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Latvala won the pole position shoot-out so he’s elected to start 17th with Petter just before him in 16th. Before them there are another two Fords in the shape of Novikov and Ostberg. Hirvonen and Loeb have opted to go first and second respectively. Differing strategies from Citroen and Ford. Citroen wanting to minimise the likelihood of dust in the evening and Ford electing to run in as little gravel as possible.
Looks like the first few stages will belong to Ford.
You can see a full list of the running order here…
Certainly looks like Ford will dominate the first stages and my bet for the win is Latvala. I just hope he doesn’t screw everything.
I’d love him to get another win, keep the pressure on Loeb. He’s fast, sometimes too fast for his own good?
First stage goes live this afternoon, 15:00 GMT.
Sébastien Loeb seems to have crashed on SS2 Gomes Aires. I’ll look for more information.
And by the way, Citröen will lose with their strategy as it has rained just enough and the dust is dissipating quickly.
The Rally de Portugal is certainly taking its toll on the drivers. Sébastien Loeb seems to be off the road at SS3 Santa Clara. Several drivers have reported to have seen him on the side of the road but haven’t seen the car. Dani Sordo had an electrical fault and had no headlights, so couldn’t take the night stage and is off the Rally. Armindo Araújo had an off because of a misunderstanding, but is back on the road, having lost 5 minutes. And Martin Prokop is having engine problems.
Looks like Ford will win the Rally de Portugal for the first time since 1999.
Sébastien just talked to the Portuguese radio and just said that he misunderstood a note and he crashed. He rolled over and he just said “It seems to be the end.”
Citröen just said: “Unfortunately, Seb and Daniel won’t restart tomorrow after they went off in SS3 as the car is too damaged. However, both of them are OK.”
The rollcage was reported to have bent on the roof.
Heavy Rain Causes Chaos in Portugal
As Day 2 starts with Stage 5, Six drivers have suffered off’s in the incredibly slipperey wet stages. The big name was Jari-Matti Latvala, who has crashed out. Also suffering problems have been Craig Breen, Thierry Neuville, Sebastien Ogier, Hayden Paddon and Ott Tanak, who was running 4th at the start of the day. It has been reported that Tanak has retired.
It’s being a crazy rally. I thought we had a crazy night yesterday with Loeb off, Araújo with a problem and Sordo having electrical issues. Now Sordo is being more than a minute faster than the leaders, Latvala is off the rally, the SWRC seems to have lost the two drivers that were fighting for the lead. It’s being an absolutely crazy rally. Now I can’t recall who said it, but a driver said in the end of SS6, when asked about the conditions: “Madness!”.
There is fog , heavy rain for the first time this year in Portugal, it’s very windy, and the conditions of the road are just deteriorating as the cars go past.
And Petter Solberg is stopped too. I still don’t know if it is a crash, but he is stopped at Alcarias. I’ll give you more information soon.
Oh no, not Tanak, he just scored his first stage win (I think it’s his first)!
I was following it last night and Loeb’s car is a definite wreck. Is Latvala actually retiring then? I just checked the live text and I saw that he was missing but didn’t realise it was so bad.
Sordo through SS6 48.2s quicker than anyone else. That is impressive, very impressive.
Just pasted this from the live wrc.com feed..
13:24 Solberg stopped
Reports from the stage that Petter Solberg has stopped
13:20 Update on Latvala
Reports saying that Jari-Matti Latvala hit a rock on SS5, which threw him into a ditch.
Is it all going wrong at Ford now?
Hirvonen just needs to take it very easy now, this is his to lose if there are going to be major issues at Ford.
I’m hearing the live radio stream from the Portuguese radio, Antena 3. They have a reporter at the end of each SS, just like World Rally Radio.
Ford does seem to be getting all wrong today, and Mikko Horvonen now has a 34 second lead over Otsberg and 48 over Novikov.
It’s craziest rally I’ve ever seen!
Looks like Ostberg and Novikov are going to be the Ford works team this weekend!
Dani Sordo just said “F***” when he was told Solberg was off the rally. Armindo Araújo began the day on the 33rd place, but is now on the 1th place. Dani Sordo has too recovered many places, but I don’t know where he is right now on the classification.
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