Sunday 6 April 2014

Rally - VW wins Portugal

Defending world champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia scored the VW Polo R WRC’s fourth victory of the 2014 WRC series and the eighth in a row for Volkswagen (including the events at the end of last season) but the fact that there were three different manufacturers on the final podium showed that VW might not have things all their own way this year. Andreas Mikkelsen finished fourth and Jari-Matti Latvala fought back after Friday’s crash to finish 14th.

At the rally finish Sébastien Ogier, said: “Four wins in five years. It is no exaggeration: the Rally Portugal is one of my very favourites! The whole week has been fantastic for Julien and me. First the fantastic show in front of more than 100,000 fans at the ‘Fafe Rally Sprint’, and now the icing on the cake with our title defence at the Rally Portugal on the Algarve. The encouragement and support of the fans is rather special here. We only took as many risks as needed on soft tyres on the final day. Despite this, our goal was obviously to pick up the three points on the Power Stage, although Jari-Matti did not make it easy for me. The lead in the World Championship is now a bit larger, but the opposition is not sleeping – Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Østberg showed that. I heard that Markku Alén is the uncrowned king with five wins in Portugal. We can achieve that too next year. That is our goal.”

Jari-Matti Latvala commented: “Our pace was very good, so we had the opportunity to finish on the podium. Unfortunately, however, an avoidable little mistake on Friday had pretty big consequences. That was very disappointing and put paid to any chances of a good result. We then altered our strategy and targeted the Power Stage. We kept some soft tyres back, in order to mount an assault on the bonus points – and that paid off, as we finished runner-up.”

Final leaderboard:
1, S. OGIER , M, 3:33:20.4, ,
2, M. HIRVONEN , M, 3:34:03.6, +43.2, +43.2
3, M. OSTBERG , M, 3:34:32.8, +29.2, +1:12.4
4, A. MIKKELSEN , T, 3:38:10.9, +3:38.1, +4:50.5
5, H. SOLBERG , , 3:38:30.6, +19.7, +5:10.2
6, M. PROKOP , T, 3:41:47.6, +3:17.0, +8:27.2
7, T. NEUVILLE , M, 3:41:52.7, +5.1, +8:32.3
8, J. HÄNNINEN , M, 3:42:12.0, +19.3, +8:51.6
9, N. AL-ATTIYAH , WRC2, 3:43:35.1, +1:23.1, +10:14.7
10, J. KETOMAA , WRC2, 3:43:46.7, +11.6, +10:26.3
16, R. BARRABLE , WRC2, 3:51:55.6, +1:52.2, +18:35.2
22, E. EVANS , M, 3:55:51.6, +8.5, +22:31.2
41, T. CAVE , 4:14:40.6, +0.7, +41:20.2

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