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Neuville Takes Early Lead in Rally de Portugal


The Vodafone Rally de Portugal kicked off with a flurry of excitement as Thierry Neuville clinched the fastest time in the first special stage, taking a slight lead over the fierce competition. His performance on the gravel tracks showcased a blend of precision and strategic foresight, setting a promising tone for the weekend.

Neuville, driving for Hyundai, completed the stage in 2 minutes 24.2 seconds, narrowly outpacing the legendary Sébastien Ogier by just 0.6 seconds. Ogier, aiming for a record-breaking win in Portugal, showed his experience and tactical prowess, navigating the course with an eye on preserving his tyres for the challenges ahead.

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Ott Tänak and Takamoto Katsuta were not far behind, tying their times and demonstrating that the battle for the podium will be closely contested. Both drivers expressed their strategies of balancing aggressive driving with careful management of their vehicles and tyres.

In the WRC2 category, Gus Greensmith emerged as the leader, impressing spectators and competitors alike with his control and speed. Oliver Solberg and Yohan Rossel, two series favorites who both performed admirably, follow the British driver, setting the stage for a thrilling competition within the category.

Kalle Rovanperä, the reigning world champion, faced some challenges with tyre management but managed to put on a show for the fans with his skillful driving. Meanwhile, Dani Sordo, who excelled in the shakedown, adopted a conservative approach to preserve his tyres, reflecting the strategic depth this rally demands.

As the rally moves into its more grueling stages, drivers will continue to face the dual challenge of maintaining speed while managing their equipment. The strategic decisions made in today’s stage could well dictate the pace and approach for the remainder of this iconic rally.

Stay tuned for more updates from the Vodafone Rally de Portugal as the drivers battle it out on some of the most challenging tracks in the world of rallying. Follow us for live updates, exclusive content, and behind-the-scenes action as the excitement unfolds!