Third stop of the World Rally Championship was in Portugal. Both, Kimi Räikkönen and Ken Block made their debut last season. Actually, the history repeated itself a little bit.
Ken Block was really looking forward for the Portuguese rally because of his gaining experiences. However, he clipped a rock in a narrow section of the stage at Vale de Judeau during the shakedown. Ken and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino were taken to the hospital for precautionary checks. Thank God, they weren’t injured. Alex informed their fans via Facebook: “Thanks all for the messages. KB and I are bruised but ok. Hard to find positives from something like yesterday’s mega crash, beside the most important thing: We walked from it.”
Unfortunately, the Ford Fiesta RS WRC was too damaged to let the Monster World Rally Team drivers to start the Vodafone Rally de Portugal on Thursday. Ken was pretty disappointed. It was the biggest crash they have had in WRC.
Take a look at the horrific accident. I am really happy why both were uninjured. It looks really bad!
On the other hand, Kimi Räikkönen was only getting better and better. ICE One Racing team skipped the event in Mexico, so this was the first rally on gravel for Kimi with the new Citroen DS3.
“The country is nice but the stages are pretty tricky. It’s one of the most difficult rallies and you have to have really good pace notes. Today has been tricky but the roads are still nice. It’s more slippery today and also more difficult,” said Kimi in the interview for WRC.com about the Portuguese stages.
The Finn ended 7th overall gaining 6 more points. He’s 9th now in the FIA Drivers’ Championship standing. Team ICE One Racing is 5th at the Manufacturers’ Championship standing with lovely 16 points.
Sebastien Ogier won the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, leaving Sebastien Loeb 31.8 secs behind. Jari Matti Latvala was third.