WRC Thierry Neuville leads after opening Coimbra stage in Portugal


For immediate release
Thursday, May 19th, 2022


MATOSINHOS (PORTUGAL): The Belgian duo of Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe led the 55th Vodafone Rally of Portugal after the opening 2.62km street stage in Coimbra on Thursday evening.

The Hyundai N i20 Rally1 crew take a lead of 0.6 seconds into the night halt over team-mates Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, with Craig Breen and Paul Nagle in third place in the first of five M-Sport Ford Pumas.

Defending World Champion Sëbastien Ogier was the highest-ranked Toyota GR Yaris driver in fifth.

Portugal’s fourth largest city and former capital also hosted the traditional ceremonial start, where thousands of spectators were also able to see an array of rally cars on display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the FIA World Rally Championship.

Led by two-time former World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl in an Open Ascona 400, several guest drivers were able to demonstrate vehicles of yesteryear on the special stage before Röhrl rounded off the stint with a second run in an Audi Sport Quattro, with WRC TV’s presenter Molly Pettit sitting alongside.

The current crop of automobile technology then took over in a different running order than rally officials will use on Friday morning. The honour of being first on the stage fell to Portuguese WRC2 driver José Pedro Fontes and he was followed into the stage by WRC2 rivals, Oliver Solberg, Nikolay Gryazin, Teemu Suninen and Andreas Mikkelsen, before the 12 Rally1 machines began the stage in reverse order.

First blood amongst the front runners, in what promises to be a ferocious tussle for WRC2 honours, fell to Poland’s Kajetan Kajetanowicz in a Škoda Fabia evo.


Action will be centred around two passes through three special stages (Lousā, Góis and Arganil), split by a regroup and tyre fitting zone in Arganil.

Competitors will then tackle one run through a stage at Mortágua (18.15km) before the day’s action concludes with a spectacular side-by-side run through a 3.36km super special stage at the Lousada rallycross track.

There is no planned service break during the day’s near 122km of timed competition and competitors will need to carry out their own running repairs during the course of the day.

2022 Vodafone Rally of Portugal – Positions after SS1 (Top 10):
1. Thierry Neuville (BEL)/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) Hyundai i20 N Rally1 2min 37.9sec
2. Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST) Hyundai i20 N Rally1 2min 38.5sec
3. Craig Breen (IRL)/Paul Nagle (IRL) Ford Puma Rally1 2min 39.3sec
4. Gus Greensmith (GBR)/Jonas Andersson (SWE) Ford Puma Rally1 2min 39.7sec
5. Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 2min 40.0sec
6. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN)/Jonne Halttunen (FIN) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 2min 40.6sec
7. Takamoto Katsuta (JPN)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 2min 40.7sec
8. Sébastien Loeb (FRA)/Isabelle Galmiche (FRA) Ford Puma Rally1 2min 41.3sec
9. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 2min 41.4sec
10. Adrien Fourmaux (FRA)/Alexandre Coria (FRA) Ford Puma Rally1 2min 42.3sec














Date issued: 19/05/2022

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

Email: ndppublicity@googlemail.com

Web: www.ndp-publicity.com

Return to Top          Powered by Infotex UK