Kalle Rovanperä from Finland won the World Rally Championship for the third time in a row. He left his British Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans by 15 seconds in Portugal to consolidate his overall lead in the championship. Third Spaniard Dani Sordo in his Hyundai was more than two minutes behind, Martin Prokop finished sixteenth.
Early in the weekend, Rovanperä lost by almost 20 seconds to Evans, but then he narrowed the vice world champion’s lead and edged him out in the penultimate round on Saturday.
On the final stage, he added six seconds in the rain and fog, and he was helped by three wins. He leads Belgian Thierry Neuville with 46 points in the running order of the World Cup.
“The conditions were sometimes very difficult, but the car drove perfectly as usual,” said the 21-year-old Finn on the World Championships website, who also enjoyed wins in Sweden and Croatia this year.
“Hats off to Kall. On the one hand we are disappointed, on the other hand it is nice to be here again on the podium,” said Evans, who triumphed in Portugal last year.
The race for third place was even tighter, which Sordo eventually won for himself by two seconds. In the last special stage, he overtook Takamoto Kacuta from Japan, which could ensure Toyota’s supremacy on Portuguese gravel.
In this year’s World Championship debut, Martin Prokop won sixteenth place. His young compatriot Erik Cais suffered a heavy loss after pulling out on Friday and breaking into the top ten on the leaderboard.
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