Thu 09 May 2024

Sordo wins Portugal shakedown, Rovanperä hindered by technical issue

Dani Sordo set the pace in Thursday morning’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal shakedown – despite it being his first FIA World Rally Championship start in almost six months.

The Spaniard, back in action for the first time since FORUM8 Rally Japan last November, wasted no time getting up to speed on his 190th WRC rally. He led a Hyundai i20 N 1-2-3 on the Baltar shakedown, narrowly beating team-mates Ott Tänak and Thierry Neuville by 0.5sec and 0.9sec respectively.

Sordo set the pace on his second and penultimate run through the 4.61km stage. Reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä initially showed promise in his Toyota GR Yaris but was forced to return to the Matosinhos service park early due to a hybrid issue.

“I’m really excited to be back in the car, especially in Portugal,” Sordo said ahead of this fifth round of the season. “It’s always a special rally for everyone – both drivers and spectators. The ultimate goal in my mind is to win, but I am hoping to claim as many points as possible from the weekend for the team.”

Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier finished just a tenth behind Tänak in fourth. The Frenchman edged M-Sport Ford youngster Adrien Fourmaux by 0.1sec and is determined to redeem himself after going off the road in his previous Portuguese outing in 2022.

Toyota drivers Takamoto Katsuta and Elfyn Evans claimed sixth and seventh ahead of the delayed Rovanperä. Ninth place went to Grégoire Munster while WRC2 star Gus Greensmith completed the top 10.

The rally officially kicks off later today (Thursday) with crews tackling the Figueira da Foz super special stage before overnighting in Coimbra. 

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM