WRC 2 in Portugal:
Dominant Tidemand claims lead
Pontus Tidemand recovered from a disappointing Friday to claim all six stage victories on Saturday and move into the lead of the WRC 2 class at Vodafone Rally de Portugal.
The Skoda Fabia R5 driver started the day 1m 44.6sec off the lead in fifth place after two a double puncture yesterday, but he combined blistering pace with bad luck befalling his rivals to move his way up the order.
By lunch-time service he was second, with 49.4sec to make up to Stéphane Lefebvre. Another three wins on the afternoon loop sealed his place at the top of the class at the end of the day.
He was helped by a puncture for Lefebvre on SS14 and then brake and transmission problems cost the C3 R5 driver more than two minutes one stage later. The Frenchman finished the day in third.
Overnight leader Gus Greensmith had a day to forget in his Ford Fiesta. On the opening Vieira do Minho test he had a puncture which forced him to use his spare, and then another tyre de-beaded. With no more spares, he had to be cautious through the next two stages.
Having slipped to sixth, he was quickly reclaiming the time he lost but had to retire with broken suspension on the road section before the second run of Amarante.
Benefiting from his retirement was Lukasz Pieniazek in a Fabia R5, who kept his second place despite a puncture of his own on SS14.
Fourth place went to Pierre-Louis Loubet. The Hyundai i20 R5 driver had a clean run through the tests to move to within 8.0sec of compatriot Lefebvre.
Toyota development driver Hiroki Arai grew in confidence as the day went on, with top-five stage times allowing him to claim fifth place before the final stages on Sunday.
Juuso Nordgren ended the day sixth in his Fabia, despite a puncture on SS14 slowing his progress.
Pedro Heller dropped out of the top five after a challenging day of his own. After a puncture this morning, he retired with mechanical issues 6.4km into SS15.
His team-mate Nil Solans also hit trouble on the final stage, retiring at the 24.1km mark.
Saturday in Portugal: Neuville takes control
Belgian doubles lead over Evans
SS13/14: Honours even
Neuville and Evans fight for seconds in the rain
SS12: Neuville pulls clear
Belgian’s Portugal advantage approaches 30sec