Ogier wins Rally of Portugal

The reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier claimed Volkswagen's eighth consecutive World Rally Championship victory after dominant performance on the Rally of Portugal. Ogier had initially struggled during the opening loop of stages on Friday, acting as a road sweeper on the loose gravel stages for those behind him, and M-Sport's Mikko Hirvonen lead at the end of the first day.

On Saturday Ogier reclaimed his overall lead following a couple of stonking runs through the first two tests on Saturday morning, before pulling clear in the afternoon with a hat-trick of stage wins and the Polo R team-leader held a 38.1-second advantage going into the final day of the rally which proved an insurmountable gap for Hirvonen to close however, second place provided the Finn with his first podium finish since returning to the M-Sport team.

Mads Ostberg was a distant third after he was promoted to the final spot on the rostrum when Ott Tanak rolled his Fiesta RS on Saturday morning and the Estonian was just one of a number of high profile casualties. Robert Kubica, Elfyn Evans and Kris Meeke all crashed during the opening leg of the event and Jari-Matti Latvala rolled out of contention having kept his VW team-mate Ogier honest up to then. All bar Meeke returned on Saturday under Rally 2 rules. Mikkelsen grabbed fourth when he emphatically beat Henning Solberg on the penultimate stage of the event.

Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier VW 3h33m20.4s
2. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +43.2s
3. Mads Ostberg Citroen +1m12.4s
4. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +4m50.5s
5. Henning Solberg M-Sport Ford +5m10.2s
6. Dani Sordo Hyundai +8m27.2s
7. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +8m32.3s
8. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +8m51.6s
9. Juho Hanninen Hyundai +10m14.7s
10. Nasser Al-Attiyah M-Sport Ford +10m26.3s

6th April, 2014