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WRC - Rovanperä/Halttunen storm to victory in Portugal and extend championship lead

  • gb

Kalle Rovanperä celebrated his third consecutive victory at Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Sunday afternoon to stretch his FIA World Rally Championship lead.

The Finn demoted long-time leader and Toyota GR Yaris team-mate Elfyn Evans on Saturday evening and extended a slender advantage to win by 15.2sec. He heads the standings by 46 points after four rounds following previous victories in Sweden and Croatia.

Second marked Evans’ best result of the season, the Welshman finishing 2min 02.1sec clear of Dani Sordo’s Hyundai i20 N. Sordo denied Toyota Gazoo Racing a podium lockout by relegating Takamoto Katsuta by 2.1sec in the final speed test.

Rovanperä won the Wolf Power Stage to claim five bonus points. Sordo scored four points in second with Thierry Neuville taking three in third in an i20 N. Ott Tänak secured two points in fourth in another i20 N, with Evans netting the final point.

PH Sport’s Yohan Rossel/Valentin Sarreaud claimed the FIA WRC2  in a Citroën C3 after Hyundai Motorsport N’s Suninen crashed out early in this stage. 

"It's just a shame for him and I'm sorry. Second place would have been a good result, but now we have a win. I think we have a lot of work to do on the car and me for Sardinia, but the whole team is motivated and it's a good result for our championship."

More news to follow.