2021 World Rally Championship Rally de Portugal Preview

This week the World Rally Championship (WRC) is due to be back in action for the fourth round of the season as it heads to Portugal.

Sebastien Ogier will start the rally in the lead of the Championship for Drivers, and has an eight point advantage over nearest rival Thierry Neuville. Elfyn Evans completes the top three in the championship, the Welshman two points behind Neuville and 10 adrift of Ogier.

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Ogier won last time out in Croatia ahead of teammate Evans with Neuville once again finishing third. Ogier also won the Power Stage ahead of Craig Breen and Neuville.

Previous championship leader Kalle Rovanpera was forced to retire very early on in Croatia and heads to Portugal fifth in the championship, one point behind Ott Tanak in fourth and 15 points ahead of Craig Breen and Takamoto Katsuta, who are tied in sixth.

Ogier’s win in Croatia means he has won two of the three rallies contested so far in 2021, with the only other rally being won by Tanak. The Estonian finished fourth in Croatia and fifth in the Power Stage.

Image” by Nico Quatrevingtsix is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the Championship for Manufacturers Toyota continues to lead, and has a 27 point advantage over nearest rival Hyundai. M-Sport Ford are third in the championship, 69 points behind Hyundai.

Rally de Portugal didn’t take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the 2019 edition the last time the rally was held. That year saw Tanak win ahead of Neuville and Ogier.

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