PEDDER THROUGH PORTUGAL DAY ONE IN 11TH

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PEDDER THROUGH PORTUGAL DAY ONE IN 11TH

AUSTRALIA’S Scott Pedder has completed the first full day of competition at Vodafone Rally de Portugal in 11th place outright after overcoming early setbacks in his season return to WRC2.

The Melbourne driver and co-driver Dale Moscatt were able to start the event after their AutoTek team repaired their Skoda Fabia R5 following a rollover during Shakedown on Thursday morning.

Friday started strongly, with the 2014 Australian champions finishing the 27km first stage in fourth place. But a puncture on the next stage cost three minutes, dropping them to 22nd finisher and 11th overall.

They then finished 5th, 13th, 6th, 7th, 14th and 15th on the day’s remaining stages to hold on to their outright 11th position.

Swede Pontus Tidemand – winner of the International Rally of Queensland last June – finished first in WRC2 in a factory Skoda, ahead of Nicholas Fuchs of Peru in another Fabia and championship leader Elfyn Evans in a Ford Fiesta R5.