The re-run of Vieira do Minho was the first stage of the afternoon loop. Takamoto Katsuta complained of fine dust inside the car, although the Japanese was able to comfortably beat his morning’s run.
A somewhat disgruntled Ott Tänak was slower than his first pass and ceded 9.7 seconds to Thierry Neuville, although the Belgian slipped 5.8 seconds behind Esapekka Lappi in Hyundai’s internal team battle for third.
Dani Sordo strengthened his grip on second by 0.1 seconds but Kalle Rovanperä continued to edge clear at the front of the field. Another fastest time, albeit by just 2.8 seconds, gave the Finn an overall lead of 55.2 seconds.
Oliver Solberg complained of a lack of power and dropped 1.3 seconds to Gus Greensmith but the Swede still led WRC2 by 35.7 seconds. Andreas Mikkelsen overtook Yohan Rossel to snatch third in the category.
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“They are going to push hard (Lappi and Sordo). I had a good stage and I can be satisfied. It’s more rutted and a bit more easy to keep the car in the line.”
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“Now we try to be a bit more safe to be honest,. Quite rough here in places and I try to avoid the stones and go around the lines.”
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
“The road was quite rutted and it is still quite slippery. That’s all we wanted to say. Leave it, let it be.”
Car 6. SORDO/CARRERA
“It’s nice to be in a battle. I really push hard and I try to keep the rhythm. There is much more grip and I am quite happy with the car now.”
Car 4. LAPPI/FERM
“It is still slippery like the morning so I guess Kalle will beat us by 15 seconds. Quite clean driving but it was under steering because of the change to the surface.”
Car 18. KATSUTA/JOHNSTON
“At the end of the stage I was losing a lot and the dust was coming inside the car. It was like Kenya. Visibility was so bad because of dust in the car.
Car 20. GREENSMITH/ANDERSSON
“Keep chipping way is all we can do. Keep the pressure on and see what happens.”
Car 21. SOLBERG/EDMONDSON
“I have no power. Probably the air filter is full of shit. I am full rev limiter to keep the power. Half-way I lost power.”
Car 23. SUNINEN/MARKKULA
Fastest of the WRC2 crews. “It was okay. Quite rough and we are bottoming a lot. But we got through.”
Car 24. MIKKELSEN/ERIKSEN
“I expected to lose a little time in there, Rossel was on full softs.”
Car 26. ROSSEL/DUNAND
“Just a miracle to be here. I push on my maximum but the car is crazy. I am happy to be here. Normally when you do a stage like that, with 10 hot moments, you are close to the scratch.”
Car 35. BULACIA/VALLEJO
“It was a bit better but still, I think, we did not put the correct tyres.”