Sunday | 21 May 2017

Sunday in Portugal Mikkelsen error gifts Tidemand WRC 2 vic

Sweden's Pontus Tidemand was the surprise winner in the WRC 2 category at Vodafone Rally de Portugal after Andreas Mikkelsen crashed in the final stage.

Mikkelsen led from Thursday's opening super special and began today's rally-closing Power Stage with a lead of more than three minutes over Skoda team-mate Tidemand, and on course to take a dominant win.

But the Norwegian's world was turned upside down just one kilometre into the Fafe stage when he clipped a rock and rolled his Fabia R5 into retirement.

Tidemand passed Mikkelsen's stricken car in the stage and fended off a last ditch challenge from Teemu Suninen to secure the win by 11.2sec. It was Tidemand's fourth win from the four WRC 2 rounds he has started this year and moves him further clear at the top of the drivers' championship. 

"I feel sorry for Andreas, stopping on the last stage like this, he showed incredible speed. But okay, the win makes it a fantastic start to my season," said Tidemand.

"I'm enjoying my career at the moment. Again I want to thank the team because the car is aways 100 per cent. It is too early to talk about the championship, for now we need to stay concentrated."

Ford Fiesta R5 driver Suninen [below] slashed the gap to Tidemand by 14.1sec on the final stage but was left rueing a number of small errors he felt cost him a chance of victory.

Simone Tempestini claimed third in a Citroën DS 3, almost seven minutes behind Suninen. Miguel Campos was the highest placed Portuguese driver in fourth. Lukasz Pieniazek and Gus Greensmith rounded off the top six places.

The Fafe stage claimed another high profile scalp this morning when Quentin Gilbert crashed his Skoda at the famous jump near the finish. The Frenchman was fourth in WRC 2 when a nose-heavy landing sent the car rolling end-over-end [see below]. He and co-driver Renaud Jamoul were unharmed.

Head to WRC+ to see the latest onboard and video reports from Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

More News