meeke
Quickest so far by 9sec. "It's not surprising considering we were on a different tyre strategy. The road is cleaning quite a lot, so the guys behind will be faster. We played a good tyre choice here but I must say I am very impressed by Ogier."

Sat 11:41 - SS10: Mikkelsen
He's out of the car to look at his soft compound tyres - which don't look too bad. "The car was moving quite a lot there - it felt like they were down to the cord near the end."

Sat 11:40 - SS10: Ostberg
15.9sec slower than Ogier and he sounds confused. "I tried my best but the time isn't great. I struggled to find a good feeling in the car and I don't know why. We will go to service and see if we can change the car - or my driving."

Sat 11:38 - SS10: Ogier
Seb completes 2m quicker than Al Qassimi and is straight out to inspect his tyres. "There's not enough grip to use the tyres - that's the problem!" he says. "It wasn't the perfect strategy but nobody has it. It's a shame to have only one car in front of me now. It's almost impossible, although I'm happy with my stage."

Sat 11:34 - SS10: Al Qassimi
First to complete in 27m44.1s. "We went off in the first kilometre - it was so slippery. Whenever we tried to push we were all over the road."

Sat 11:11 - SS10: Bertelli stopped!
He is 4.9km into the stage. He has rolled.

Sat 10:51 - Stage notes: SS10
Fridão 1, 37.67km. The rally’s longest stage has a tricky opening. It’s wide, fast and flowing but there are plenty of corners among trees which are close to the road. The roads are smooth with a fine layer of gravel on top, but there are also short sections of asphalt and cobbles. It’s easy to imagine this could be a stage in either Sardinia or Australia.

Sat 10:51 - Up next: SS10
The Fridão stage is due to start at 1102hrs

Sat 10:50 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS9
[+ times compared to leader]: Lappi on a charge. 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 1:41:46.9, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +22.5sec, 3. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): +33.7s, 4. Kruuda (DS 3 R5): +51.5sec, 5. Al Rajhi (Ford Fiesta RRC): +54.5sec

Sat 10:50 - WRC top 5 after SS9
[+ times compared to leader]: Meeke back up to second. 1. Latvala (VW): 1:36:25.1, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +11.2s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +11.4s, 4. Ogier (VW): +21.8s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +43.2s

Sat 10:40 - SS9: Ketomaa
The splits showed him equal to Lappi's pace early in the stage, but he completes 1m18s slower. What happened? "My fault, too fast into a corner, maybe 5cm too wide and I hit a wall. I have no spare parts and the rear suspension arm is broken."

Sat 10:34 - SS9: Lappi
[WRC 2] The Finn is fastest through so far, and moves to third in the standings, 11.2sec behind his team-mate Tidemand. "It's going really well, but the times seem surprisingly good in these conditions - I guess it's the same for everybody."

Sat 10:30 - SS9: Tidemand
[WRC 2] The Skoda driver thumps in a terrific time, 17.7sec quicker than Al-Attiyah, to leap up to second in the standings, 22.5sec adrift of the lead.

Sat 10:28 - SS9: Al-Rajhi
[WRC 2] It's been an eventful morning for Yazeed. "I spun on the first stage and went the wrong way in two junctions on the second. I don't know how much time I lost - but a lot."

Sat 10:25 - SS9: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] "On these stages you need a car set-up for a beach! We need to make some adjustments in service."

Sat 10:21 - SS9: Kubica
"All good. No problems."

Sat 10:21 - SS9: Paddon
Sixth fastest so far. "We are on the soft tyre and had to take it easy on the opening section. They were better on the soft second half but later started to overheat. We'll mix in some hard compounds for the next stage and see how we do."

Sat 10:18 - SS9: Tanak
He gambled on a hard tyre. He doesn't think it paid off. "A disaster. I was expecting completely different conditions. It was like driving Monte Carlo stages on slicks."

Sat 10:17 - SS9: Latvala
Second quickest, 0.2sec slower than Meeke. Latvala's rally lead now 11.2sec. "The start and the midpoint were good but it started to get really, really slippery at 15km. On the downhill section I thought we were going very slowly but it seems the time is not so bad."

Sat 10:14 - SS9: Prokop
"We have a puncture on the right-rear. We hit some stones about 7km into the stage - it was like a line of them had been put there. After that we had to slow down."

Sat 10:12 - SS9: Sordo
"Today's stages are very different to yesterday. They are very slippery and the car is moving about on the tyres. I don't like it so much." He is 13.9sec slower than Meeke.

Sat 10:10 - SS9: Meeke
He's fastest so far, 1.6sec up on Mikkelsen, and moves back ahead of him in the standings. "We had a big moment - a wrong pace-note. We should have been a gear lower, in fourth, not fifth. That can happen on a new rally. One moment of missed concentration on the recce but we were lucky."

Sat 10:05 - SS9: Mikkelsen
He's 0.1sec slower than Ogier. "That was really tricky. We struggled a lot, a few mistakes here and there but we got through cleanly."

Sat 10:03 - SS9: Ostberg
"Slippery. We found a slightly better rhythm here. I think I'm going a little too slow. Not a perfect feeling and I don't know exactly why."

Sat 10:01 - SS9: Ogier
A massive 1m24.5s quicker than Bertelli. "Not bad, at the moment the tyres seem quite good, but again I expect to lose a lot of time."

Sat 09:59 - SS9: Bertelli
He completes in 18m27.2s. "So slippery. We spun twice. We are the front-runners so I think this is normal."

