4th round, Rally de Portugal
First win for Evans
Brits Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin combined speed and consistency, to claim their first win for 2021, in the first gravel event of the year.
Before that, Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja were forced to retire with suspension damage, albeit the were holding a healthy lead.
Spaniards Dani Sordo-Borja Rozada, who had led the classification during first day, finished in second place, at their first outing as a crew.
Having benefited from bad luck and retirements of their rivals, Sebastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia claimed third spot of the podium and kept the lead in the Overall Standings.
Takamoto Katsuta-Dan Barritt finished fourth, in what was both the best performance and result -until the following one, as things turned out- in the career of the Japanese driver.
The Top-6 was completed by two M-Sport Ford crews, Gus Greensmith-Chris Patterson και Adrien Fourmaux-Renaud Jamoul. By finishing 5th, the young Brit equalized his previous best WRC result, in Rally Turkey 2020, whilst the young Frenchman debuted in a gravel WRC rally with top class machinery.
Except from Tanak-Jarveoja, the main retirements consist of Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe and Kalle Rovanpera-Jonne Halttunen. The Belgians retired with broken suspension following a small roll and the Finns, were forced out of the event with technical problems.
Finns Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (Movisport, Volkswagen Polo R5) returned to action in style, by making it “2 out of 2” in WRC2.
Poles Kajetan Kajetanowicz-Maciej Szczepanjak (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) claimed the top WRC3 spot for the second consecutive time, after Rally Croatia.
Rally de Portugal
Special Stages: 20
Length: 337,51 kms.
Final Classification – Top 10
1 E. Evans-S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC 3:38:26.2
2 D. Sordo-B. Rozada Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +28.3
3 S. Ogier-J. Ingrassia Toyota Yaris WRC +1:23.6
4 T. Katsuta-D. Barritt Toyota Yaris WRC +2:28.4
5 G. Greensmith-C. Patterson Ford Fiesta WRC +4:52.7
6 A. Fourmaux-R. Jamoul Ford Fiesta WRC +5:03.4
7 E. Lappi-J. Ferm Volkswagen Polo R5/1st WRC2 +9:37.2
8 T. Suninen-M. Markkula Ford Fiesta Rally2 MkII/2ndWRC2 +11:20.0
9 M. Ostberg-T. Eriksen Citroen C3 Rally2/3rd WRC2 +12:01.5
10 N. Gryazin-K. Alexandrov Volkswagen Polo R5/4thWRC2 +12:35.8
Fastest times: Tanak 8, Evans 5, Sordo 4, Rovanpera-Ogier-Neuville 1
Rally leader/stage: Tanak 1, Sordo 2-6, Tanak 7-13, Evans 14-20