SS14: Problems for Latvala, Sordo
Delays for Ford and MINI drivers in Portugal
Dani Sordo and Jari-Matti Latvala have both hit trouble on stage 14 of Vodafone Rally de Portugal, round four of the FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia.
Sordo had to stop when the inside of his MINI John Cooper Works WRC filled with exhaust fumes. The Spaniard said he removed part of the rear bumper and his co-driver’s side window to allow he and navigator Carlos del Barrio to breathe properly.
Latvala’s Fiesta stopped approximately 17 kilometres into the stage with a reported fuel pressure problem. He eventually reached the stage finish following a lengthy delay.
Petter Solberg has shot up from ninth to sixth position in his factory Ford following his fastest stage time. He said: “I went for the hard [compound] tyre, it’s dry and the road is cleaning quite a lot. I had a good run with no problems.”
Armindo Araujo reported nudging his MINI’s front-right tyre during a minor impact, while Jari Ketomaa said he might be forced to retire following a troubled stage.
“Something has broken completely from the rear, there are no brakes,” said Ketomaa. “It’s those or the rear driveshaft or something. I don’t think we can carry on. I don’t have brakes. It’s just not possible.”
Thierry Neuville said the rear of his Citroen was “sliding too much” as a result of his decision to use soft-compound tyres at the rear through the stage, which was held in dry conditions. Nevertheless the Belgian was second fastest, one position ahead of event leader Mikko Hirovnen whose advantage out front in his Citroen DS3 WRC is now 52.1s.
Nasser Al-Attiyah, in a Qatar World Rally Team Citroen, has moved ahead of Martin Prokop into fourth overall after the Czech’s Fiesta suffered a repeat of the power loss problems experienced this morning.
Patrik Sandell has stopped in the stage in his MINI. Mads Ostberg, running behind the Swede on the road, suggested Sandell had damaged the right-rear of his car hitting a tree on a narrow left-hand bend over a crest. Ostberg was fifth quickest and remains in second position in the overall standings ahead of Russia’s Evgeny Novikov.
More on WRC