McErlean fights back on Rally Portugal
By Adam Hall
22 May 2021
McErlean's WRC 3 attack
Josh McErlean jumped up three places in WRC 3 on Rally Portugal's three Saturday morning stages. The Kilrea driver scored top-ten WRC 3 times on each test including a fifth-fastest time on the arduous 38 km Amarante stage.
Opening day punctures
McErlean and co-driver Keaton Williams had been 10th after Friday's eight stages. The Motorsport Ireland crew suffered successive punctures on SS4 and SS5. British driver Chris Ingram holds fourth in WRC 3 after SS11.
WRC 3 after Stage 11
1. Katjo / Szczepaniak 2. Rossel / Coria 3. Ciamin / Roche 4. Ingram / Whittock 5. Heller / Marti 7. McErlean / Williams
2:22:23.1s +13.4 +49.8 +59.3 +2:08.8 +3:03.9
Junior WRC survival
Junior WRC has proved to be a battle of survival with most crews facing issues already. Jon Armstrong started Saturday with two poor times, struggling to find grip in his hard compound tyres. He bounced back by winning SS11.
Two top three stage times on Saturday morning show where William Creighton's pace lies in Portugal. The Moira man's rally was ruined on Friday with driveshaft failure bringing his Rally4 Fiesta to a stop.
Junior WRC after SS11
1. Sesks / Francis 2. Koci / Tesinsky 3. Pajari / Salminen 4. Armstrong / Hall 5. Virves / Pruul 6. Creighton / Regan
2:36:34.4s +11.5 +3:05.4 +3:58.2 +7:52.2 +39:12.2
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