Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala won the 2015 FIA WRC Rally Portugal yesterday after taking lead on Friday to claim a flawless victory in the Northern part of the country. It was the first time the rally was held in this region since 2001, with stages comprising of gravel and sand running between huge mountainous rocks.
Latvala led VW Motorsports to a clean podium sweep with championship leader Sebastien Ogier taking second 8.2s later while Andreas Mikkelsen flashed across the finish line in third place. Latvala had not won a single rally since the season began, his last win was in October last year. His tire choice and management played the major role to ensuring his victory yesterday.
Commenting about his victory, Latvala said: “After the last three rallies some people were doubting if I would come back,” said Latvala. “It was one of the worst situations in my rally career so to come and win here is unique. I really appreciate this victory feeling.”
Kris Meeke’s Citroen DS3 was the only car able to keep up with the VW trio albeit finishing fourth overall. He was fighting for third with Mikkelsen when a broken anti-roll bar let him down allowing Mikkelsen to take final spot on the podium. Latvala now moves up the standings to fifth from ninth, while Ogier still leads with a 42 points margin.
2015 FIA WRC Rally Portugal Powerstage Video Highlights
Ott Tänak debuted the new Ford Fiesta RS in this round to finish fifth ahead of Dani Sordo in the Hyundai i20 WRC. 2015 Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah also took part in this event and finished in eleventh place.
Round six of the 2015 FIA WRC Championship will head over to Italy in Sardegna from June 11 to 14.
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