Rally de Portugal 2024 – Day Two Report – Saturday

The second full day of this event would see the crews tackle 145km’s over nine stages. Gregoire Munster would open the road throughout the day.

First up was SS10 Felgueiras 1 – 8.81 km and Kalle was fastest from Ott and Thierry. The Estonian’s pace moved him into third place with Takamoto dropping behind from the podium. In WRC2, Sami found some good pace, winning the stage from Josh and Oliver. The Swede continued to lead the category from Yohan and Gus whilst Josh climbed the leaderboard into fourth place pushing Jan down to fifth in the category.

The was a twist in the tail in the following stage, SS11 Montim 1 – 8.69 km, a tricky stage for some. Elfyn, Thierry and Takamoto all had spins in the stage showing how tricky it was. Seb set the pace from Ott and Adrien, but it was happened after the Frenchman had finished the stage. Coming last on the road before the WRC2 crews, Kalle lost the rear of his Yaris and although he caught it the car hit the side of the road spinning and ending up on its side and with the underside against a tree. Next car through was Oliver and incredibly he also lost control of his car at the next corner, spinning and rolling his Fabia. In the space of just a few minutes both category leaders were out for the rest of the day. Kris Meeke set the pace in the WRC2 category from Sami and Jan.

Next up was the longest stage of the rally, SS12 Amarante 1 – 37.24 km, a really amazing stage with different road surfaces, some tarmac and cobbled road sections between the gravel sections. Ott was fastest from Seb and Dani and the Estonians time took him past Seb and into the lead, but just two tenths of a second separated them. In WRC2 Yohan was quickest from Gus and Sami and the Frenchman continued to lead the category.

Into SS13 Paredes 1 – 16.09 km and there was yet another stage win for Seb, from Adrien and Thierry. The Frenchman moved back into the lead as Ott was only sixth fastest in the stage. In WRC2 Josh was fastest from Jan and Georg and Yohan who had been leading suffered a puncture and fell from the lead to fourth place, now a minute and a quarter from the new category leader Gus with Josh up to second overall and Jan holding third.

Following service, the second run of SS14 Felgueiras 2 – 8.81 km saw Ott set the fastest time from Thierry and Dani. Seb was fourth in the stage and saw his lead trimmed by 3.2 seconds. However, the drama happened in WRC2 with Gus going wide and getting beached on the edge of the road. He was out sadly even though the car was not damaged. They could not get the car to move. Sami was fastest from Yohan and Georg. Meanwhile we had a new leader again in the category as Josh moved into the lead from Jan and Yohan.

Onwards to SS15 Montim 2 – 8.69 km and Ott was fastest from Adrien and Thierry. Seb continued to lead, showing the right level of pace to manage the gap to Ott, especially after what happened to Kalle earlier. It was another stage win in WRC2 for Sami from Yohan and Josh. The Irishman whose co-driver is James Fulton was still leading the category by 9.3 seconds with a charging Yohan now 22.5 back from the leader.

Just three stages remained and first of these was the run of SS16 Amarante 2 – 37.24 km. Ott as usual set the pace before Seb came through and went 4.1 seconds faster and Adrien was third. The Frenchman in his Puma was having an excellent rally. Meanwhile in the Hyundai camp, Dani was actually faster than Thierry and now just 1.5 seconds separated the pair and a possible third position for the Spaniard. In WRC2 Josh saw his lead trimmed to just 1.3 seconds as he saw Jan go a full eight seconds faster. Top three fastest times in the category were set by Sami, Jan and Kris.

The final proper stage of the day then, SS17 Paredes 2 – 16.09 km and the top three times were set by Seb, Thierry and Adrien. There was drama for Kris in WRC2, as he rolled his Hyundai out of the rally. Such a shame for the former winner of this event. There was a change in the lead again in WRC2, as Jan passed Josh. They were both being closed down by a charging Yohan though in his Citroen.

The short run of SS18 SSS Lousada – 3.36 km, the spectator special was taken by Adrien, with Ott and Thierry going second and third. There were no changes in either category for position.

Let’s take a look at the top positions and hear from the drivers.

