Mikko Hirvonen has been excluded from Rally of Portugal victory following post-event scrutineering - handing the win to Adapta Ford driver Mads Ostberg.
Hirvonen's Citroen DS3 WRC was found to contravene technical regulations, with the non-conformity of the car's clutch being cited as the reason for exclusion. There is a secondary problem for the factory Citroen team, centred on the turbine wheel in the #2 DS3's turbocharger.
The issue with the turbine wheel is also sufficient for exclusion but this penalty has been suspended pending further investigation. The stewards' decision is due imminently.
In addition to giving Ostberg a maiden World Rally Championship win, Hirvonen's exclusion from the Faro-based event elevates Evgeny Novikov to second and gives Petter Solberg a podium finish, and ensures that Sebastien Loeb retains the points lead - which he had looked set to lose to his team-mate.
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