Rovanperä shrinks Evans’ lead with another stage win

The fight for the lead intensifies between the two Toyotas


Kalle Rovanperä has nibbled 1.9s into Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans’ lead on Rally Portugal, taking a stage win on Vieira do Minho.

Evans had laid down a marker on the final stage of the Saturday morning loop, Amarante, with a big stage win. But Rovanperä was able to find a response on Vieira do Minho with the fastest time, reducing the gap to 16.5s

“I felt the stage went OK, so that was a pretty good run from him,” said Evans of the championship leader’s run.

It also appeared that Rovanperä wasn’t at full send, as running earlier on the road and finishing before Evans had a time on the board, he suggested he was playing the long game and thinking about banking championship points.


“It’s still a long way to Elfyn so I’m not really only trying to catch him. We need to keep this place,” he surmised.

Takamoto Katsuta extended his advantage over Dani Sordo in their battle for the final podium spot, albeit by a mere 0.6s.

Sordo admitted to overdriving in the latter part of the stage, where rain had fallen with greater intensity.

Both Craig Breen and Pierre-Louis Loubet gambled on running extra softs on Saturday afternoon, hoping it would rain heavily enough to avoid any wear issues later in the loop.


Breen reclaimed 3.6s to Loubet ahead in fifth, who hadn’t pushed hard enough as the “grip was a bit higher than expected.”

Vieira do Minho is proving to be a bogey stage for Gus Greensmith. He’d dropped back on the morning pass with a rear-right puncture, only to go and do it again in the afternoon.

This time Greensmith clipped a small bank that was far more solid than he had expected, breaking a wheel rim and causing his tire to go soft, ending 20s off the leading pace.

SS13 Results

  1. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) 13m36.9s
  2. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +1.9s
  3. Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota) +7.9s
  4. Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +8.2s
  5. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +8.4s
  6. Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (Hyundai) +8.5s
  7. Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +8.6s
  8. Pierre-Louis Loubet/Landais (M-Sport Ford) +11.8s
  9. Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (M-Sport Ford) +18.2s
  10. Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +20.0s

Leading Positions after SS13

  1. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) 2h31m33.8s
  2. Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +16.5s
  3. Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota) +1m25.9s
  4. Dani Sordo/Cándido Carrera (Hyundai) +1m30.00s
  5. Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +2m25.8s
  6. Pierre-Louis Loubet/Landais (M-Sport Ford) +3m12.8s
  7. Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (M-Sport Ford) +3m18.9s
  8. Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson (M-Sport Ford) +3m37.1s
  9. Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +4m12.9s
  10. Adrien Fourmaux/Alexandre Coria (M-Sport Ford) +6m17.5s