Sat 09:57 - SS9: Meeke
WRC TV crews report a hairy moment at the 11.7km point

Sat 09:52 - WRC top 5 after SS8
[+ times compared to leader]: Evans and Neuville out. Mikkelsen up to second. 1. Latvala (VW): 1:19:13.8, 2. Mikkelsen (VW): +9.9s, 3. Meeke (DS 3): +11.4s, 4. Ogier (VW): +20.4s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +22.0s

Sat 09:49 - Evans update
He hit a rock 4km into SS8. He's out for the day.

Sat 09:46 - Stage notes: SS9
Marão, 26.30km. A contender for the most picturesque stage of the season. The opening half climbs on a fast, sandy surface to the rally’s high point at 1,222 metres, with hills on one side of the road and fields and a big drop on the other. The second part is no less stunning with a fast, wide descent, twisting between big boulders in a slower section at 14km.

Sat 09:45 - Up next: SS9
We're straight over to the first pass of Marão. Al Qassimi began the stage at 0937hrs.

Sat 09:35 - SS8: Kubica
Ninth-fastest time. "All okay. no problems, no dramas."

Sat 09:34 - SS8: Paddon
Fifth-fastest appears a great start to the day, but the Kiwi is far from satisfied. "I couldn't find a good rhythm in my driving, I overshot a junction and I'm struggling to get the car to turn in properly."

Sat 09:31 - SS8: Tanak
"The car has been great but I had some hard tyres and that made it a challenge. A reasonably good rhythm, though - I'm happy."

Sat 09:30 - SS8: Latvala
"We overshot a left-hand junction. I had to use the handbrake and turn round. I think that cost us about five seconds," He is third fastest on stage and keeps a rally lead of 9.9sec.

Sat 09:27 - SS8: Prokop
"I had to slow down a little to pass Neuville's car - it's in a very narrow place but you can get through okay. "

Sat 09:26 - SS8: Sordo
17.9sec off the pace of Mikkelsen and he loses a position trying to pass his stricken team-mate on stage. "We had to stop. Neuville's car was in the road. We had to nudge it. We lost a bit of time there, maybe 8 or 9 seconds."

Sat 09:23 - SS8: Meeke
6.4sec slower than Mikkelsen. That drops him behind Andreas in the standings but he doesn't seem too concerned. "Andreas did a bloody good time. Mine was fine. I'm happy."

Sat 09:20 - SS8: Neuville update
He rolled his car and ended up blocking the road. His car has been moved aside. Crew both okay.

Sat 09:19 - SS8: Mikkelsen
Quickest so far, 0.6sec up on Ogier. "A clean stage for us. I was perhaps too careful at the beginning but got better in the second half."

Sat 09:18 - SS8: Ostberg
15.7sec slower than Ogier and sounding angry with himself. "Very tricky. I didn't get a good rhythm anywhere. A bad stage."

Sat 09:15 - SS8: Ogier
The World Champion completes in 11m48.9s. Have Al Qassimi and Bertelli cleaned the road much? "There is a little [swept] line. But there is a lot of sand here. What more can I do?"

Sat 09:13 - SS8: Neuville stops!
His Hyundai us at the 2.9km point. Rolled.

Sat 09:11 - SS8: Al Qassimi
First to complete - and now opening the road after Evans' exit. "That was very difficult for me. A car was in the middle of the road. I stopped to offer an extinguisher. It was quite a distraction - not a very good start for me."

Sat 09:08 - Start order
P1 registered crews will run in championship order today, headed by Rally 2 restarters. Here’s how the WRC crews line up: 1) Evans, 2) Al Qassimi, 3) Bertelli, 4) Ogier, 5) Ostberg, 6) Mikkelsen, 7) Meeke, 8) Neuville, 9) Sordo, 10) Prokop, 11) Latvala, 12) Tanak, 13) Paddon, 14) Kubica

Sat 09:05 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners left service with for Saturday morning's stages: Meeke/Ostberg/Ogier/Sordo: 3S

Sat 09:02 - SS8: Al-Qassimi stops
Evans' car is briefly ablaze and Khalid stops at the scene to offer help. The fire is quickly put out by Elfyn and his co-driver Dan and Al-Qassimi is underway again.

Sat 08:59 - SS8: Evans off!
The Welshman - the first driver through - spins on a right-hander and damages the front-right corner of his Fiesta.

Sat 08:56 - Weather update
Sunrise was at 0611hrs and through our dirty windows it looks fantastic out there. :( The current temperature of 16ºC should hit to 22ºC by the afternoon. Lots of wind on the stage, though.

Sat 08:52 - Stage notes: SS8
Baião, 18.57km. Saturday’s opener has two different characteristics. It’s narrow throughout, but the first half is fast between high banks, while the second part is more twisty and slower. The surface is sandy, except for a small section of asphalt.

Sat 08:51 - Saturday's itinerary
The leg begins with a revised version of Baião (18.57km), before the crews tackle Marão (26.30km), the only completely new stage on the 2015 itinerary, and Fridão (37.67km), the longest test of the rally. After a thirty-minute service at Exponor, the crews repeat this loop a second time.

Sat 08:49 - Coming up today
Saturday's route takes the crews further south and inland than any other day, into the hills around Vila Real

Sat 08:45 - Welcome back
To our live text coverage of Vodafone Rally de Portugal

Fri 18:12 - Leaders through
And that's the end of our Live text coverage for tonight. We will return on Saturday when the rally resumes with SS8 - Baiao - at 0854hrs. Until then, keep an eye on the news section for our daily wraps in WRC, WRC 2 and Junior WRC.

Fri 17:48 - SS7: Bertelli out
Two punctured tyres prove too much for the Italian and he retires on the road section back to service. That's an important development for Ogier, because Rally 2 re-starters will be ahead of him in Saturdays' start list. Looks like Ogier will be third on the road after Bertelli and Evans.

Fri 17:33 - WRC 2 top 5 after day two
(after SS7) [+ times compared to leader]: 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 1:10:48.8, 2. Al Rajhi (Ford Fiesta RRC): +13.5sec, 3. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +43.4sec, 4. Lefebvre (DS 3 R5): +1m05.4sec, 5. Lappi (Skoda Fabia R5): +1m05.6s

Fri 17:27 - WRC top 5 after day two
(after SS7) [+ times compared to leader]: 1. Latvala (VW): 1:07:19.4, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +11.1s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +16.0s, 4. Tanak (Ford): +17.8s, 5. Sordo (Hyundai): +21.8s

Fri 17:23 - SS7: Tidemand
[WRC 2] He ends the day third in class after a strong debut in the Skoda Fabia R5.

Fri 17:22 - SS7: Al-Rajhi
[WRC 2] He ends the day second in class, 13.5sec behind Al-Attiyah. "Okay, for me a strong day. We are still in the game - the most important thing on these stages is to keep out of trouble."

Fri 17:17 - SS7: Lefebvre
[WRC 2] Closest so far to Al-Attiyah's time - 5.8sec adrift. His hands are sore after taking the skin off his palms adjusting the suspension before the stage.

Fri 17:13 - SS7: Al Kuwari
[WRC 2] He won the last round in Argentina, but it's not been a trouble-free ride today and he is down in eighth. "This stage was okay, but a puncture left us running on a rim on the previous one. We did our best, still a long way to go."

Fri 17:12 - SS7: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] He leads the class. We did a good job today, but the puncture doesn't help. It's hard work!"

Fri 17:05 - SS7: Ketomaa
[WRC 2] A stall in a junction costs the Finn around 20 seconds.

Fri 17:04 - SS7: Bertelli
Another flat tyre for the Italian. It's the rear-right this time. "It went off the rim. I don't know how this happened. Crazy. With this and the other punctured tyre I don't know if I will get back to service."

Fri 17:01 - SS7: Kubica
Tenth-fastest on stage. "I can be happy. It's been a good day from a driving point of view. All okay apart from the puncture. Earlier I didn't know how it had happened, but having looked at the onboard was there was a stone on the line."

Fri 16:57 - SS7: Paddon
The Kiwi satisfied with his performance in the older-spec Hyundai. "We're mixing it with our team-mates. It's encouraging."

Fri 16:56 - SS7: Tanak
He's 3.4sec slower than Latvala, but it's been a great day for Ott who ends the day 1.8sec outside the top 3. "From the beginning I've really happy with the handling and balance of the car - I'm enjoying it. Not pushing too hard - okay, maybe a bit too much for the tyres in here - but I'm happy."

Fri 16:53 - SS7: Latvala
The rally leader is quickest so far - 2.8sec up on Ogier. "Overall a good day. Step by step I have been increasing my speed. I have to be satisfied with what we've done here." And tomorrow? "I hope to take advantage of the road position. It's been a hard time for me, so a good result would be good for the championship."

Fri 16:51 - SS7: Prokop
"After the puncture earlier I took it very carefully, avoiding all the rocks I could."

Fri 16:50 - SS7: Sordo
A clean run from the Spaniard, but he reckons he was wrong to choose the soft compound tyre.

Fri 16:49 - SS7: Neuville
He completes with four tyres almost completely worn and his car missing its under-shield. "I got a noise after a few kilometres - which turned out to be the sump guard coming loose. We lost it later and had to be very careful over the rocks. We are very lucky to get here."

Fri 16:45 - SS7: Meeke
Closest to Ogier so far - just 0.9sec adrift. "I think we made a mistake this afternoon with the tyres. These stages were softer than we were expecting. We need more experience of these new roads."

Fri 16:44 - SS7: Mikkelsen
The end of a strong first day in VW's 2015-spec Polo - but he can't hide his surprise to see Seb's time. "We raised the car for this stage, it was a clean one, no problem, were were not pushing to the limits."

Fri 16:41 - SS7: Ostberg
He's disappointed to see Ogier has beaten him on stage by 2.8sec. "I thought I had made a good tyre choice in there. I thought I did a good stage, but so did he..."

Fri 16:40 - SS7: Ogier
He's through Friday's stages in one piece but is quickly out of the Polo to check the state of his tyres. The front-right is badly worn. "This stage was better than the first (SS5) but there's still a lot of gravel on the line." And tomorrow? "It's going to be tough. We'll do what we can but it's not easy with this [road opening] disadvantage."

Fri 16:30 - Up next: SS7
Straight across to the final stage - the repeat of Viana do Castelo. Championship leader Ogier began the test at 1625hrs.

Fri 16:25 - SS6: Fuchs
[WRC 2] "Stopped to change a right-rear puncture. Okay, lots of rocks around but I didn't hit anything."

Fri 16:22 - SS6: Camili
[WRC 2] Tracking system shows his Fiesta stopped just 1km into the stage. He rejoined the event this morning after knocking two wheels off his car on Thursday's Super Special.

