Portugal: Solans leads WRC2, but Rossel can believe in victory

Particularly eventful, the WRC2 category still had surprises and twists in store. The accidents of Oliver Solberg and Fergus Greensmith associated with the puncture of Yohan Rossel offered an original classification from which the Frenchman can still emerge victorious.

Published on 11/05/2024 à 20:36

Loïc ROCCI

0 View comments)

Portugal: Solans leads WRC2, but Rossel can believe in victory

11”6 separate Yohan Rossel from another victory in Portugal in WRC2 (Photo: Nikos Katikis/DPPI)

The first step of rally of Portugal was very lively in the WRC2 championship. The major losers were Pierre-Louis Loubet, Teemu Suninen and Sami Pajari. With positions still very tight between the protagonists, we had to expect an equally eventful Saturday, especially as the event promised to be selective with 9 special stages and 145 km timed. The course of events did not disappoint.

Two of the main favorites for the title lost big today. Distracted by the presence of Kalle Rovanperä on the side of the road (where he had parked his Yaris against a tree...) Oliver Solberg did not listen to a note and he himself made a mistake (SS11). After a few rolls, her Skoda stopped and she would not go any further. While dominating WRC2, the Swede lost the opportunity to score the maximum score. In the following section, Fergus Greensmith, who had just inherited the lead, was surprised in a right turn (SS14). Climbing an embankment, the Englishman found himself stuck and had no choice but to withdraw. The Skoda driver also missed a great opportunity to collect the 25 points which would have allowed him to return to the championship podium. Combined with yesterday's damage, the disappearance of the two Fabia RS offered an even more open fight.

Leader after Solberg's abandonment, Yohan Rossel was not able to take advantage of his position for long. Forced to stop in SS12 to replace a punctured wheel, the Frenchman was downgraded to 4e. Going on the attack again during the afternoon, Yohan and Arnaud Dunand his co-driver managed to make up part of their delay, but soft tires in the endless Amarante (SS16 – 37,24 km) did not allow them to take back as much time as they would have liked. They still retain all their chances of victory during the final stage. To do this, they will have to overtake Jan Solans, the leader, and Josh McErlean, who is in 2nd place.e position.

Currently grouped in 11''6, the three crews have 4 special stages ahead of them on Sunday and 62,18 km timed to decide between them.

WRC2 ranking at the end of the 2nd stage

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

0 View comments)