Big drama on SS7 - WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2021
There was big drama in the Mortágua test as Ott Tänak snatched the rally lead after a spin and very worn tyres cost Dani Sordo around 20sec. Thierry Neuville ran wide on a left-hander, hit a tree stump and rolled his Hyundai. He managed to get going again, but dropped around 3min 30sec and arrived at the stage finish with heavy rear right suspension damage. Elfyn Evans was running behind Neuville on the road and was hampered by dust. Luckily, organisers have awarded the Welshman a notional time and he is currently second. In the midst of the drama, Sébastien Ogier stayed on track to claim the stage win. In just 18.16km, he jumped from seventh to fifth.
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The WRC is the FIA World Rally Championship, a tough motorsport using rally cars on real roads around the world. Watch the best rally drivers battle on gravel and asphalt roads with mud, rain, dust, ice and heat! Watch high speed action as the rally drivers power slide and drift round narrow corners, go flat out over a big jump or through a watersplash, handbrake turn round a hairpin, survive a big moment, or have a massive crash! Rally requires maximum attack and careful tactics to become world rally champion.
Each rally has timed sections called special stages, on closed roads. Drivers complete these stages as quickly as possible. A co-driver reads pace notes that explain the hazards ahead. Rally drivers use the same rally car to travel to each stage on public roads, following normal traffic regulations. The crew which completes all the stages in the shortest time is the rally winner. Championship points are won using the same scoring system as Formula 1. The championship is administered by Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), motorsport's world governing body.
Over 30 countries have hosted WRC rallies. Rally Monte Carlo, Rally Argentina, Rally Finland, Rally Portugal, Tour de Corse on Corsica, France, Rally Sardegna on Sardinia, Italy, Safari Rally in Kenya, Acropolis Rally in Greece, Rally New Zealand, Rally Australia, Rally Japan, Rally GB, Rally Catalunya, Rallye Deutschland, Rally Mexico and many more.
Some of the world's greatest drivers have won the FIA World Rally Championship for Drivers, like Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Walter Röhrl, Stig Blomqvist, Petter Solberg, Ott Tänak. The list of world rally champions includes many Finnish rally drivers like Juha Kankkunen, Tommi Mäkinen, Ari Vatanen, Marcus Grönholm, Hannu Mikkola. French drivers have had success with Sébastien Ogier, and 9 times world champion Sébastien Loeb. Famous drivers from other motorsports have come to try rally driving like Ken Block from Rallycross, and Robert Kubica and Kimi Räikkönen from F1.
Car companies compete for the prestigious FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers awarded to the most successful WRC constructor. Winners include Citroen, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Peugeot. Ford have had success with the Ford Escort, Ford Focus and Ford Fiesta when the M-Sport team won in 2017.
The 1980's featured the iconic Group B rally cars like the Lancia 037 and Delta S4, Peugeot 205 T16, MG Metro 6R4, Ford RS200 and Audi Quattro.
Japan dominated the 1990s with the Mitsubishi Lancer, Subaru Impreza, and Toyota Celica and Toyota Corolla. Toyota returned to the WRC in 2017 with the Toyota Yaris WRC, winning in 2018 and 2020. The 2019 championship was won by Hyundai with the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC. Find out about the latest winners and champions at https://www.wrc.com "