Sebastien Ogier won the 2014 Rally de Portugal this weekend. This was his fourth Rally de Portugal win in just five years. Ogier won by 43.2 seconds in his Volkswagen Polo R ahead of Mikko Hirvonen in a Ford Fiesta RS. Mads Ostberg finished third in a Citroen DS3. Ogier now leads the standings with a total of 91 points, as for Volkswagen, this was their eighth consecutive win matching a record set by Citroen in 2011.
Ogier started the rally in high spirits on Friday and proved his prowess on Saturday where he led all afternoon. He was running on soft tires in conditions that altered between dry and muddy. When it came to the final live TV Power Stage he managed to scoop the maximum bonus points after winning the stage. Ogier now has a streak of wins; starting with Monte Carlo, to Mexico and the recent Fafe Rally in Portugal.
Portugal is a place I love to drive and now I have four wins from five starts in a World Rally Car here,I had a good battle with Mikko for a big part of the rally, and I had good tyre management on every stage yesterday afternoon and that made the difference. To save my tyres, I didn’t push like crazy.
The casualties included Ott Tänak who rolled his Ford Fiesta RS damaging his rollcage and thus forcing early retirement for him. Veteran Kubica damaged his transmission following a slide into a bank while Dani Sordo suffered a broken front left driveshaft in his Hyundai i20. Another Hyundai of Juho Hänninen was lucky after sweeping a tree in SS14 denting the co-driver’s door.
Andreas Mikkelsen was fourth in his VW Polo R WRC finishing ahead of Henning Solberg. Mikkelsen had rolled during the Mexican round but was extra careful in Portugal. Meanwhile, the sixth place went to Martin Prokop in his Fiesta RS. The retirements included Kris Meeke, Robert Kubica, Jari-Matti Latvala and Dani Sordo, however, Latvala is still high on points with a second place in the standings.
The next round will head over to Argentina in Villa Carlos Paz on May 8th!
[Photos by McKlein and Andre Lavadinho]