Hyundai Motorsports Ott Tanak took three stage wins in Portugal on Friday to take a six-second lead into the weekend and speaking following the action he said:

“It hasn’t been trouble-free by any means, so it is positive to be leading the rally. We did what we could to get the best out of the car on these gravel roads, but it was a demanding day. Although we took some stage wins, I felt that there was still room for improvement at times. We tried to manage the tyres and find a better feeling into the afternoon loop. A puncture in SS5 limited our options, so we focused on getting through the day. It was great to be back rallying in front of fans again.”

Dani Sordo is 9s behind in third place and speaking following the action he said:

I have enjoyed being back in a WRC car, alongside my new co-driver Borja, on these Portuguese stages. It has been great to see some spectators too, who are an important part of this rally. We had a decent morning loop, making the most of our road position to take some stage wins. The car was working well. Unfortunately, we had a much tougher afternoon, including an engine stall in SS7 which saw us lose the lead. We also had some tyre-related issues, which was clear to see on the Super Special, so I couldn’t push more. We have to be satisfied with our position today and target a more consistent performance on Saturday.”

Thierry Neuville was forced to retire from the day and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“Unfortunately, we had to retire following a pace note in SS7 that was too optimistic. It was too fast and when I saw the corner, I tried to correct it but there was something like a tree stump that pulled us onto our side. It is disappointing because we started really well this morning, despite being second on the road. The target was clearly to fight for the win. Everything was going firmly to plan until SS7. We tried our best to fix things on the road section but sadly the suspension was damaged, so it was game over for the day.”

Team Principal Andrea Adamo said:

“The good thing from today is that we are leading the rally with Ott. The bad thing is that we have lost a lot of time for Dani for things out of our control. Sadly, we also had this accident with Thierry when he was doing really well. We have to take the positive things from today and move ahead, hoping that tomorrow will be better.”


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