The Volkswagen Motorsport crew of Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed their third victory of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship season today. The French reigning World Champions won Rally de Portugal by 43.2 seconds to take their 19th career win and Volkswagen’s eighth consecutive victory. The Ford Fiesta RS WRC crew of Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen finished second and Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson took the final podium position for Citroën.
In the Championship standings, Ogier extends his advantage to 29 points over team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, while Østberg and Hirvonen hold third and fourth respectively. In the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, Volkswagen Motorsport takes a commanding 69 point lead over the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Today’s route was the shortest and covered just three stages and 43.87 competitive kilometres. The second run through the 13.83 kilometre Loulé stage counted as the Power Stage and here Ogier, Latvala and Østberg added to their tally with additional bonus points.
Ogier was able to control the pace today and cruised to his 12th victory with the Volkswagen team and fourth in Portugal. The gap between Hirvonen and Østberg also left little to fight for with too few kilometres, although Østberg claimed the win in the middle stage. Dani Sordo, who started the morning in fourth position, was forced into a heart-breaking retirement on the road section to the first stage, the Spaniard out with a broken front left driveshaft. Andreas Mikkelsen claimed fourth, overhauling Henning Solberg during the day. Martin Prokop finished sixth and Thierry Neuville managed to climb back to seventh, despite only having rear-wheel drive in the final stage. His team-mate Juho Hänninen finished just behind in eighth and WRC 2 Championship competitors Nasser Al-Attiyah and Jari Ketomaa took the final positions in the top 10.
The fifth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the contenders to South America for Rally Argentina (8-11 May).
Vodafone Rally de Portugal – Final Unofficial Results (subject to scrutineering)