Fri 16:20 - SS6: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] Nasser is the fastest WRC 2 driver through so far, and the third driver in a row to collect a puncture (a rear left). "It's so rocky. We have to raise the car before the next stage."

Fri 16:18 - SS6: Bertelli
He completes with the loss of around five minutes. "Another puncture," he explains. "I have no idea where it happened."

Fri 16:17 - SS6: Al Kuwari
[WRC 2] "I have a front-right puncture. I had it for six or seven kilometres."

Fri 16:14 - WRC top 5 after SS6
[+ times compared to leader]: Ogier the stage winner. 1. Latvala (VW): 55m49.3s, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +7.4s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +10.9s, 4. Sordo (Hyundai): +14.1s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +14.4s

Fri 16:09 - SS6: Kubica
"All okay but a lot of ruts and rocks around. We already raised the car a bit because of the ruts but for sure we will have to raise it some more before the next one."

Fri 16:06 - SS6: Bertelli stopped
His Fiesta is 9.4km into the stage

Fri 16:06 - SS6: Paddon
"Really rough and hard on the car. We had it set way too low and the sump guard took a battering in the ruts."

Fri 16:04 - SS6: Tanak
Third-quickest despite a cautious run. "Really rough compared to the earlier pass but okay, we are here. Definitely hard on the tyres. We have to keep nursing."

Fri 16:02 - SS6: Latvala
Latvala slots second-quickest, 2.6sec adrift of Ogier. His lead now up to 7.4sec. "I was surprised how rough it was. But generally good."

Fri 16:00 - SS6: Prokop
"Really, really tough. A lot of sharp rocks. We have a puncture on the rear so we had to slow for the final section."

Fri 15:58 - SS6: Sordo
He is quicker than his team-mate Neuville by 4.5sec. He leaps from his car at the finish to check his tyres. No problems.

Fri 15:56 - SS6: Neuville
Slowest through so far. "Very rough. I went with stiffer springs. Not so bad. We have to be careful though, tomorrow is a long day."

Fri 15:54 - SS6: Meeke
So far he is closest to Ogier's time (+3.9sec) but it doesn't sound like an easy ride. "Unbelievable. Incredibly rough. Just bouncing about - I struggled to see the road."

Fri 15:52 - SS6: Mikkelsen
Slower than Ogier by 4.3sec. "I'm really surprised by how rough it was in there. The car was too low for the ruts - there were a lot of stones about."

Fri 15:50 - SS6: Ostberg
5sec slower than Ogier, and it sounds like his tyre choice was based on the next stage. "It was okay. I have my own tyre choice here and I knew we were going to suffer, so pretty much as I expected."

Fri 15:49 - SS6: Ogier
First to complete. His time is 10m49.6. Ogier jumps straight out of his Polo to inspect his tyres. The right-front is looking very worn. Is there a problem? "No problem but the stage was very, very rough."

Fri 15:39 - Tyre choices
Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres the Michelin runners left service with for Friday afternoon's loop: Meeke/Neuville: 4S

Fri 15:28 - Elfyn Evans update
He has retired from the day after the electronic throttle on his Fiesta RS failed on SS2. “The really unfortunate thing is that it wasn’t a new part," said Evans. "It’s something that’s very much tried and tested but it’s just one of those things. It will be a relatively easy fix for the technicians and I’m sure we’ll be back tomorrow."

Fri 13:17 - Next stage: SS6
After service, competitors will head to the start of SS6 which is due to start on schedule at 1535hrs.

Fri 13:13 - SS5 Cancelled
Rally organisers have cancelled the re-running of the Ponte de Lima stage, which was due to start the afternoon loop at 1450hrs, because of nearby forest fires.

Fri 12:38 - Up next: Service
WRC crews are making their way back to the Exponor Service Park in Matosinhos for the midday 30-minute halt. First car is in at 1255hrs. Watch the service in real time via our WRC Live stream cameras

Fri 12:34 - SS4: Evans
Running way out of order after his earlier problem. "We had a problem, no throttle response at all. It took us a long time to work it out and it's still not perfect. Okay, it's not the start we wanted but at least we're getting some experience of these stages."

Fri 12:32 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS4
[+ times compared to leader] 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 47m12.0, 2. Al Rajhi (Ford Fiesta RRC): +11.8sec, 3. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +18.7sec, 4. Lefebvre (DS 3 R5): +43.1sec, 5. Al-Kuwari (Ford Fiesta R5): +47.9s

Fri 12:20 - SS4: Tidemand
[WRC 2] "The brakes started to go midway through the stage. By the end they were gone. That's rally..."

Fri 12:12 - WRC top 5 after SS4
[+ times compared to leader]: Latvala leaps into the lead. 1. Latvala (VW): 44m57.1s, 2. Meeke (DS 3): +6.1s, 3. Mikkelsen (VW): +9.2s, 4. Sordo (Hyundai): +12.3s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +14.3s

Fri 12:09 - SS4: Lefebvre
[WRC 2] More engine concerns for the Frenchman. His dash shows oil and water temperature warning lights.

Fri 12:07 - SS4: Al-Attiyah
[WRC 2] The Qatari leads WRC 2 after the morning loop. "We have had a good run on all three stages. The car has run without a problem. Now we will try to improve a couple of things in service - maybe stiffen the car to give us more precision."

Fri 12:04 - SS4: Ketomaa
His Fiesta arrives at the finish control with its front-left wheel running out of alignment. "The car wanted to go somewhere I didn't," explains the Finn. "I don't know what is broken but I hope we can get back to service because we have no spares."

