10th event of Open RBR-LT WRC 2019 was held in Portugal and it was one of the poorest rallies according to participants number. Just 37 crews started the event of which 28 reached the finish and just 11 of them without a Super Rally penalty. It was a local hero Paulo Tempera who took a win in this rally. It was his first victory in this season, but let's start from the beginning.
There was three main names in top of the table from the beginning of the rally. Same Paulo Tempera, Pole Mateusz Przyszlakowski and Lithuanian Arnas Kerbelys was fighting hard and switching positions till the last stage of the first day. After it Paulo took a lead to his control for the whole race. The next day few more drivers (Libor Tomecek and Gedvis Ralistaz) was showing their teethes by winning some stages but Portuguese Citroen C3 WRC was driving very stable and kept about 25sec advantage all second day with Mateusz sitting on his back. But all the Polish hopes to catch the leader shattered in the second stage of the last day where Pole lost ton of a time. For a moment Gedvis Ralistaz jumped to a 2nd place but in the next stage his rally was over. Mateusz managed to get back to his 2nd place leaving Jan Gais in 3rd. Mateusz wasn't very upset about his performance,- "No grip on Power Stage. One big mistake in last day. Good result for me, happy with my driving on gravel :) Thanks!". And here is that rally winner thinks about his driving,- "OK happy with my performance, no major problems entire rally, no big moments. OK we went wide 4 or 5 times on second leg but in Power Stage I pushed very hard for the 5 points. Thanks RBR-LT."
Jan Gais has taken his 2nd win in WRC 2 category. Slovakian was fighting with Kiril Kolomiets until Ukranian crashed his Škoda Fabia R5 in the last stage of the day one. And from that on Jan kept leading by 40sec all the rally. In the last day he got some pressure from Russian Evgenyi Panyushkin but everything went well for Jan and he won by 42.94sec leaving Russian in 2nd place and Kirill Kolomiets in 3rd with 4min gap.
It was a big surprise in WRC 3 category then 2WD monster and local start Oscar Estévez quit the race in second day after he was leading in the first one. We don't know the reasons behind that so far, but we know that Pole Maciej Zawisza who was behind Oscar in day one used this gift very well and didn't let the first place till the end. Maciej got quite a big pressure from his countrymen as Mariusz Domanus in 2nd place lost just 27.38sec and Mirek Woronecki in 3rd place lost 51.49sec. Maciej became the second driver who managed to take a win in WRC 3 class without counting Oscar domination. This let Maciej to push Mariusz Domanus from 2nd place in standings and cut some points from Oscars lead.
This was a late review of Rally Portugal and we already have Italian challenge started. We hope to see more crews in the start and all of the in the finish. Good luck!