Hyundai team leader Thierry Neuville has crashed out of Rally de Portugal in Saturday morning's opening test.

Neuville rolled his i20 WRC around 3 kilometres from the start of SS8, the 18.57 km Baiao 1 test. The Beligan and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul both escaped unharmed, although the car did end up blocking the road until it was moved to one side, with team-mate, Dani Sordo having to "nudge" it out of the way, losing around eight seconds. Ford privateer Martin Prokop also reported that he had to slow "a little" to pass the stricken car.

Related Articles

Neuville had been running ninth overall, having lost time on Friday morning after opting for a different tyre strategy to everyone else.

He also struggled somewhat on the repeat loop, conceding time in the final test of the day after losing the sump guard.

"It's been a difficult day for everyone," he said on Friday night. "In our case, we gambled on a different tyre strategy compared to the others, opting to keep some soft tyres back for Saturday as we expected conditions to be more slippery. As a result, we had a tough start to the rally, and we lost a bit more time than I expected.

"We saw some significant tyre wear in the afternoon, which might make things difficult on Saturday. We will sit down this evening to adjust our plan accordingly and hope for a stronger day."