SS5: Latvala rolls
Jari-Matti Latvala’s Rally de Portugal curse struck again when the Finn rolled out of second place midway through the 21.80km Silves test (SS5).
Latvala, second in his Volkswagen Polo R and just 0.4sec behind team-mate Sébastien Ogier, was 1.3sec up on his colleague when he crashed 11.6km into the afternoon’s opening test. Latvala could not continue but both he and co-driver Miikka Anttila were unhurt.
Latvala had a massive accident on this rally in 2009 when he plunged almost 200 metres down a hillside after rolling 12 times, and crashed again the following year.
Many top drivers, including Mikko Hirvonen, Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak, Dani Sordo and Juho Hänninen opted for soft tyres but were surprised by how dry and abrasive it was on the second pass. Their tyres were wearing already and there were big concerns about the effect the warm and drier conditions would have on the remaining two tests.
Those using the more durable hard Michelin compound tyres, however, included Sébastien Ogier and Citroen duo Mads Østberg and Kris Meeke.
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