PR: Loeb leading overnight in Portugal

Team Peugeot Total’s Timmy Hansen continued the French team’s form at the World RX of Portugal in Q2, winning race three and setting the quickest time, just ahead of Q1 pace-setter and team-mate Sebastien Loeb.

Nine-time World Rally Champion Loeb won Q2 race four and was two tenths slower than Hansen but holds TQ (top qualifier) in the Intermediate Classification ahead of Q3 tomorrow morning, Hansen’s Q2 time lifting him up to second.

Consistent all day, EKS Audi Sport’s Mattias Ekstrom was third in Q2, finishing second to Loeb in race four after taking a lap one joker lap in a battle with PSRX Volkswagen Sweden’s Johan Kristoffersson who would end up sixth quickest, two places behind team mate Petter Solberg.

Solberg took his joker on lap one of race three, followed by GRX Taneco’s Niclas Gronholm and was only just beaten for the lead at the joker lap exit by Peugeot’s Hansen on lap four.

Andreas Bakkerud chased Loeb for the first three laps of race four in Q2 and ended up fifth quickest to hold the same position in the Intermediate Classification. Gronholm is seventh.

Guerlain Chicherit started on the outside of the grid in the last race of Q2 and followed Drivers’ Champion Kristofferson to the end to be 11th quickest and maintain his top-ten position.

Former RX Lites (the previous name for the RX2 International Series) champions Kevin Hansen (Team Peugeot Total) and Kevin Eriksson (Olsbergs MSE) were eighth and ninth in Q2 with Latvia’s Janis Baumanis 10th, the Team STARD driver holding off Robin Larsson at the first corner of race two.

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