Ott Tanak continues to lead the Rally de Portugal into the final day but will begin leg three under pressure from both his team-mate Kris Meeke and Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville after suffering problems on the final stage of the day.

Having begun the day with a 17secs lead over Jari-Matti Latvala, though Tanak was given breathing room when the Finn was slowed with a damper issue, he saw his erstwhile advantage all but wiped out by his own damper problems.

It allowed Meeke to move within three seconds of his Estonian team-mate with Sunday’s five stages to come, while Neuville – who continued his stealthy rise up the order following a slow start on Friday – now also in striking range nine seconds off the top.

Though set to be hampered by a less favourable running position than his key rivals, Citroen’s Sebastien Ogier isn’t entirely out of the picture either just 20secs off Tanak in fourth. His team-mate Esapekka Lappi climbed from eighth to a lonely fifth place, setting times in line with the leaders.

Latvala’s misfortune, which drops him to an overnight tenth, offered some relief for M-Sport Ford as they reclaimed two top seven positions following Friday dramas, Teemu Suninen ahead of Elfyn Evans. Gus Greensmith, however, came off the road whilst running comfortably inside the top ten on what is his maiden WRC showing.

IN WRC2, erstwhile leader Ole Christian Veiby’s event ended in a fire, allowing Kalle Rovanpera to move into the lead of the class from eighth overall, now a minute clear of Jan Kopecky.

 

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