Portuguese Rally Championship

Meeke Leads Defending Champion

After the first two stages (14.90 km), and before the night super-special of Lagos (1.2 km) that closes the first day of the Rallye Casinos do Algarve, the duo Kris Meeke/James Fulton, in Hyundai i20 N Rally2, leads the second rally of the Portuguese Rally Championship (CPR), adding an advantage of 9.9 seconds over his teammate and defending champion. Ricardo Teodósio.

After being the fastest in qualifying, the British driver of Team Hyundai Portugal had the privilege of being the first to choose his position on the road and, in dry conditions on a sunny day, he did not hesitate to choose to be 12th, behind Pedro Almeida, Ricardo Teodósio and Armindo Araújo.

"More important than today, where there are only a few kilometres, will be the position on the road tomorrow [Saturday], because there will be 90km of qualifying and that's where the rally will be decided...", commented Meeke.

Surprised by Pedro Almeida (Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) in the opening section, Teodósio regained second place in the next "special", although with that opponent, who started the rally very strong, at close distance and Armindo Araújo right behind. Who also started well was Ernesto Cunha, who had the art and ingenuity to take advantage of his good positioning on the road (8th) to win the fifth position, leaving José Pedro Fontes, the third rider on the road, as a result of a modest qualification (11th time), in sixth place in the league table. The second race of the CPR promises a heated discussion for second place in the six qualifiers this Saturday...

In the CPR 2RM (two-wheel drive), Hugo Lopes (Peugeot 208 Rally4) had an auspicious start, standing out in the opening section, but champion Gonçalo Henriques (Renault Clio Rally4) redeemed himself in the second and reduced, for now, the difference between them to 1.3 seconds, with Daniel Nunes (Peugeot 208 Rally4) a little further away, 8 seconds from first place. João Andrade (Peugeot 208 Rally4) is a candidate for the discussion of the first places and is in the top five, as is Ricardo Sousa (Peugeot 208 Rally4). It should be noted that the top two finishers of the FPAK Junior Team in 2023 are in the "top 10", both at the controls of the Peugeot 208 Rally4: Rafael Rego is 8th and Pedro Pereira, the winner of that initiative, occupies the tenth position.

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