Ogier retakes Portugal lead

Sebastien Ogier has reclaimed the lead of the Rally of Portugal from Jari-Matti Latvala at the halfway point of day two

Ogier retakes Portugal lead

Ogier had relinquished first place at the end of the opening day because he was unwilling to run first on the road this morning, so slowed and dropped to fourth.

That strategy paid off this morning, as the Citroen driver had sufficient pace to turn his overnight 16.7-second deficit to Latvala into a 6.9s lead over the Ford by the end of the loop.

"For sure it was a disadvantage to be first, so we managed to take a small gap on this one, but there's still not a big difference between everybody," said Ogier. "We'll continue like this, try to avoid a puncture and see what happens."

Latvala felt it was only on Loule, the final stage of the loop, that his road position had really hurt his chances. The Finn dropped 12.5s to Ogier on that stage alone.

"On the first one we lost 10s to Ogier and [Sebastien] Loeb, then Mikko [Hirvonen] had a puncture and Loeb lost some time in the dust, so that was okay for us," said Latvala.

"The third one was the most slippy and the worst for us. At the end there was fresh gravel and it was really, really slippery - like the ball bearings in Australia."

Sebastien Loeb is still in contention despite falling back - and becoming enraged - when he had to run in Mikko Hirvonen's dust on SS9 after the Ford stopped to change a puncture. The world champion is 30.7s off the lead.

"The only thing I can do is try to close the gap on Jari-Matti," said Loeb. "That was maybe the last opportunity to make a big difference. We'll try our best."

Hirvonen is two minutes behind in fourth and now driving cautiously, while Matthew Wilson holds a narrow advantage over Stobart Ford team-mate Mads Ostberg in their battle for fifth.

After his puncture delay on Friday, Kimi Raikkonen (Ice 1 Citroen) has regained ground and is catching Armindo Araujo's S2000 Mini for seventh.

Petter Solberg - who suffered no fewer than four punctures yesterday - is now a distant 13th but won SS9 in the Solberg Citroen.

Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen 2h11m59.9s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford + 6.9s 3. Sebastien Loeb Citroen + 30.7s 4. Mikko Hirvonen Ford + 2m17.9s 5. Matthew Wilson Stobart Ford + 3m37.3s 6. Henning Solberg Stobart Ford + 3m42.9s 7. Armindo Araujo Italia Mini + 6m27.7s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ice 1 Citroen + 6m35.6s 9. Federico Villagra Munchi's Ford + 6m51.7s 10. Khalid Al Qassimi Abu Dhabi Ford + 7m57.8s 
shares
comments
Loeb slams Hirvonen over delay

Previous article

Loeb slams Hirvonen over delay

Next article

Loeb apologises to Hirvonen after row

Loeb apologises to Hirvonen after row
Load comments
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021