Fri 12:00 - SS4: Al Qassimi update
He didn't leave the start line because his car's handbrake was stuck on! Problem fixed now but he is on his way back to service. Retired from the day.

Fri 11:58 - SS4: Kubica
Front-right puncture. A lot of wheel rim damage too. " I didn't hit anything. I have no idea what happened. The wheel has damage because of the puncture - soon after we had a small off." He leaves for service shaking his head.

Fri 11:52 - SS4: Al Qassimi
The Abu Dhabi driver has not started the stage.

Fri 11:51 - SS4: Paddon
The Kiwi impresses with a stage time just 5.6sec off Latvala's. That's second quickest so far.

Fri 11:48 - SS4: Tanak
The Estonian rounds off the morning loop in fifth. His tyres are badly worn. "We've had to nurse them through."

Fri 11:47 - SS4: Latvala
The Finn leaps into the lead with a hugely impressive time, 6.3sec quicker than Meeke. "It was a big push. I like this stage, the surface is loose but [with my road position] if you have this opportunity you have to take it. I haven't done a time like this for a long time."

Fri 11:44 - SS4: Prokop
He's struggling to get to grips with his new Fiesta RS. Pre-rally he completed just an afternoon of testing. "I need more time in this new car"

Fri 11:43 - SS4: Sordo
The Spaniard round off an impressive morning with second-fastest time so far. "We need a little bit more traction but generally all good."

Fri 11:40 - SS4: Neuville
He completes 9.8sec slower than Meeke, and he's doubting his Friday tyre strategy. "I'm the only one with the hard tyres, I tried to save the softs for tomorrow. I lost a little more today than I expected. I'll try to fight back tomorrow."

Fri 11:38 - SS4: Meeke flies!
He is 5.1sec quicker than Mikkelsen and leaps into the rally lead. "I was a little concerned to see Mikkelsen's tyres before the stage - they were much better than mine. But maybe they work well when they're worn? I think this rally is going to be won or lost on tyre strategy."

Fri 11:35 - Evans update
On the move again. He in currently midway through SS3

Fri 11:33 - SS4: Mikkelsen
The Norwegian is fastest of the trio through so far. "We will lose a lot in the loose to the guys behind. We had a good drive and I'm happy with my morning. Not so much of an attack but we are on the pace. That's a good feeling."

Fri 11:32 - SS4: Ostberg
His front tyres are completely finished. He's 2.7sec slower than Ogier but sounds pretty relaxed. "A difficult stage, I feel I lack some experience opening the road. There were some lines from Seb, okay, but it was very, very difficult. I learned a lot."

Fri 11:30 - SS4: Ogier
First on the road is not the place you want to be here. "One of the worst stages I have ever driven for the sweeping," says Ogier. "Unbelievable. I expect to lose at least 1sec per kilometer to the guys behind."

Fri 11:28 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS3
[+ times compared to leader] 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 34m47.9, 2. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +4.6sec, 3. Al Rajhi (Ford Fiesta RRC): +16.0sec, 4. Ketomaa (Ford Fiesta R5): +26.0sec, 5. Al-Kuwari (Ford Fiesta R5): +39.6s

Fri 11:19 - Stage notes SS4:
Viana do Castelo 1, 18.73km. This is the fastest stage of the day and also the test with the most loose gravel on the surface to hinder early starters. There are several surface changes and plenty of climbing. A short section of cobblestones offers a different challenge and the final kilometres run between wind farms on a wide road.

Fri 11:18 - Up next: SS4
Stages coming thick and fast... Ogier began SS4 - the final stage of the morning loop - at 1115hrs

Fri 11:17 - WRC top 5 after SS3
[+ times compared to leader]: Ostberg the stage winner. 1. Mikkelsen (VW): 33m16.6s, 2. Meeke (DS 3) +02.0s, 3. Latvala (VW) +2.2s, 4. Sordo (Hyundai): +4.0s, 5. Tanak (Ford): +7.4s

Fri 11:13 - SS3: Lefebvre
"We had a water temperature alarm on the stage. We need to go and have a look."

Fri 11:10 - SS3: Al-Kuwari
[WRC 2] The Qatari is concerned about tyre wear "the car is moving about a lot"

Fri 11:08 - SS3: Ketomaa
[WRC 2] Reports a lack of engine power. "It's very noticeable in the long uphill sections. Hopefully the team can fix it in service."

Fri 11:06 - SS3: Bertelli
He has a rear left puncture and completes 1m32s slower than Ostberg. "I've had it for quite a lot - about half the stage."

Fri 11:03 - SS3: Kubica
"Everything is okay. We got an extra minute gap because I caught Al-Qassimi's dust on the previous stage."

Fri 11:00 - SS3: Kubica gap
He started the stage 1min late. We'll find out why soon...

Fri 11:00 - SS3: Al Qassimi
"A better rhythm for me, but lots of rocks in the road, pulled out by the cars in front."

Fri 10:58 - SS3: Paddon
"We don't have much tyre left - especially at the rear. The roads have come out a bit harder than we were expecting."

Fri 10:57 - SS2: Stopped
After car 38 (Brazzoli) to allow organisers to recover a damaged zero car.

Fri 10:55 - SS3: Tanak
Seventh-quickest. He doesn't stop to discuss his stage.

Fri 10:54 - SS2: Breen update
[WRC 2] Confirmed retired. Engine problem.

