Stage SS4: Ourique, last Friday. This stage is 11.10 kilometres, the first part of which is quite fast. It was won by Estonian Ott Tanak in his first stage victory on a gravel round of the FIA World Rally Championship driving an M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta RS WRC.. He was 1.4 seconds quicker than Mikko Hirvonen who had been running one position ahead of him on the road. Mikko Hirvonen is still ahead of him, with Tanak now 10.7 seconds behind him, so the battle is truly on for that final podium spot.
Jari-Matti Latvala is still leading the Vodafone Rally de Portugal but only managed the fourth quickest time during this stage. This kept him 7.3s adrift of Tanak, which was probably down to the heavy rain that started during his run as it got really slippery and he started losing time.
Third quickest was Thierry Neuville for the Citroen Junior World Rally Team. Petter Solberg (Latvala’s Ford team mate) was fifth fastest at 9.4s behind Tanak driving a very wet, slippy round with his tyres struggling to grip the mud, so he did a half spin at one point. Jari Ketomaa in his Autotek Fiesta completed the top six.
The crews are now all heading to the Algarve for a service halt of 45 minutes. Stage five will begin on Friday at 12:01 with the 25.01 kilometre Tavira test.