FIA World Rally Championship

Ogier Seals Back-To-Back WRC Portugal Wins

2 Mins read

Sebastien Ogier repeated his maiden World Rally Championship win from 2010 by winning the Rally de Portugal. The Frenchman led home compatriot Sebastien Loeb to complete a 1-2 finish for the Citroen Total team.

Ogier led for much of Friday and although he dropped back at the end of the day to ensure a good road position for Saturday, he overcame Jari-Matti Latvala on Saturday morning. Latvala then suffered a broken driveshaft on Saturday afternoon that dropped him back to third.

With a gap of 37 seconds over Loeb coming into the final day, Ogier was able to coast to the finish, ending the rally with a margin of 31.8 seconds. Loeb dropped time on Saturday morning when running in the dust of Mikko Hirvonen, who had stopped to change a punctured tyre. He too enjoyed a comfortable final day to finish second, winning the final 'Power Stage' to collect three extra points.

Latvala scored his third podium from as many 2011 rallies following his driveshaft issues, also taking two additional points for second on the power stage, just ahead of Ogier. Despite being in the fight for the win early on, Latvala's Ford Abu Dhabi teammate Hirvonen was first hit by a puncture on Saturday before broken suspension dropped him to fifth behind M-Sport Stobart driver Matthew Wilson. He won Sunday's first stage to get past Wilson, only to suffer from a broken driveshaft on the following stage, dropping him back down to fifth. He was able to take fourth position back for good on the penultimate stage, and held on to the position despite more suspension problems on the final stage.

Wilson recorded a good fifth place finish, with Petter Solberg ending the rally in sixth position in his privateer Citroen. He was forced to recover from multiple punctures on Friday that left him well down the field. He got past Kimi Raikkonen on the final stage, having taken seventh from Munchi's driver Federico Villagra on the previous test. He also benefited from the misfortune that hit brother Henning Solberg. The Stobart driver had been running sixth before a turbo problem on the final loop pushed him down to ninth.

Dennis Kuipers rounded out the points scorers in his FERM Fiesta. Of the other Fiesta RS WRCs entered for the event, Ken Block suffered a huge crash in shakedown that ruled him out of the rally. Mads Ostberg's rally began when he ripped a wheel of his Stobart entry on the opening superspecial. He then suffered a gearbox failure on Friday that left him well down the order upon restarting under superally rules. Khalid Al Qassimi had been running just inside the top ten when he hit a rock on Saturday afternoon, while local entrant Bernardo Sousa rolled out at the end of Friday.

Armindo Araujo had been running seventh in the new S2000 Mini, but dropped out following a puncture and an engine problem on Saturday.

Hayden Paddon won the Production category by over seven minutes, finishing 11th overall – despite a broken suspension on the final morning. Egon Kaur won the first ever round of the WRC Academy, where the results were declared at the end of Saturday's action.

Loeb's power stage win puts him at the top of the drivers' standings, tied on 58 points with Hirvonen.

Top ten final results:

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC 4:10:53.4
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total Citroen DS3 WRC +31.8
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3:22.1
4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6:16.3
5. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +7:48.5
6. Petter Solberg Solberg Citroen DS3 WRC +10:17.4
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +10:54.1
8. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford Fiesta RS WRC +11:38.8
9. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +14:16.4
10. Dennis Kuipers FERM Ford Fiesta RS WRC +17:54.6
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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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