WRC Portugal: Kris Meeke still leads but Sebastien Ogier closes

Kris Meeke will head into the Rally of Portugal's final day with a 43.5-second lead after three-time World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier closed the gap on Saturday afternoon

WRC Portugal: Kris Meeke still leads but Sebastien Ogier closes

Meeke suffered from the extra weight and lack of stability in his Citroen DS 3 WRC thanks to taking an extra spare wheel, but last year's Rally Argentina winner still managed to set top five times on the three afternoon stages to lead overnight.

The star of the afternoon was Volkswagen's Andreas Mikkelsen, who entered the afternoon loop in third with a narrow margin ahead of Hyundai's Dani Sordo.

A huge push earned Mikkelsen fastest times on two of the three stages and he almost unseated Ogier despite being 12.8s behind at the beginning of SS13.

A titanic effort by Ogier on the final stage of the day allowed him to stretch the gap back out from 0.5s to 3.1s.

Sordo holds fourth overall by over a minute to M-Sport's Eric Camilli, who set competitive times all morning and is on course for his best finish in a WRC car since joining M-Sport at the start of the year.

Power-steering issues mean Jari-Matti Latvala is out of contention for a podium, unlike his VW team-mates, but the Finn produced strong times throughout the afternoon. He's just over a minute behind Camilli.

The WRC2 battle produced myriad dramas as long-time leader Pontus Tidemand suffered a puncture on his Skoda Fabia R5.

He lost a cushion of over a minute and half and went into the final stage of the afternoon 2.6s behind Rally Argentina WRC2 winner Nicolas Fuchs' Fabia.

But Tidemand responded spectacularly and duly retook the class lead by 32s.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS15:

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WRC Portugal: Kris Meeke charges away from rivals on Saturday

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About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Sébastien Ogier , Kris Meeke
Author Jack Benyon
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