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Motorsport | Rallying

Thierry Neuville © Gallo Images

Dead heat in Portugal curtain raiser



There was a rare dead heat in a thrilling hilly, dirt road opening super stage of the Rally of Portugal on Thursday between Hyundai's Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Ford's Mads Ostberg of Norway.

The pair both timed 2min 36.6sec, but astonishingly the entire top six were divided by just 0.7sec around the Lousada rallycross venue north of Porto.

Kiwi Hayden Paddon, also of Hyundai, was third, Elfyn Evans of Ford was fouth, the third Hyundai of Dani Sordo fifth and championship leader Sebastien Ogier of Ford sixth.

On Friday there will be eight more specials, six along the sandy, dirt roads around along the rugged Viana do Castelo before two short town-centre specials in Braga.

STANDINGS

1. Mads Ostberg-Ola Floene (NOR/Ford Fiesta) 2min 36.6sec,
2. Thierry Neuville-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL/Hyundai i20) at 0.0sec,
3. Hayden Paddon-John Kennard (NZL/Hyundai i20) 0.1,
4. Elfyn Evans-Craig Parry (GBR/Ford Fiesta) 0.4,
5. Dani Sordo-Marc Marti (ESP/Hyundai i20) 0.5,
6. Sébastien Ogier-Julien Ingrassia (FRA/Ford Fiesta) 0.7,
7. Jari-Matti Latvala-Miikka Anttila (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 1.5,
8. Stéphane Lefebvre-Gabin Moreau (FRA/Citroën C3) 1.5,
9. Juho Hänninen-Kaj Lindstrom (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 1.8,
10. Craig Breen-Scott Martin (IRL-GBR/Citroën C3) 2.0,
11. Kris Meeke-Paul Nagle (GBR-IRL/Citroën C3) 2.0,
12. Ott Tänak-Raigo Molder (EST/Ford Fiesta) 2.4,
13. Esapekka Lappi-Janne Ferm (FIN/Toyota Yaris) 2.6



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