Fri 10:54 - SS3: Latvala
He completes 0.3sec off Ostberg's time. "That's alright but I'm still hesitating too much. I need more wide-open throttle."

Fri 10:52 - SS3: Prokop
His car's brakes are back to full strength."We fixed a brake caliper problem on the road section. It's all okay now."

Fri 10:51 - SS3: Sordo
6.4sec slower than Ostberg. A steady run "just driving in the lines" no repeat of the engine issue he reported earlier

Fri 10:50 - SS3: Neuville
He drops 7.7sec to Ostberg but says he factored the loss into his tyre strategy. "It was okay but we have to mention we are the only ones with some hard tyres on the car and it looks like that wasn't the best on the first stage but I think it will be better in the long run..."

Fri 10:46 - SS3: Meeke
The Brit completes 1.4sec slower than his team-mate Ostberg.

Fri 10:42 - SS3: Mikkelsen
He's 2.3sec slower than Ostberg but seems satisfied enough. "Very, very fast. A good stage for us. I'm trying to save the tyres a bit - I expect the next stage will be tough."

Fri 10:39 - SS3: Ostberg
He completes 7.4sec quicker than Ogier. "It was okay. Good pace, good rhythm. A bit slippery but I'm happy with that time."

Fri 10:38 - SS3: Ogier
First on the road and first to complete. How was it? "Yeah, better than the first one but these conditions are extremely difficult. Huge road cleaning." His time is 10m56.3

Fri 10:32 - SS2: Breen
[WRC 2] Craig Breen is stopped at the 16.7km point.

Fri 10:32 - Stage notes SS3
Caminha 1, 18.05km. Caminha is predominantly in the open with spectacular views over the Atlantic Ocean near the finish. Run mainly on mid-sized roads, the surface is bumpy but it’s fast in places with several long straights.

Fri 10:31 - Up next: SS3
We're straight across to SS3 now. Ogier began the test at 1025hrs

Fri 10:30 - SS2: Evans update
Elfyn is still working on the car. Electrical problem.

Fri 10:29 - WRC top 5 after SS2
[+ times compared to leader]: Sordo the stage winner, Evans stops. 1. Sordo (Hyundai): 22m25.3s, 2. Mikkelsen (VW) +0.1s 3. Tanak (Ford) +2.0s, 4. Meeke (DS 3): +3.0s, 5. Latvala (VW): +4.3s

Fri 10:27 - SS2: Kubica
Ninth-fastest so far. "Okay, no big dramas. I drove nicely without any problems."

Fri 10:26 - SS2: Tanak
A fine second-fastest time for Tanak in the new Fiesta. "Lots of rocks around and my pace notes need work. The car feels great, no changes there."

Fri 10:23 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Cross tyres cars left service with for Friday morning's loop: Ogier: 4S

Fri 10:19 - SS2: Latvala
Fifth-fastest. A clean run, but Latvala is another to report a lot of smoke drifting across the stage.

Fri 10:17 - SS2: Prokop
He is 54.8sec slower than Sordo. "We have no rear brakes. I don't know what it is, we have to fix it."

Fri 10:14 - SS2: Sordo
Quickest so far in 19m41.5s but he reports a strange noise coming from his Hyundai's engine.

Fri 10:12 - SS2: Neuville
He completes 28.9sec slower than Mikkelsen. Is the car okay? "Everything is good, but I had a very bad stage, I couldn't find the rhythm. There were lots of stones and I wanted to be careful with the tyres."

Fri 10:10 - SS2: Meeke
Second quickest so far, 0.7sec off Mikkelsen's pace. "A beautiful stage, really good rhythm but a few big rocks around too. I'm really happy with my stage."

Fri 10:07 - SS2: Evans stops!
His all-new Fiesta RS is at the 24.7km point. He is talking to his engineer over the team radio

Fri 10:06 - SS2: Mikkelsen
Fastest so far - 9.3sec quicker than Ogier! And he's making it sound easy..."A steady run. The car is really, really nice. I love it!"

Fri 10:05 - SS2: Ostberg
He's 0.5sec slower than Ogier, and awe-struck by the look of the area that was ravaged by forest fires yesterday. "From 18km to the end there is smoke and fire everywhere - it looks like a movie set."

Fri 10:03 - SS2: Ogier completes
He's first through in 19m53.6 but he's straight out of his Polo to look at a soft rear-right tyre. "I had it for a long time but I don't know why - it was a clean ride. I hope I have a bit more luck on the ones to come," he says.

Fri 10:00 - SS2: Splits watch
Neuville is 17sec slower than Mikkelsen at the 10.8km split

Fri 09:56 - SS2: Splits watch
Fastest on stage so far, Mikkelsen is 3.7sec quicker than Ogier at the 10.8km split point

Fri 09:46 - SS2: Live and on time!
Ogier began the test on schedule at 0940hrs.

Fri 09:45 - Junior WRC
Osian Pryce leads after Thursday's Super Special. Here is the Junior WRC top 5 after SS1 [+ times compared to leader]: 1. Pryce: 2m,59.6s, 2. McKenna: +1.3s 3. Tempestini: +1.4s, 4. Veiby: +1.6s, 5. Gilbert: +1.8s

Fri 09:40 - WRC Live
The WRC Live radio team are on air! Open up the radio popup here

Fri 09:37 - Stage notes SS2
Ponte de Lima 1, 27.53km. Parts of this stage have been used in the past. After a very short initial asphalt section, the road comprises smooth gravel on top of a clay base. It’s wide but extremely twisty, with hardly a straight to speak of. The final few kilometres are rougher but nothing too worrying. The longest stage of the day.

