ES1 : Østberg and Neuville à égalité
Mads Ostberg et Thierry Neuville se partagent les commandes de l’épreuve après la spéciale inaugurale du Vodafone Rally Portugal, disputée ce jeudi soir.
Stage info: SS1
Just two seconds covered the fastest 10 cars after a series of head-to-head duels at the mixed surface Lousada rallycross circuit, which opened four days of action in this sixth round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Østberg, driving a Ford Fiesta, defeated Hayden Paddon in their duel and said: “I saw after one lap that it was very close. I struggled a little on the second lap and made a few small mistakes which maybe cost a tenth of a second. But I won by a tenth, so I’m happy.”
Neuville faced Kris Meeke in the penultimate headline heat and the Belgian won by 2.0sec in a Hyundai i20 Coupe. “It was a great atmosphere to start the rally and I really enjoyed it. I’ve never had particularly good results in this rally so I will be looking for a podium,” he said.
Paddon’s narrow defeat nevertheless earned the Kiwi third in his i20 with Elfyn Evans a further two-tenths behind in fourth. Dani Sordo, who was fastest in this morning’s shakedown, and Sébastien Ogier completed the top six.
The action continues tomorrow when competitors journey up the coast towards the Spanish border for three stages near Viano do Castelo. After service in Matosinhos, the loop is repeated before two runs through a new asphalt street test in Braga. It adds up to 148.32km of competition.
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La surprise du shakedown pour Sordo
Meeke fully fit after Argentina smash
Citroën star eager for trouble-free run in Portugal
Un remake de l'Argentine pour Evans ?
Le Gallois espère repartir sur les mêmes bases...