SS14: Problems for Latvala,Sordo
Dani Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala have both hit trouble on stage 14 of Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.
Sordo had to stop when the inside of his MINI John Cooper Works WRC filled with exhaust fumes. The Spaniard said he removed part of the rear bumper and his co-driver’s side window to allow he and navigator Carlos del Barrio to breathe properly.
Latvala’s Fiesta stopped approximately 17 kilometres into the stage with a reported fuel pressure problem. He eventually reached the stage finish following a lengthy delay.
Petter Solberg has shot up from ninth to sixth position in his factory Ford following his fastest stage time. He said: “I went for the hard [compound] tyre, it’s dry and the road is cleaning quite a lot. I had a good run with no problems.”
click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss14
SS15: Araujo retires
Armindo Araujo’s bid to score points in the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia on Vodafone Rally de Portugal is over after the local hero ripped the front-right wheel off his MINI John Cooper Works WRC.
Araujo, the double Production Car world champion, was in 11th overall when he stopped almost 14 kilometres from the start of the stage in his WRC Team MINI Portugal entry.
Out front, Mikko Hirvonen maintains his healthy advantage aboard his Citroen DS3 WRC. The Finn was sixth quickest and now heads Mads Ostberg by more than one minute in the overall classification.
“I had a good rhythm and it felt comfortable,” said Hirvonen. “I would like to push hard but you are avoiding mistakes the whole time. The car feels really good and the pace is fine.”
Petter Solberg claimed the fastest stage time in his Ford Fiesta RS WRC following a charging drive. His performance puts him ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Martin Prokop into fourth overall.
“I don’t think I breathed through the whole stage! It was a fantastic stage - some bad rocks but I drove round them,” said Solberg. “The car is fantastic. It is really good fun now. I am so angry about yesterday.”
click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss15
SS16: More frustration for Solberg
Petter Solberg has lost fourth position on Vodafone Rally de Portugal after his Ford Fiesta RS WRC suffered powersteering failure on Saturday’s final stage, the 22.57-kilometre Loule test.
Solberg completed the run with his car’s rear sump guard missing. However, that was the least of the Norwegian’s worries after it took him a minute more than stage winner Dani Sordo to complete the test.
“I’ve got no power steering,” said Solberg, who slips behind Nasser Al-Attiyah in the overall classification. “It happened just before the stage. I’ve probably lost my fourth place. It’s another day tomorrow.”
Sordo’s fastest time came despite the build up of dust inside his MINI John Cooper Works WRC, which has been occurring since his co-driver Carlos del Barrio’s side window fell out on stage 14.
“I tried to push really, really hard and do a good time,” said Sordo. “I’m happy with the car but I think we need to fix the window! It fell out on a fast section of a stage.”
Martin Prokop completed the stage with the soft compound rear tyres on his Fiesta badly worn. “We had no traction at all, it was crazy,” said the Czech.
Event leader Mikko Hirvonen completed day three with the fifth quickest time in his Citroen DS3 WRC. His advantage over Mads Ostberg out front increases to 1m11.9s.
click: wrc.com/news/portugal ss16