After Mikko Hirvonen’s disqualification from Rally Portugal last weekend, Mads Ostberg inherited first place, his first ever WRC win. On paper at least, it was a landmark achievement, the first privateer to win a rally for nineteen years. Ostberg however has mixed emotions on his first win, and has set his sights on earning another win to prove his Portugal victory was on merit rather than circumstantial.
A sensational Rally Portugal has delivered one last surprise, with rally winner Mikko Hirvonen excluded for use of a n0n-homologated clutch component in his Citroen DS3 WRC.
Mikko Hirvonen had a trouble free day to take a lead of over one minute into the final day of Rally Portugal, but it was Ford rival Petter Solberg making the biggest impression after jumping from 13th to 5th by winning four out of the day’s six stages.
Mikko Hirvonen has so far won the war of attrition, the only works WRC car without the scars of battle tearing it to shreds. Ford were a victim of their own success, the late running order working against them, and making the stages so difficult for Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg that they crashed out within a stage of each other.