Tanak crashes as Evans takes over Portuguese rally lead

·1-min read
Ott Tanak was flying in the Rally de Portugal on Saturday until one of the wheels came off

Elfyn Evans took the lead of the Rally de Portugal on Saturday after Ott Tanak suffered a broken suspension on the day's penultimate stage.

Estonian Tanak had won four of the day's five stages to build a lead of 22.4 seconds over Welshman Evans, but damaged his Hyundai on stage 14.

"I think it's over for him today," said Hyundai team principal Andrea Adamo, as Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja wrestled with their car's dislocated right rear wheel by the side of the course.

"The stages are a bit rough," Tanak said after winning stage 12.

The 2019 world champion had dominated all day but ended up suffering the same fate as Hyundai's other star, Belgian Thierry Neuville, who violently struck an embankment on the penultimate stage on Friday, while in second place.

Evans, in a Toyota Yaris, took over the lead. Heading into Saturday's final stage, a short city circuit in Porto, he had a 16.4 second edge over Spaniard Dani Sordo in a Hyundai.

Frenchman Sebastian Ogier, the championship leader, was third in a Toyota 1 minute 4.6 seconds off the lead.

Neuville started again on Saturday morning but had to retire again at midday to repair his chassis, which was still damaged by the previous day's accident, and give himself a chance to pick up some points in Sunday's power stage at the end of the rally.

Finn Kalle Rovanpera (Toyota), who was running in sixth place, returned to the service park in Matosinhos shortly before SS14 with a mechanical problem.


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