Sébastien Ogier cruised through the final day of Vodafone Rally de Portugal to equal Markku Alen’s record of five Rally Portugal victories .
The championship leader spent the day managing the 15 second gap between him and the Hyundai of Thierry Neuville who is now second in the championship standings.
Former leader Ott Tanak took maximum power stage points on his way to fourth which slightly made up for the disappointment of losing the lead yesterday.
At the start of the day, Neuville was 16.8 seconds behind Ogier with four stages to close the gap.
On the first stage he took 0.8 seconds out of the M-Sport driver but any hopes taking the win ended when Ogier was quickest on the next stage by 3.3 seconds.
After both drivers preserved their tyres on the penultimate stage, the power stage, encompassing the legendary Fafe test, saw Neuville miss out on the fastest time, his 6 m 38.7 was only good enough for the second, 0.4 seconds behind Tanak.
Although Ogier only picked up one power stage point for fifth fastest time, his victory has increased the gap in the standings between him and Neuville.
Third place went to Hyundai’s Dani Sordo with a disappointed Tanak half a minute behind.
On a disappointing rally for Citroen Craig Breen got the French manufacturer’s best result with fifth, with Elfyn Evans in the DMACK Fiesta sixth.
Toyota managed to get all three Yaris WRCs home on their first event with three cars with Juho Hanninen getting the best result with seventh, ahead of delayed team leader Jari-Matti Latvala in ninth and Esapekka Lappi rounding out the top ten on his Toyota debut.
There was last minute drama in WRC2 as Pontus Tidemand took the victory when Skoda team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen made a rare mistake.
The Norwegian had a comfortable three minute lead going into the powerstage but under no pressure at all he hit a rock and flipped the Skoda into the scenery.
Mikkelsen’s embarrassing mistake has dropped him 50 points behind Tidemand who came out on top of a rally long battle with M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen, by just 11 seconds.
Britain’s Gus Greensmith, on his second event with the M-Sport team, finished sixth in class, holding off a charging Éric Camilli but just 4.4 seconds.
The Citroen DS3 R3T of Francisco Name jr. took victory in the WRC3 category by holding off Nil Solans’s Ford Fiesta R2T, who had retired on day one, by 45 seconds.
Martin Prokop completely dominated the WRC Trophy event on his return to the WRC, winning by 11 minutes from championship leader Valeriy Gorban.