Góis 2 was the second of the afternoon loop but the road-opening Elfyn Evans was six seconds slower than his morning’s run on the second pass across the deteriorating track surface. Kalle Rovanperä moved a further 12.9 seconds away from the Welshman and 7.9 away from a cautious Ott Tänak.
It was a much better stage for Thierry Neuville and the Belgian finished four-tenths of a second behind the Finn to consolidate his third place. Dani Sordo was third quickest and relinquished the advantage to the stage winner and new overall leader Rovanperä – the Finn led the rally by just eight-tenths of a second. He became the fourth outright leader in the first five stages!
Oliver Solberg was embroiled in a gripping duel with Adrien Fourmaux for WRC2 supremacy and the pendulum swung in the young Swede’s favour when his rival stopped for over two minutes with a puncture. Solberg left the stage 3.5 seconds ahead of Teemu Suninen.
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“I didn’t do anything else than the other stages to be honest, I tried to manage the tyres, I had a clean
run. It was very rough in there. I was surprised that the time is good. But I like it.”
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“I just try to run. It was a really rough stage. In the beginning I was not clean enough. I as a bit careful to
save the tyres but I still had a good pace.”
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
“I have no tyres. I have nothing to protect, so I have to get through.”
Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“Everything is difficult at the moment. The conditions and the balance a bit. It’s like that for now.”
Car 6. SORDO/CARRERA
“Very hard for the tyres, I did not want to push. I didn’t want to over drive.”
Car 4. LAPPI/FERM
“It’s very rough in some places. Very demanding for the tyres. I think not good for us.”
Car 7. LOUBET/LANDAIS
“It’s okay. It was very rough.”
Car 20. GREENSMITH/ANDERSSON
“We’ve got more grip but it’s a hell of a lot rougher. Trying to carry the speed and avoid punctures.”
Car 21. SOLBERG/EDMONDSON
“It’s difficult. It is hard on the tyres and a long way to go. We’ll see.”
Car 22. GRYAZIN/ALEKSANDROV
Did not finish SS4.
Car 23. SUNINEN/MARKKULA
“The last stage was super rough. It is difficult to be on the limit. It is the same for everyone and we have
to manage the car.”
Car 24. MIKKELSEN/ERIKSEN
“We had a rear-right puncture on the first stage (SS4). I didn’t touch anything. Question mark why I got
that one. We even ran high tyre pressures.”
Car 25. FOURMAUX/CORIA
Stopped for around two minutes 9.4km into the stage and then continued slowly with a total loss of 2min
15sec. “Puncture. Nothing to say. It was a slow puncture and we decided to change and we still have
13km to do and we still have two stages to go. It’s the game and we know that.”
Car 26. ROSSEL/DUNAND
“It’s not easy obviously. The road is completely destroyed. I am happy to finish this stage. I don’t buy this
car after this stage…. But it’s okay.”
Car 27. ZALDIVAR/DER OHANNESIAN
Did not finish SS4.
Car 68. MEEKE/FULTON
Stopped 8.3km into SS4. The Ulsterman had been suffering damper issues during the morning.