The action resumed with a second pass through Lousã. Takamoto Katsuta had not started the third stage, so the Rally1 field was whittled down to seven for the afternoon loop.
Elfyn Evans shaved five seconds off his morning’s run but still ceded a similar amount of time to Kalle Rovanperä. The Finn temporarily inherited the outright lead when Ott Tänak suffered a front-right puncture, dropped 50.1 seconds and slipped to seventh overall.
Esapekka Lappi was a man on a mission and the Finn gave Hyundai its first stage win of the weekend. Sordo was second quickest but it was enough for the Spaniard to snatch the outright lead from Rovanperä by just four-tenths of a second.
Andreas Mikkelsen was forced to stop and change a puncture, dropped 55 seconds and plummeted down the WRC2 rankings on a stage where Gus Greensmith lost time in his dust, Oliver Solberg was quickest and Adrien Fourmaux continued to lead the category by 2.5 seconds. Both Nikolay Gryazin and Fabrizio Zaldivar stopped in the stage with tyre issues.
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“I had a very good stage. I think we are missing grip. Many times I was on the edge on some of the
corners, and still we are sliding a lot. Let’s see if we can find some performance. It feels like the time
difference is big.
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“I’m not surprised to be honest. It is really slippery for the line and it is really narrow after the small cars.
I felt in many places I was opening the road. Let’s see how much faster the stage gets.”
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
Tyre off the rim in the stage and the Estonian drops 50.1 seconds to the new leader. “Quite on the start
it seemed like….”
Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“Not a lot to say. It is not working at the moment. Nothing is working. That’s it for now.”
Car 6. SORDO/CARRERA
“It’s good. It is difficult to manage the tyres. I take a little bit careful in the stage.”
Car 4. LAPPI/FERM
“Okay, good, I like this direction. I think a bit rougher and more bedrock but I think this one is staying
similar but the other two will be much different.”
Car 7. LOUBET/LANDAIS
“Everything is okay. Thanks to the mechanics. In only 10 minutes they were able to fix it.”
Car 20. GREENSMITH/ANDERSSON
Lost time in the dust behind Mikkelsen after the Norwegian collected a puncture.
Car 22. GRYAZIN/ALEKSANDROV
Stopped 4.1km into the stage.
Car 24. MIKKELSEN/ERIKSEN
Stopped on the stage to change a tyre and lost just under a minute and his second place in WRC2.
Car 27. ZALDIVAR/DER OHANNESIAN
Stopped one kilometre into the stage to change their own puncture.