Sunday | 06 Apr 2014

Rally de Portugal: Sunday update #3

Today in Portugal

The fourth and final day is a short sharp affair. Competitors face just three stages covering 43.87km, including two passes over the 13.83km Loulé test.

The second pass, and the final stage of the rally, is the live TV Power Stage, with bonus poiints on offer for the fastest three drivers.

Here are the major news stories as they unfolded: 

Update # 3: Mikkelsen into fourth

Andreas Mikkelsen climbed into fourth after overhauling Henning Solberg through the penultimate 16.21km Santa Brás de Alportel (SS15).

Mikkelsen was 11.4sec quicker than his fellow Norwegian to move his Volkswagen Polo R 8.7sec ahead with just the 13.83km Loulé Power Stage remaining.

“My rhythm was better on this one but it was so slippery in places. We try to fight with Henning but we’re not taking big risks. You need to play the game smart. I played the game smart here after my crash in Mexico and now I’m setting good stage times. It’s just what I wanted,” said Mikkelsen.

Seventh-placed Martin Prokop sliced the front left tyre on his Ford Fiesta RS after a slight error. “I went wide and straight over some forest and hit something,” said the Czech driver.

Update # 2: Lucky escape for Juho

Juho Hänninen counted himself lucky to finish the opening 13.83km Loulé (SS14) after swiping a tree on co-driver Tomi Tuominen’s side of their Hyundai i20 and putting a big dent in the door.

“I went wide close to the start and hit a tree. We were lucky to be able to continue,” explained the Finn.

Henning Solberg, up to fourth after the demise of Dani Sordo, was cryptic about something that bothered him in the stage. “I have to do some work on the car myself,” said the Norwegian, who wouldn’t expand further on what the issue was with his Ford Fiesta RS.

Solberg is just 2.7sec ahead of Andreas Mikkelsen after the VW Polo R pilot took 12.2sec back in the stage.

Update #1: Sordo out on road section

Dani Sordo was the first casualty of today’s fourth and final day of Rally de Portugal when the fourth-placed Spaniard parked his Hyundai i20 on the road section to the opening Loulé stage with a broken front left driveshaft.

Neither Ott Tänak nor Robert Kubica returned to the fray following their retirements yesterday.

Tänak rolled his Ford Fiesta RS out of third place and the roll cage was too badly damaged to continue, while Kubica damaged the transmission in his efforts to regain the road after his similar car slid down a bank.

Welshman Elfyn Evans will be first on the road for a second day.