Classification after Day Two

1 S. Ogier V. Landais Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid 3:01.55.8
2 O. Tänak M. Järveoja Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +11.9
3 T. Neuville M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +1:11.4
4 D. Sordo C. Carrera Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid +1:25.6
5 A. Fourmaux A. Coria Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid +1:32.9
6 E. Evans S. Martin Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid +3:23.8
7 N. Gryazin K. Aleksandrov Citroën C3 +9:25.5
8 J. Solans R. Sanjuan Toyota GR Yaris Rally2 +9:35.2
9 J. McErlean J. Fulton Škoda Fabia RS +9:43.2
10 Y. Rossel A. Dunand Citroën C3 +9:46.8

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

Sébastien Ogier

“It’s been a good day for us. It was a tricky one: we didn’t expect so many things to happen this morning, and unfortunately for our team we lost two cars. But I was happy with my consistency and I was able to push in some key moments to make a bit of a difference. This afternoon was very demanding. In the first two stages I lost a bit of ground but I planned to push on Amarante and luckily it worked well for us and we managed to create a bit more of a gap again. Now we have to finish the job tomorrow: the gap is not enough for us to relax. There are still a lot of kilometres and some new sections.”

Elfyn Evans

“Today was always going to be difficult with our road position. It was tricky to make up any places on pace alone, so we were mainly trying to learn and find a better feeling with the car, playing with a few things in the setup and trying to put something better together for tomorrow. Some things were improved, some things not so much and we were still struggling with the balance. Our road position should at least be a bit better tomorrow so there’s an opportunity there and we need to try our best.”

Kalle Rovanperä

“This morning started well. We definitely had a better feeling today with the car setup and could do a good time in the first stage. But then in the second one I just missed my braking point in a fairly straightforward place, and we went off. There was a bit of confusion with the pacenote in the previous corner and I was maybe still thinking about that and missed the braking, point. But it was my mistake in the end and it’s a big disappointment – especially when we started strongly, and I think it could have been a good day for us. Now we’ll try to do our best for the team tomorrow.”

Takamoto Katsuta

“Today’s stages were a bit more sandy like we expected. Still, the car was working well, and it was very nice to drive. I tried to manage the pace in the first two stages but was not really in a good rhythm. Then in the third stage I pushed from the beginning, I felt very good and like everything was under control. But in one place I slightly lost the line and went a bit wide and hit the bank on the outside. Right now, it’s very disappointing because I had the pace, it was looking good, and I still had room to push more. It’s hard to accept but this is rallying, so I just need to understand what I did wrong and then move on. We still have tomorrow, and we will keep pushing.”


Hyundai Motorsport

Ott Tänak

“Altogether it was a solid day. The car in the afternoon was working quite well for us, not too bad in the ruts, but the long stage didn’t quite work out and it was difficult to go smoothly so we couldn’t build as good of a run as we wanted. Aside from that, it was quite a good day. Tomorrow’s new stage will make our job a bit trickier; because it’s narrow and slow, the characteristics are very unusual for Portugal. It’s a different game tomorrow but it’s still going to be super tight. We need to gain as many points as possible, so let’s see how the conditions and road position help us as well.”

2024 FIA World Rally Championship
Round 05, Rally de Portugal
9 – 12 Mai 2024
Ott Tanak
Photographer: Austral
Worldwide copyright: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH

Thierry Neuville

“We are happy being in third place overnight – if someone had told us we would be here yesterday we wouldn’t have believed them. Today was both challenging and long, and not necessarily the best day for us, but nonetheless we are happy to be taking this many points home. Tomorrow we need to be to be on top of our game; we will push over all four stages and see what happens. We have the advantage of a good road position and there are still good points on offer, but we know the competition is still strong so we will work hard to make the most of it.”

Dani Sordo

“It was up and down today; in some stages I was feeling confident, in others less so. The first few stages in the morning were great for me, so it was a clear opportunity to take home some good points. At the end of the day, we are in fourth place, and I want to say a big thanks to the team for helping us get there. Making sure I could help get them as many points as possible was an important part of my Saturday. I will get back together with the team to work out tomorrow’s plans, we want to maximise our takings from the new points system but overall, I am feeling confident for a good final day.”



Oliver Solberg

“We had a very good feeling in the car on the opening stage of the day, setting a third fastest time after the team did a fantastic job resolving the issues from yesterday.

“During SS11, we came across Kalle [Rovanperä] and Jonne [Halttunen] off the road and I became distracted, missing the next note. We ran off [the] line and clipped the bank on the outside of the next corner, where we rolled the car.


“Elliott and I are completely fine, but due to the condition of the car we have decided that we will not continue tomorrow (Sunday).”



One final day beckons for the crews and with 62km’s over just four stages, will there be one final twist in the rally?

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