Fri 09:37 - Start intervals
All crews will start Friday's stages at 2min intervals

Fri 09:36 - Start order
P1 registered crews will run in championship order today. Here’s how the WRC crews will line up: 1) Ogier, 2) Ostberg, 3) Mikkelsen, 4) Evans, 5) Meeke, 6) Neuville, 7) Sordo, 8) Prokop, 9) Latvala, 10) Tanak, 11) Paddon, 12) Al Qassimi, 13) Kubica, 14) Bertelli.

Fri 09:32 - SS2: Fire update
It took 240 people, 60 vehicles and 18 hours to bring the forest fires under control close to SS2

Fri 09:31 - SS2: Delayed
Friday's opening stage, Ponte de Lima, was due to start at 0940hrs. It will be delayed to allow fire trucks to clear the area - they were on scene to attend to a nearby forest fire

Fri 09:21 - Weather update
Sunrise was 0609hrs and again we have clear skies above service. The current temperature of 17ºC should rise to 22ºC by the afternoon. It's the same story at the end of SS2. Only a light breeze though, which could mean dust problems ahead

Fri 09:14 - Coming up today
Friday’s route takes the crews north towards the Spanish border. The cars set off from parc ferme at 0800hrs for a loop of three stages, including Ponte de Lima (27.53km), Caminha (18.05km) and Viana do Castelo (18.73km). All three are repeated after a midday service.

Fri 09:14 - Welcome back
To our live text coverage of Vodafone Rally de Portugal

Thu 20:47 - Leaders through
And that's the end of our Live text coverage for tonight. We will return on Friday morning when the rally resumes with SS2 - Ponte de Lima - at 0940hrs. Bye for now.

Thu 20:44 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS1
[+ times compared to leader] 1. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): 2m46.7, 2. Ketomaa (Ford Fiesta R5): +0.3sec, 3. Tidemand (Skoda Fabia R5): +1.5sec, 4. Kruuda (DS 3 R5): +1.7sec, 5. Al-Kuwari (Ford Fiesta R5): +1.8s

Thu 20:39 - SS1: No notes for Koci
[WRC 2] "A few seconds before the stage my co-driver intercom stopped working. I did the whole stage with no pace-notes," he explains. He completes 9.4sec slower than WRC 2 leader Nasser Al-Attiyah

Thu 20:21 - SS1: Camili out!
[WRC 2] The Toyota-backed youngster has lost two wheels from his Fiesta R5. His heat partner Jonathan Hirschi says the Frenchman smacked the wall on the very FIRST corner. The car is parked up - that's all from him for today

Thu 20:18 - WRC top 5 after SS1
[+ times compared to leader]: 1. Mikkelsen (VW): 2m41.1s, 2. Ogier (VW) +0.5s 3. Latvala (VW) +0.8s, 4. Kubica (Ford): +1.4s, 5. Neuville (Hyundai): +2.1s

Thu 20:05 - SS1: Fuel leak for Al-Kuwari
[WRC 2] His car completes with flames licking the engine bay. The crew quickly extinguish the blaze and set off back to service. "A fuel leak" explains Al-Kuwari.

Thu 20:00 - SS1: Ogier vs Ostberg
The headline duel goes Ogier's way by 1.8sec - but he can't match Mikkelsen who wins the stage by 0.5sec. With Latvala third, the stage ends with a Volkswagen 1-2-3 and in the same order as today's shakedown! "It was okay but not easy though - there was a lot of dust and I braked way too early for the hairpin. Tomorrow will be the real start," says Ogier. Ostberg sounded happy just to complete the stage having rolled his DS3 at Shakedown this morning. "The car is running perfectly, no problems. I'm pleased to get through and see that everything is working properly."

Thu 19:54 - SS1: Sordo vs Latvala
Latvala wins the heat, to slot second quickest overall, 0.8sec behind his team-mate Mikkelsen. Latvala says: "My four soft tyres were okay, but in the long right-hand corner maybe the hard compound would have been better." Sordo is seventh fastest. "It's really nice to see so many spectators here - and to drive so close to my home," he says.

Thu 19:49 - SS1: Meeke vs Neuville
Neuville slots third fastest and is straight out to check his tyres. "I tried a mix of tyres here. If felt okay but I went a bit wide on the first corner." Meeke is 0.1sec slower but seems happy enough. "Everybody is playing a game here to try and save their tyres. I've got to be happy to finish one-tenth off Thierry."

Thu 19:45 - SS1: Mikkelsen vs Evans
Mikkelsen is the new man to beat in a time of 2m41.1s. It's a terrific start to his first event in Volkswagen's 2015-spec Polo R. "It was great fun, a great way to kick off the rally. A clean stage but really dusty and hard to see in places." Evans completes 3.3sec slower. And he's not surprised. "I'm not great on Super Specials," he explains. "I don't like them and I need to put that right. There are a long two days to come. I'm really looking forward to the rest of it."

Thu 19:39 - SS1: Paddon vs Kubica
Paddon's Hyundai is trailing an enormous Portuguese flag from its rear wing. The spectators love it but Kubica is faster - and quickest so far in 2m42.5s. "It's amazing to see so many people in here - it makes it a pleasure," says Paddon. Kubica, who missed Rally Argentina to re-structure his team says: "All good - it's been a long break for me - three months since Mexico - so not easy to get used to a new car on gravel. For sure it will not be easy but we will try."

