Estonian driver Ott Tanak won the first stage of the Portuguese rally. After eight special stages, driving a Hyundai car six seconds ahead of Britain’s Elvin Evans, captain Danny Sordeaux of Spain finished third, three seconds behind. Martin Prokop lost nearly eight minutes with Eid in the Third Ten.
Last year’s world champion Tanak won three tests, as did Sordeaux, who took the lead most of the day but had tire problems in the end. On the other hand, Vice World Champion Evans did not claim any partial victory. Championship winner and world champion Sebastian Augier became the winner once. The French Toyota driver, who ranked fifth, loses 24 seconds ahead of his Japanese colleague Takamoto Kakota.
The first man in the World Championship standings, Thierry Nouvel, did not complete the first stage. The Belgian crashed at the end of the seventh test when he rolled the car over the roof. He reached the finish line of the test, but then quit due to irreparable damage to the wheel suspension. After six tests, the five-time Vice World Champion took second place.
|Portuguese Rally World Championship in car competitions:|
|After the first stage:|
|1. Today, Järveoja (Est./Hyundai i20) 1:22: 35.0|
|2. Evans, Martin (Brett. / Toyota Yaris) -6.0|
|3. Sordo, Rozada (Šp. / Hyundai i20) -9.0|
|4. Kakota, Barrett (Japan, Brit. / Toyota Yaris) -15.4|
|5. Ogier, Ingrassia (Fr./ Toyota Yaris) -24.0|
|6. Rovanperä, Halttunen (Fin./Toyota Yaris) -28.9,|
|… 26. Prokop, Shitka (CZ / Ford Fiesta R5) -7: 52.4.|