Barbosa dominates second day of Baja Anta da Serra 500/Portalegre
Championship hopes almost lost for Rui Sousa
Although it was João Ramos that lead the first part of this muddy second day of competition, Miguel Barbosa has been the great dominator of this 17th Baja Anta da Serra 500/Portalegre up until now. Only 27 km after the start of the second section, Ramos broke the front suspension on his Toyota Rav4, while his teammate, Filipe Campos, who was third at the time, saw his transmission seize shortly after, leaving Barbosa and his Mitsubishi comfortably in the lead. "We accomplished our task, going flat-out. Things turned out as predicted, and although the surface was a little better than the morning section, it was difficult day for us", claimed Barbosa at the arrival
Rui Sousa, recovering from his bad luck yesterday, was already second, but halfway through the afternoon stage his Nissan Navara got stuck in the mud making him lose 36 minutes and many positions in the overall standards, endangering his Championship hopes. This left Luís Dias in the other works Nissan Navara alone in second place with a large advantage over third, a surprising Bowler Wildcat driven by Thierry Charbonnier. "I'm quite satisfied with our performance, and despite the difficulties third place is great considering we don't have official support from Land Rover", said the Frenchman at the end of Day 2.
As for Rui Sousa, "it was a terrible day for us and I'm extremely tired. Just this afternoon we lost traction on the front axle, we got stuck in a puddle of mud, we lost limited slip on the rear axel and, towards the end our power-steering broke. Anyhow, we've still got tomorrow!", he claimed, having come home only 19th overall.
Pedro Gameiro in a Nissan Pathfinder didn't find any opposition in the T1 category, while Francisco Esperto Tomaz took the lead of the Mello Breyner Challenge, finishing 8th overall today.
1st Miguel Barbosa (Mitsubishi), 5h21m27s; 2nd Luís Dias (Nissan), at 26m57s; 3rd Thierry Charbonnier (Bowler), at 32m38s. 7th Pedro Gameiro (Nissan), at 43m31s (1st T1); 8th Francisco Esperto, at 43m44s (1st TMB Challenge). 19th Rui Sousa (Nissan), at 1h04m47s