Sébastien Ogier has had another successful weekend giving Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC its third victory in four rallies, following this year’s round in Portugal.
The Frenchman had suffered a scare on Sunday when his clutch began to slip, but he managed to hold off the advances of Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen and also collect an extra three drivers’ points by winning the Power Stage. Ogier’s team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala had earlier been occupying second place until emergency repairs on a broken driveshaft meant the crew lost time and had to settle for the third step of the podium – his first for Volkswagen.
The M-Sport Fords of Evgeny Novikov and Nasser Al-Attiyah finished the event in fourth and fifth respectively, with the third Polo R WRC car of Andreas Mikkelsen rounding off the top six.
“I am overjoyed with the win. First the illness, then the brutal stages, which really push a rally car to the very limit. When we had the problem with the power transmission on this morning’s opening stage, I thought: ‘That’s it Séb. The rally is over.’ Fortunately we made it to the service and the guys did a fantastic job there. I think we really deserved the win,” said a delighted Ogier.
The Polo driver now carries a 54-point lead over Hirvonen to Rally Argentina (May 1-4), with part-timer Sebastien Loeb remains third in the drivers’ championship.
Rally Portugal 2013 Results
1. S. Ogier VW 4h07m38.7s
2. M. Hirvonen Citroen + 58.2s
3. J-M. Latvala VW + 4m04.5s
4. E. Novikov M-Sport Ford + 5m27.7s
5. N. Al-Attiyah M-Sport Ford + 7m43.5s
6. A. Mikkelsen VW + 9m39.8s
7. M. Prokop Czech Ford + 15m04.2s
8. M. Ostberg M-Sport Ford + 15m43.6s
9. K. Al Qassimi Citroen + 15m56.9s
10. E. Lappi Skoda + 16m21.0s
[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport]