The first stage of Rally Portugal has ended and Mikko Hirvonen will carry a 1.3 sec lead over Sebastien Loeb heading into the proper stages. The super special was located in Lisbon and drew a massive crowd. Below are the top 10 after the stage.
There are a couple key points to take away from the opening test. This is a bit unusual as the super special is supposed to be a low threat event that allows the spectators a chance to watch the rally cars up close. The results are never really shocking.
Mads Ostberg trashed his event when a driving error caused damage to his Fiesta. Then under braking, the wheel that was damaged would come completely off and head into the crowd. One spectator was treated for shock and sent to the hospital for further examinations. Ostberg was absolutley beside himself after crossing the line on three wheels.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “How is it possible to be that stupid? It was just a stupid thing on cold tyres. I have enough experience to know that, so why I did it, I don’t know. A disconnection between the ears…” M-Sport Stobart Mads Ostberg (Autosport.com)
The other notable event was the MINI S2000 debut. As we had mentioned previously, Armindo Araujo was set to run the SWRC version from Prodrive on his home event before graduating to the full WRC model upon its release at the Italian round of the championship. Araujo would end the super special in an amazing P10, 8 secs. off of Hirvonen. Fellow MINI driver Daniel Oliveira would not be so fortunate. He sits P34 in his Brazilian World Rally MINI entry.
Stay tuned as the proper stages get under way tomorrow in Portugal!
Top 10 after SS1:
1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 2m49.6s
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 1.3s
3. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen + 2.1s
4. Sebastien Ogier Citroen + 2.9s
5. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 3.7s
6. Federico Villagra Munchi’s Ford + 3.9s
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Citroen + 5.1s
8. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 6.2s
9. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 6.5s
10. Armindo Araujo Italia Mini + 8.0s