Sunday | 22 May 2016

Tidemand fightback nets WRC 2 win

Pontus Tidemand enhanced his WRC 2 title credentials after a strong recovery drive netted victory in the FIA World Rally Championship’s principal support category at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Sunday.

Tidemand, who finished second in his only previous outing in Sweden, won the four-day rough road event by 1min 28.8sec in a Skoda Fabia R5 from Peruvian Nicolas Fuchs.
The Swede built a comfortable lead before a puncture yesterday afternoon undid all his hard work and allowed Fuchs ahead. Tidemand regained the initiative on the next stage and rebuilt his advantage in today’s final leg in the hills east of the rally base of Matosinhos.
“It’s been a hard rally but I had a good car, co-driver and pace notes, and along with the atmosphere here it all helps. It was more or less the perfect rally, I would say. A great start for the championship in WRC 2 and the title remains the target,” said Tidemand.
With no pressure from behind, Fuchs adopted a safety-first strategy today and climbed to second in the points in his Fabia R5 following victory in Argentina last month.
A thrilling fight for third ended with Marius Aasen edging Scott Pedder by two-tenths of a second in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Australian Pedder stormed back up the leaderboard after losing three minutes with a puncture on Friday and overhauled Aasen for third this morning. However, a final stage spin allowed the Norwegian back onto the podium.
Local hero Miguel Campos finished fifth in another Fabia R5 with Belgian Ghislain de Mevius completing the top six in a similar car.
Elfyn Evans retained the championship lead despite a miserable weekend. His Fiesta R5 lacked power on Friday and a roll ended his challenge yesterday morning. He restarted today but finished out of the points in 15th.

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