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World Rally drivers worry about tyre shortage as more rain looms in Portugal

Mikko Hirvonen, Citroen, Portugal 2012There is growing concern that a return to heavy rain for the final leg of the Rally of Portugal will leave the leading crews short of suitable tyres.

A new regulation for this year permitted a division in the allocation of tyres, with 10 of the 40 covers each driver is permitted in Portugal being of the soft rather than hard compound. The crews used two sets of wets yesterday morning and this morning, and rally leader Mikko Hirvonen admitted he was hoping the inclement weather would end.

"If it's raining tomorrow then it's simple - we don't have any tyres," he said. "This really is a pretty silly rule that we come here with the soft tyres, but not enough of them to get through the event. We should have enough of the right tyres to drive for the whole rally."

Current second-placed driver Mads Ostberg says he will be fine through the final day.

"We have some good tyres from yesterday that are in good condition and then we have two new events to put on as well," he said.

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