Thu 19:33 - SS1: Bertelli vs Tanak
And that's two more all-new Fiesta RS WRC cars. Bertelli is faster than Tanak by 0.6sec - but 0.2sec slower than Prokop. "We did quite a big mistake [in a hairpin] but it's okay." says Bertelli. "We had some mixed tyres so a bit so-and-so in places but a good feeling," says Tanak.

Thu 19:28 - SS1: Prokop vs Al Qassimi
In a time of 2m43.7s, Prokop is now the driver to beat. It's a great start to his first event in M-Sport's all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car. He's got to be happy with that. "It's great. It went well. A really nice start." Al Qassimi reckons his choice of hard compound tyres cost him the heat. "We wanted to save our softs for later in the event," he says.

Thu 19:23 - SS1: Al-Attiyah vs Lefebvre
[WRC 2] Goes Al-Attiyah's way. And in a new benchmark time of 2m46.7s. His car is trailing a massive Portuguese flag - and that gets him the best crowd reaction so far. He completes his warm-down lap hanging out of his car and waving - Petter Solberg style. "So many spectators here, and we are really happy to be here back in the north!"

Thu 19:18 - SS1: Ketomaa fastest!
[WRC 2] He beats Lappi by 1.8sec. And he's delighted. "I had to push hard to catch Esapekka. It was very nice though - great fun, a great stage and lots of spectators," says Ketomaa. Lappi says: "You have to lose sometimes so you can win - hopefully Sunday will my day! No big surprise though - Tyre tactics are crucial here. I made my choice for the rally - not for tonight."

Thu 19:12 - SS1: Campos the man to beat
[WRC 2] The Portuguese driver is quickest of the four through so far. His time: 2m49.2s.

Thu 19:10 - SS1: Ketomaa vs Lappi
[WRC 2] On stage now. This is Lappi's first WRC appearance in Skoda's new R5 Fabia.

Thu 18:59 - Watch SS1 LIVE
SS1 is the first of this year's Portugal stages to be streamed live. Watch all the action at WRC+

Thu 18:52 - Stage notes: SS1
Lousada, 3.36km. A fan-favourite super special stage that dates back to the last occasion on which the rally was in northern Portugal. Two cars at-a-time run alongside each other on the mixed surface Lousada rallycross circuit. Two laps provide great entertainment for the 35,000 fans.

Thu 18:51 - Tyre choices
News in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard (H) or soft (S)) of the LTX Force tyres cars left with for the Super Special: Paddon/Sordo: 5H. Neuville/Citroën: 3S

Thu 18:43 - Weather update
Clear blue skies above service right now, with a temperature of 19ºC and a brisk breeze. No chance of rain for tonight's stage. Sunset will be at 2051hrs.

Thu 18:37 - Thursday's start order
Organisers have created some interesting pairings for the opening head-to-head stage at Lousada rallycross circuit. First on stage from 1901hrs, to warm the crowds, will be four WRC 2 duels - starting with two heats for Portuguese crews. The first WRC class battle will be between Martin Prokop and Khalid Al Qassimi - the drivers 9th and 10th in the order

Thu 18:29 - Cars update
The first car in tonight's start list, the Skoda Fabia S2000 of Portuguese driver Pedro Meireles, crossed the podium in Guimarães at 1810hrs. The other 93 entries will follow at two-minute intervals.

Thu 18:15 - Shakedown update
We've already had some action today in Portugal - when Andreas Mikkelsen topped a VW 1-2-3 at the pre-event shakedown. Read our report here

Thu 18:11 - WRC Live
Our live radio service will be broadcasting tonight and right throughout the rally. Open up the radio popup here.

Thu 18:06 - Coming up tonight
A ceremonial start in Guimarães and just one competitive stage this evening - a prelude to the main competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Thu 18:02 - Portugal preview
Don't miss our preview magazine show for the rally. It's available to view now at WRC+

Thu 18:00 - We're in position
At the live text desk, this week nestled in the undergrowth next to the Service Park in host town Matosinhos

Thu 17:59 - Boa noite
Olá from Portugal and welcome to our text coverage of Vodafone Rally de Portugal - round five of the FIA World Rally Championship

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Leon, México


Wind: 23 km/h











Tramo Nombre Distancia (Km) Primer coche Status
Día 1 - 21.05.2015
SS1 Lousada (SSS) 3.36 19:01 COMPLETED
Día 2 - 22.05.2015
SS2 Ponte de Lima 1 27.53 09:40 INTERRUPTED
SS3 Caminha 1 18.05 10:25 COMPLETED
SS4 Viana do Castelo 1 18.73 11:15 COMPLETED
SS5 Ponte de Lima 2 27.53 14:50 CANCELLED
SS6 Caminha 2 18.05 15:35 COMPLETED
SS7 Viana do Castelo 2 18.73 16:25 COMPLETED
Día 3 - 23.05.2015
SS8 Baião 1 18.57 08:54 COMPLETED
SS9 Marão 1 26.30 09:35 COMPLETED
SS10 Fridão 1 37.67 11:02 COMPLETED
SS11 Baião 2 18.57 14:39 RUNNING
SS12 Marão 2 26.30 15:20 RUNNING
SS13 Fridão 2 37.67 16:47 RUNNING
Día 4 - 24.05.2015
SS14 Fafe 1 11.15 08:08 TO RUN
SS15 Vieira do Minho 32.35 08:53 TO RUN
SS16 Fafe 2 (Power Stage) 11.15 11:08 TO RUN