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WRC Portugal: Evans extends lead over Rovanpera, Ogier and Loeb hit trouble again

Overnight pacesetter Evans managed to briefly extend his margin over championship leader Rovanpera after winning the day’s opening stage, before Rovanpera responded to close the gap to 10.2s.Evans then stamped his authority on the morning to win the final stage of the loop to open up an 18.4s lead over Rovanpera.The battle for the remaining podium spot...

M-Sport unsure if Loeb will rejoin Rally Portugal after shock retirement

The nine-time world champion clouted a wall on Stage 5 while leading the rally on his return to the World Rally Championship after winning the Monte Carlo season opener in January.The impact caused significant damage to the right rear suspension of the Ford Puma.Loeb apologised to the team for the rare error but the Ford squad is now in a race against...

Ogier in disbelief over puncture exit from Rally Portugal

The eight-time world champion’s hopes of recording a record sixth career Portugal victory ended on Friday afternoon after picking up a pair of punctures in consecutive stages.Ogier suffered a front left failure on Stage 6 when occupying third, only 4.8s behind leader Elfyn Evans. It dropped the Frenchman, contesting a partial World Rally Championship...

WRC Portugal: Evans leads Rovanpera after brutal Friday

Evans avoided a spate of punctures, technical issues and accidents that affected many of his rivals across the day’s surprisingly rough eight gravel stage.The Welshman claimed four stage wins, winning the final head-to-head super special to lead Rovanpera by 13.6s, with Hyundai’s Dani Sordo third, 44.4s adrift.Evans blitzed the first two stages to grab...

WRC Portugal: Punctures force Ogier into retirement

The eight-time world champion stopped on Stage 6 after suffering a front left puncture, losing more than two minutes in the process as he and co-driver Benjamin Veillas fitted a spare wheel.After winning Stage 5, Ogier had been sitting third, only 4.8s adrift of rally leader and Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans when the puncture occurred."It's rough, and...

Why WRC trailblazer Mouton has no regrets over missed title bid

Sport is littered with what could have been stories. Those sliding doors moments where victory is cruelly snatched away through circumstances outside of one's control can define a career.Forty years ago, trailblazer Michele Mouton bore the brunt of one of these agonising tales as an opportunity to lift the 1982 World Rally Championship was ripped from...

WRC Portugal: Loeb crashes out of the lead on Stage 5

The nine-time world champion appeared to misjudge the start of Stage 5 which resulted in terminal damage to his M-Sport Ford Puma.The Frenchman slid wide at the first corner of the Lousa 2 as the stage transitioned from asphalt to gravel, and as a result he hit a wall on the outside of the corner with the right rear.Loeb slowed to a crawl following...

WRC Portugal: Loeb overhauls Evans to hold slender lead

The nine-time world champion, returning to the championship with M-Sport, produced a blistering performance to win Stage 4 and shoot from seventh overall into a 0.5s lead over Toyota’s Evans.Evans had emerged as the man to beat on Friday morning after winning the first two stages to leapfrog Thierry Neuville, who started the day as the rally leader...

Toyota WRC boss Latvala to drive hydrogen-powered entry in Fuji 24 Hours

Latvala, 37, has been named as part of a six-driver line-up for Rookie Racing's ST-Q class #32 GR Corolla H2 Concept in the Super Taikyu blue-riband event on 4-5 June.The Finn will share driving duties with Toyota president Akio Toyoda (entered under his usual pseudonym of 'Morizo'), Super GT regular Hiroaki Ishiura, Masahiro Sasaki, Yasuhiro Ogura...

WRC Portugal: Neuville takes early lead on opening stage

The Hyundai driver produced a committed run through the 2.82km super special held in front of a bumper crowd in Coimbra city centre to move into a 0.6s lead over team-mate Ott Tanak.The rally began with a fan friendly technical asphalt test, featuring a roundabout and several tight turns - with the traditional gravel set to return for the remainder...

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