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World Rally Championship 2

WRC 2 debut in Portugal

Oliver and Aaron get to grips with gravel


Oliver and Aaron get to grips with gravel


In their first WRC 2 championship round of 2021, our rising stars Oliver and Aaron made a positive impression in the i20 R5, securing two stage wins on their way to fifth.

The young Swedish driver and his Irish co-driver had never competed at Rally de Portugal before so used the opportunity as a valuable learning weekend. “It has been a difficult but enjoyable event with lots to learn with our new car on gravel and in my first Rally de Portugal,” said Oliver. “It has been hard work.”

Fan friendly Friday

Friday’s loop of three stages (Lousã, Góis and Arganil) offered a tough tyre selection but a useful experience. They ended the opening day with a joint stage win in the super special, providing an entertaining spectacle for the fans in attendance at Lousada.

“On Friday, we were learning about tyre combinations and the behaviour of the car on gravel,” he said. “Normally I would push but I told myself to back off a bit and learn the pace notes.”

The crew continued to acclimatise to our R5 car during Saturday, tackling Vieira do Minho, Cabeceiras de Basto and Amarante. They used the chance to try new tyre combinations, especially in the first pass through Amarante, the longest individual stage of the rally at 37.92km. Unfortunately, an issue on the repeat of Amarante saw Oliver stall the car and lose over one minute of time, dropping them down to fifth.

“When everything was working well, I could find confidence in the notes and a get into a rhythm. It was really good to take the fastest time in SS12 (Vieira do Minho). Of course, we had some small issues too, with the stall on Saturday which lost us some time.”

On the limit

The crew enjoyed a smooth Sunday, as they took the legendary Fafe jump for the first time and scored points for Hyundai Motorsport N. “We were on the limit,” said Oliver. “Not the overall result I had hoped for, but a fantastic Rally de Portugal nonetheless.” Our Team Principal Andrea added: “I think that Oliver and Aaron have done a really nice rally. They have been able to gain important experience and I am happy to see that.”

Of our two planned entries into WRC 2 at Rally de Portugal, only Oliver/Aaron were able to start the event. Ole Christian tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday so had to withdraw. It has since been discovered that he and co-driver Jonas have breached COVID-19 regulations.

Andrea said: “We know what has happened to Ole Christian. It was a surprise to see him test positive on Thursday after the recce, so we immediately took him out of the rally. While we are pleased to see he is doing well, we now know that he breached COVID-19 regulations. We fully respect and support the decisions and the reprimands outlined by the Stewards in this case, as we take these protocols extremely seriously. We will communicate further about our WRC 2 line-up in due course.”

Final Overall Classification WRC 2 – Rally de Portugal

1 E. Lappi / J. Ferm (Škoda Fabia Evo) 3:48:03.4
2 T. Suninen / M. Markkula (Ford Fiesta MkII) +1:42.8
3 M. Østberg / T. Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5) +2:24.3
4 N. Gryazin / K. Aleksandrov (Volkswagen Polo GTI) +2:58.6
5 O. Solberg / A. Johnston (Hyundai i20 R5) +3:13.5
6 M. Bulacia / M. Ohannesian (Škoda Fabia Evo) +4:41.6
7 M. Prokop / V. Chytka (Ford Fiesta MkII) +10:29.3
8 E. Camilli / B. Veillas (Citroën C3 R5) +53:11.7
9 T. Kristensson / D. Arhusiander (Ford Fiesta MkII) +1:04:16.5

2021 WRC 2 Championship for Drivers’ Standings
After round 4

1 A. Mikkelsen 68
2 E. Lappi 59
3 M. Bulacia 45
4 M. Østberg 44
5 T. Suninen 41
6 N. Gryazin 29
7 A. Fourmaux 25
8 E. Camilli 24
9 E. Brazzoli 21
10 S. Johnston 17
11 M. Prokop 14
12 O.C. Veiby 13
13 E. Brynildsen 12
14 O. Solberg 10

2021 FIA WRC 2 Championship for Teams’ Standings
After round 4

1 Movisport 125
2 Toksport WRT 100
3 M-Sport Ford World Rally Team 71
4 Hyundai Motorsport N 12

All results remain subject to official FIA confirmation.

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