Rovanperä ahead after brutal opening day in Portugal

Kalle Rovanperä mastered a brutal opening leg at Vodafone Rally de Portugal to head Hyundai Motorsport rival Dani Sordo overnight. While several of his rivals faltered, Rovanperä won three of the eight special stages in a Toyota GR Yaris to head Sordo by 10.7sec after more than 120km of action during which three different drivers led. Rovanperä was plagued by excessive understeer in the opening two stages but set-up adjustments later in the morning transformed his car. Just 1.3sec blanketed the three drivers at close of play, with Loubet edging Lappi in the finale to take fourth overall by 0.3sec. “The car started to have fire, one kilometre before the end of the stage,” Loubet said.

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