Ogier Closes Latvala's Lead in Portugal

Jari-Matti Latvala holds a slender 9 second lead from Volkswagen team-mate Sebastien Ogier going into the final day of Rally Portugal after the world rally champion achieved a succession of stage wins following a slow start to his rally. Ogier was fastest on all three of Saturday afternoon's stages after starting the day only sixth, 25.9s off Latvala, but his stunning afternoon performance brought Ogier back into contention, as he demoted Kris Meeke and Andreas Mikkelsen to third and fourth. Ogier will now start Sunday's concluding three-stage loop just 9.5s behind Latvala, with the bonus of a saved set of soft tyres.

Despite closing on Latvala during the morning, Citroen driver Meeke struggled to match the VWs around him in the afternoon and lost second to Ogier on the last stage, falling 10s adrift and holding third by just one second over Mikkelsen - who spun over the Fridao stage's finish line. Ott Tanak is fifth place in M-Sport's new Ford Fiesta, while Hyundai team-mates Dani Sordo and Hayden Paddon have been contesting sixth position. Mads Ostberg is just behind that battle, having struggled through the afternoon with a lack of boost on his Citroen's engine.

Positions after SS13:
Pos Driver Team Car Gap

1 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 2h56m19.9s
2 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 9.5s
3 Kris Meeke Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 20.0s
4 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Volkswagen 21.1s
5 Ott Tanak M-Sport World Rally Team Ford 1m11.1s
6 Daniel Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai 1m55.4s
7 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai 2m01.0s
8 Mads Ostberg Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT Citroen 2m05.0s
9 Robert Kubica Ford Fiesta 3m06.9s
10 Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford 5m49.7s

23rd May, 2015