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Takamoto Katsuta Leads Rally de Portugal at Midday Break


Rally de Portugal’s morning stages have set the stage for a thrilling competition, with Takamoto Katsuta currently leading the pack. The Japanese driver finished the morning loop with a slight edge of 2.9 seconds over Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, navigating the iconic Arganil and Góis stages with commendable skill and determination.

Morning Highlights:
Katsuta, driving for Toyota, has shown exceptional prowess despite confessed struggles with confidence that caused minor errors. His perseverance has kept him at the forefront of the leaderboard. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville remains hot on his heels, leveraging a strategic approach to tire management and benefiting from slightly less humid conditions than anticipated.

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Kalle Rovanperä, also in a Toyota, is currently positioned just behind Neuville, overcoming challenges with the sweltering heat affecting his performance. The young Finn noted humorously, “Black car and this heat equals sweat!”

Challenges on the Course:
Sébastien Ogier faced unexpected difficulties when an intercom failure disrupted communication with his co-driver, forcing them to resort to hand signals. Despite this setback, Ogier remains determined to navigate through the difficulties and makeup ground.

Elfyn Evans expressed concerns over his car’s handling, noting a disconnection with the vehicle that has hindered his usual pace. The Welshman, looking to close the gap on his championship rival, Neuville, acknowledges the need for significant improvements.

Emerging Stories:
Dani Sordo continues to make waves on his return to WRC, securing impressive stage times and expressing his delight with the car’s performance. The Spaniard’s enthusiasm is palpable as he enjoys the familiar stages of the Portuguese rally.

In the WRC2 category, Gus Greensmith has been pushing hard to maintain a competitive edge, leading the charge with strong stage finishes and aiming to solidify his position at the top.

Looking Forward:
The afternoon loop promises to continue the intense competition, with drivers focusing on tire strategy and vehicle management to navigate the demanding Portuguese terrain. The stages set for later today are expected to be just as challenging, if not more, testing the drivers’ skills and strategies to the fullest.

Stay tuned for more updates from Rally de Portugal as we bring you all the action, drama, and excitement from one of the most iconic events in the World Rally Championship calendar.

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