Day 3: Thierry and Nicolas score second win of 2018
Our Belgian crew Thierry and Nicolas secured an emphatic win in Rally de Portugal, finishing with a margin of 40 seconds over second-placed M-Sport Ford driver Elfyn Evans.
In a hard fought rally where many competitors experienced issues, a level headed strategy from the #5 crew saw them secure our second victory of 2018.
What a weekend and what a result! said Thierry. We have taken a clever approach to this event, pushing when we could and controlling the pace when we needed. The car has been fabulous all weekend long, and the team has been behind us every stage of the way.
Thierry and Nicolas have put in a classy performance, agreed our Team Principal Michel. They have had a clean drive with excellent pace that has allowed them to control things from beginning to end.
Moving on up
Scoring four extra points for second place in the Fafe Power Stage, Thierry now leads the drivers championship on 119 points, ahead of Sébastien Ogier, who didnt score in Portugal, on 100.
Dani and Carlos also added points for a strong run on the legendary Fafe stage but had to settle for fifth overall. Our Spaniards had looked set for a podium charge but a ten-second penalty dropped them out of the top-three.
I am disappointed not to finish on the podium after what had been a very promising and competitive weekend for us, commented Dani. We showed our pace in many stages and were definitely in the fight.
Finishing in style
Andreas and Anders battled to the end of the rally after encountering technical issues on Friday. They scored important points for the manufacturers championship. We continue to lead on 175 points with M-Sport Ford on 162.
That was not the weekend we had hoped to have, said Andreas, but it was a positive final morning. Id like to send big thanks to the team who put in a huge effort to adapt the car to get it better suited to my style.
The run of consecutive gravel events continues with Rally Italia Sardegna from 7-10 June, where we were victorious two seasons ago.
Sardinia will be a very difficult event, but we will be ready, concluded Michel.
Esapekka Lappi was handed a ten-second penalty after the conclusion of the rally, moving Dani and Carlos up to fourth overall.
Final Overall Classification Rally de Portugal
1T. Neuville / N. Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)3:49:46.6
2E. Evans / D. Barritt(Ford Fiesta WRC) +40.0
3T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC +47.3
4D. Sordo / C. del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)+1:00.9
5E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Toyota Yaris WRC) +1:04.7
6M. Østberg / T. Eriksen (Citroën C3 WRC) +3:33.5
7C. Breen / S. Martin (Citroën C3 WRC) +5:23.0
8P. Tidemand / J. Andersson (koda Fabia R5)+14:10.8
9L. Pieniazek / P. Mazur (koda Fabia R5)+16:17.3
10S. Lefebvre / G. Moreau (Citroën C3 R5)+16:34.3
16A. Mikkelsen / A. Jæger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC)+ 24:44.4
2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers Standings
After round 6
15H. Paddon 10
2018 FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers Standings
After round 6
1Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team175
2M-Sport Ford World Rally Team162
3Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team140
4Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team111
All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.