Evans faces 'tricky' final day after Tanak's Portugal crash

·2-min read
Ott Tanak was flying in the Rally de Portugal on Saturday until one of the wheels came off

Rally de Portugal leader Elfyn Evans said on Saturday he faces a "tricky" last day as he eyes his first race win of the season.

Welshman Evans, who was runner up in last year's overall standings, has a 10.7sec advantage over Dani Sordo in second place with championship leader Sebastien Ogier 1min 04sec behind in third following a short city circuit in Porto.

Evans benefitted from Ott Tanak's broken suspension as the Estonian lost his 22.4sec lead over the 32-year-old Toyota driver.

"It's been an OK day really. Maybe not perfect everywhere," Evans told television channel S4C.

"Fair play to Ott, he's been hard to chase today, he's been so quick. It's a shame what happened to him. That's the name of the game, as they say.

"We have to keep going tomorrow, it's going to be tricky," he added.

The 2019 world champion Tanak had dominated all day but ended up suffering the same fate as Hyundai's other star, Belgian Thierry Neuville, who violently struck an embankment on the penultimate stage on Friday, while in second place.

Neuville started again on Saturday but had to retire again hours later to repair his chassis, which was still damaged by the previous day's accident, and give himself a chance to pick up some points in Sunday's power stage at the end of the rally.

Finn Kalle Rovanpera (Toyota), who was running in sixth place, returned to the service park in Matosinhos shortly before SS14 with a mechanical problem.

Standings at end of second day:

1. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (GBR/Toyota) en 3 hours 7 minutes 9 seconds, 2. Dani Sordo/Borja Rozada (ESP/Hyundai) at 10 sec, 3. Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Toyota) at 1 min 4 sec, 4. Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (JPN/GBR-Toyota) at 1 min 5 sec, 5. Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (FRA/BEL/M-Sport Ford) at 4 min 21 sec, 6. Gus Greensmith/Eliot Edmondson (GBR/IRL/M-Sport Ford) at 4 min 28 sec, 7. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (FIN/Volkswagen) 8 min 21 sec.

Stage winners: Tanak (SS1, SS6, SS8, SS9, SS10, SS11, SS13), Sordo (SS2, SS3, SS5, SS15), Evans (SS12, SS14), Rovanpera (SS4), Ogier (SS7)

Retired: Pierre-Louis Loubet / Vincent Landais (FRA/Hyundai 2C Competition)


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