Ogier claims hat-trick of WRC wins in Portugal

Ogier makes it a hat-trick of wins for Castrol-backed VW

Ogier makes it a hat-trick of wins for Volkswagen

Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sebastien Ogier has claimed his third consecutive World Rally Championship win with victory on Rally Portugal.

Having already won in Sweden and Mexico, Ogier now holds a 54-point cushion over Hirvonen in the championship who finished second in Portugal behind the wheel of his Citroen DS3.

“Unbelievable. What a rollercoaster ride here in Portugal!” Ogier claimed.

“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 will now try to get as much rest and regain as much strength as possible in time for Argentina.”

Ogier’s team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala had to surrender second place overall after a broken front-right drive shaft forced him to contest the 52.30-kilometre Almodovar stage (the longest in the WRC) with rear-wheel drive only.

He did, however, overcame the hindrance to hold off  Qatar M-Sport driver Evgeny Novikov and earn his place on the podium.

Olympic skeet shooting medallist slash WRC regular Nasser Al-Attiyah also led the way for the Qatar World Rally Team squad as they brought their Ford Fiesta RS home in fifth.

Kubica moved to second in the WRC2 category until mechanical issues brought and end to a fairytale debut

Robert Kubica moved to second in the WRC2 category until mechanical issues brought an end to a fairytale debut

“Fourth place is a very good result for us, but still I was not so happy with the times. It was a difficult weekend for us. I was pushing on the stages but for some reason the times just weren’t where they needed to be,” said Novikov.

“This [fourth place] is definitely the maximum I could have achieved this weekend, so I am happy with that. Now we just need to make sure we work hard and come back stronger in Argentina.”

Esapekka Lappi ended up taking a dominant victory in the WRC2 category, however it was former F1 race winner Robert Kubica who impressed after moving into second on the opening day before a multitude of technical issues saw stop to a podium result on debut.

“For my first gravel rally, I think I have shown good pace on the stages where I didn’t have any problems,” said Kubica.

“Overall, it has been pretty positive, although we have been a bit unlucky at times.”

The next round of the World Rally Championship starts in less that three weeks when Rally Argentina gets underway on 1 May.

2013 WRC Rally Portugal Results

Pos Driver Car/Engine Laps Time/Delay
1 Sébastien Ogier Volkswagen 15 4h 07:38.7
2 Mikko Hirvonen Citroen 15 58.2
3 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen 15 4:04.5
4 Evgeny Novikov Ford 15 5:27.7
5 Nasser Al-Attiyah Ford 15 7:43.5
6 Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen 15 9:39.8
7 Martin Prokop Ford 15 15:04.2
8 Mads Østberg Ford 15 15:43.6
9 Khalid Al-Qassimi Citroen 15 15:56.9
10 Esapekka Lappi Skoda 15 16:21.0
11 Robert Barrable Ford 15 27:57.5
12 Daniel Sordo Citroen 15 30:36.8
13 Bryan Bouffier Citroen 15 31:13.8
14 Sepp Wiegand Skoda 15 31:24.1
15 Nicolás Fuchs Mitsubishi 15 35:46.8
16 Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford 15 37:54.4
17 Thierry Neuville Ford 15 38:22.8
18 Miguel Barbosa Mitsubishi 15 38:32.7
19 Robert Kubica Citroen 15 39:32.2
20 Sébastien Chardonnet Citroen 15 41:20.4

2013 WRC drivers’ standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Sébastien Ogier 102
2 Mikko Hirvonen 48
3 Sébastien Loeb 43
4 Mads Østberg 32
5 Jari-Matti Latvala 31
6 Daniel Sordo 27
7 Thierry Neuville 25
8 Nasser Al-Attiyah 20
9 Martin Prokop 20
10 Evgeny Novikov 15

2013 WRC manufacturers’ standings

Pos Team Points
1 Volkswagen Motorsport 121
2 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT 107
3 Qatar M-Sport WRT 55
4 Qatar World Rally Team 36
5 Abu Dhabi Citroën Total WRT 27
6 Jipocar Czech National Team 22
7 Lotos Rally Team 12
8 Volkswagen Motorsport II 10

Video highlights from Stages 12 and 13 on Sunday

Video highlights from the final two stages on Sunday

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