Tanak tops Toyota trio in Portugal

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Tanak tops Toyota trio in Portugal

Ott Tanak leads Toyota teammates Jari-Matti Latvala and Kris Meeke at the top of the Rally Portugal standings after the opening seven stages. Tanak takes a 17.3 seconds advantage into Saturday and was seemingly unaffected by running second on the road behind Sebastien Ogier and didn't suffer any issues with road sweeping. The day got underway with Dani Sordo the man out in front, but both him and Hyundai teammate Sebastien Loeb suffered fuel pressure problems on stage three and both dropped significant amounts of time as a result. Behind the leader, Latvala leads Meeke by just 5.5 seconds with the gap being shortened after the Finn stalled on stage six while the Irishman, who had been suffering from intercom issues earlier in the day, stayed ahead of Teemu Suninen after the M-Sport Ford driver suffered a brake failure on the same test that forced him down to sixth by the end of the day. The battle for third remains close however, with both championship challengers Thierry Neuville and Ogier completing the top five overall, just 1.4 and 1.6 seconds behind Meeke respectively. With Suninen sixth, seventh is M-Sport teammate Gus Greensmith at the end of his first day of action behind the wheel of a WRC-spec Fiesta and he is ahead of Esapekka Lappi in the second Citroen after being delayed with a puncture that cost him a minute in lost time. Elfyn Evans had been running fifth, but an electrical glitch on stage five forced him down the leaderboard after losing four minutes. Ole Christian Veiby leads WRC2 in ninth ahead of PRO leader Jan Kopecky who complete the top 10 overall with Skoda teammate Kalle Rovanpera just 4.8 seconds adrift. Fellow WRC2 competitor Pedro Meiereles suffered a major fire with his Volkswagen Polo R5 which destroyed the car. Saturday in Portugal sees a further six stages totalling 160.7km.