Rally Portugal - 2nd Day - 1st Loop: Dominant Rovanpera builds a safety net, Loubet crashes [+video]

At the end of the Saturday morning loop, Kalle Rovanpera remains out in front with Dani Sordo and Esapekka Lappi following him.

Kalle Rovanpera is still leading Rally de Portugal and set the fastest time in Stage 9 and 10 which means that he extended his advantage over his rivals to 52,4 seconds. 

Dani Sordo remains in second position overall and struggled to find pace with the tyres on all stages, but he responded to Lappi's attack in Stage 11.

Esapekka Lappi moved ahead of Thierry Neuville for nine tenths of a second after SS9 and is now third overall. He managed to be faster than Sordo on all the first two stages meaning that he reels in the second place as their gap is at 4,6 seconds before heading to the afternoon loop. Last but not least, his gap from the fourth Neuville is at nine tenths of a second as the last one struggled with the behavior of his car and made some changes to the set-up for the final stage of the morning.

The Belgian driver was behind his teammate for 3,1 seconds, but he took back 2,2 seconds in SS11 which means that he decreased his gap from EP again.

Ott Tanak is now in fifth place overall after his teammate's retirement and struggled with the suspension of his Puma as he stated at the end of SS10. However, he took some time back in comparison with Neuville as he is chasing the Hyundai driver for the fourth place.

Takamoto Katsuta restarted today under the regulations of Rally2 and is outside the top ten. Moreover, he had a high-speed spin 4.3Km into SS11 resulting in damaging his Yaris.

Elfyn Evans retired from the rest of Rally de Portugal as his Yaris was heavily damaged after his crash in SS7 and Toyota mechanics were unable to repair his car for Saturday.

Pierre-Louis Loubet was forced to retire in Stage 10 as he went off the road and hit something hard on the inside of a corner 36.5 Km into SS10. His Puma sustained a steering damage after this impact and the following drivers (Sordo, Rovanpera and Lappi) had to slow down to pass him towards the end of the stage. He was in fifth place overall before starting Stage 10 and dropped time on the first two stages of the morning loop as he does not have the experience of the stages compared to Lappi, Neuville and Tanak.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch the overall classification after SS11:

Photo Credits: Toyota

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