Citroen Total World Rally Team drivers Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb recorded a 1-2 finish on Rally de Portugal – the first such result for the Citroen DS3 WRC.
In winning the rally, Ogier repeated his win from the 2010 event, which was his maiden victory at the sport's top level. Loeb' second place helped him to take the joint lead of the drivers' standings, after the Frenchman scored three bonus points by setting the fastest time on the Power Stage.
The team had been in a 1-2 position going into the final day on the previous event in Mexico until rally leader Ogier went off the road. Ogier was pleased to have put that behind him and win in Portugal.
“It's been a perfect weekend,” declared Ogier. “We controlled our first day well and then we pushed at the right moment. It's a telling result for the whole team with the double and the points in the Power Stage. After six months without a win I was starting to get a bit edgy. I hope it's the start of a good series. The points we've bagged today will help us relaunch our championship challenge after our disappointment in Rally Mexico. I'd like to thank the team for all their hard work. I'm as happy for them as I am for myself.”
Loeb had been fighting Ogier for the victory, but lost time when Mikko Hirvonen suffered a puncture and caused visibility problems for Loeb who was running behind him on the road. “Our victory hopes were dashed yesterday when we lost thirty seconds in the dust thrown up by Mikko's car. Second was the best we could hope for. I knew it wouldn't be easy to score the three bonus points in the Power Stage – but we did. It's a positive result for us and for the whole team. These points will be very precious as the championship looks like being a very closely-fought one.”
Citroen General Manager Frederic Banzet was present in Portugal, and expressed his delight at the team's result. “I remember a young driver who was over the moon when he won his first rally here a year ago. This year, Sebastien Ogier has taken on a whole new dimension that he's confirmed with this magnificent victory. Sebastien Loeb, who was unlucky with the rally conditions, has helped the CitroÃ«n DS3 WRC to score its first double. Bravo to the whole team and the results of our two crews are crucial for all Automobiles Citroen's collaborators. We hope this one-two finish will be the first of many.”