A tough fight was expected and a tough fight was what it turned out to be when all the WRC 2 crews went head to head at the Portuguese WRC round. Pontus Tidemand made a focused effort from start and it looked like he was going to secure second place. But a dramatic last stage changed the outcome and Pontus was crowned winner.
"We've had a great start to our season with the fourth victory now and we are really happy about that. The championship is our target and to get as many points as possible from each event is the most important thing. But this weekend, our victory is a bit bittersweet since this is not the way you want to win. Andreas has been incredibly quick and I feel sorry for him" said Pontus, referring to his SKODA and EVEN Management team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, who was leading when he had to retire on the 19th and final stage.
Pontus and his experienced co-driver Jonas Andersson mixed in with the top three as soon as Rally Portugal kicked off with a spectator stage on Thursday. While Mikkelsen took the lead, Pontus and Finnish Teemu Suninen got into an intense battle for second place. They were equally fast on Friday as well as Saturday and fought for the precious seconds on every stage. As if the thriller was not exciting enough, both of them picked up a puncture on Saturday's last stage. Thanks to a quick tyre change, Pontus got a grip of second place with a 19 seconds' gap to Suninen in third.