FIA World Rally ChampionshipOff Road

Ogier Leads After Fords Hit Trouble On Day 2 In Portugal

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Citroen driver Sebastien Ogier leads Rally de Portugal at the end of Day 2 after Ford drivers Jari-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen both suffered problems during the day. Ogier leads Citroen teammate Sebastien Loeb by 37 seconds.

After Ogier dropped back on the final stage of Day 1 to ensure a good road position for Day 2, Latvala started the day with a 11.5 second lead over teammate Hirvonen, with Loeb and Ogier both within 17 seconds of the rally lead.

Hirvonen slipped behind Ogier and Loeb on the opening stage of the day – SS8 Almodovar, and then lost nearly two minutes with a puncture on SS9 Vascao. It also cost Loeb time, as the Frenchman had to run in Hirvonen's dust trail once he had stopped to change the tyre. Loeb had been second, just 3.8 seconds behind leader Latvala going into the stage, but lost half a minute and dropped to third behind Ogier. Loeb was furious with Hirvonen at the end of the stage.

Ogier won SS10 Loule to take the lead from Latvala going into midday service. He extended his lead to 11.2 seconds on SS11 Almodovar 2, before Latvala suffered a broken driveshaft on SS12, the second run through Vascao. This cost him half a minute, dropping behind Loeb.

Worse was to come on the final stage of the day for Latvala though. As well as having to crawl through the stage with his broken driveshaft he suffered a puncture. He finished the stage over three and a half minutes down. He remained third overall though, as Hirvonen suffered broken suspension. Again he was caught by Loeb, but stopped to let him past. At the end of the stage he had dropped more than three minutes.

This allowed Matthew Wilson to move up into fourth position on the overall leaderboard. The Briton had been battling with M-Sport Stobart teammate Henning Solberg all day until the Norwegian was delayed by a puncture.

Solberg holds sixth at the end of the day, over a minute ahead of the battle for seventh between Kimi Raikkonen and Federico Villagra. After suffering multiple punctures and deciding to retire from Day 1 to save time loss, Petter Solberg has climbed from 19th to ninth, winning stages nine, 12 and 13 in his privateer Citroen. Dennis Kuipers is tenth in his FERM Ford.

Armindo Araujo had been seventh in the new S2000 Mini, but suffered a puncture on SS11, losing five minutes. He then retired on the following stage. Khalid Al Qassimi dropped out of tenth on SS11 when he broke his suspension after hitting a rock, while Peter van Merksteijn Jr retired with engine problems.

Hayden Paddon continues to lead the PWRC category, now 11th overall. He is more than six minutes ahead of his nearest rival Benito Guerra after Anders Grondal dropped out. Egon Kaur ended up winning the first round of the WRC Academy, in which the results are declared at the end of Saturday's action before participants spend Sunday in a debrief session. Craig Breen took an advantage of 48 seconds into Day 2, but went off the road on SS10. Alistair Fisher inherited the lead, only to roll on the penultimate stage. This allowed Kaur to take the class victory.

Top ten overall after thirteen stages:

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC 2:59:30.2
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC +37.6
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4:14.6
4. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5:26.8
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +5:32.5
6. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +7:46.4
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +8:55.2
8. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford Fiesta RS WRC +9:10.0
9. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC +11:27.1
10. Dennis Kuipers FERM Ford Fiesta RS WRC +13:07.9
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