Portugal WRC: Sebastien Ogier retakes lead from Mikko Hirvonen

Sebastien Ogier reclaimed the lead in the Rally of Portugal from Mikko Hirvonen as Ott Tanak hit trouble on Saturday morning

Portugal WRC: Sebastien Ogier retakes lead from Mikko Hirvonen

World Rally Championship leader Ogier put Volkwsagen back at the top of the leaderboard after setting the pace on two of the three stages on the day's opening loop.

Having shaded Hirvonen by just a couple of tenths of the day's first stage, Ogier blitzed his rivals on SS9 to overturn the 6.3-second deficit to the Finn.

SS10 was then disrupted by an off for Tanak.

The Estonian had been running a comfortable third after another strong morning's work, but he stopped 9km into the loop's final stage and blocked the road.

That delayed Hirvonen, as well as the few WRC2 frontrunners Organisers awarded the Finn a notional time for the stage, putting him 2.4s behind Ogier overall heading into the afternoon.

Hirvonen had been just 0.4s slower than Ogier after the two splits prior to the stoppage.

Mads Ostberg inherited third place after Tanak's troubles, the Norwegian having previously been little more than an occasional interloper in his Citroen DS3 WRC.

Behind, Hyundai's encouraging rally continued. After Dani Sordo gave the i20 WRC its first stage win on Friday the Spaniard and team-mate Thierry Neuville moved into fourth and fifth respectively.

Andreas Mikkelsen has assumed sixth after a quiet trio of stages. His VW team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala, returning under Rally 2 regulations after his roll on Friday, made it a clean sweep of morning stages for the Polo WRC with the fastest time on SS10.

Another driver to hit trouble on day one, Robert Kubica, endured more misfortune. The Pole stopped on SS9 after sliding off the road and failed to resume after breaking the clutch on his M-Sport Fiesta as he attempted to recover it from a ditch.

Leading positions after SS10: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 2h14m45.3s 2. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +2.4s 3. Mads Ostberg Citroen +34.9s 4. Dani Sordo Hyundai +52.4s 5. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +1m20.1s 6. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +2m46.8s 7. Henning Solberg M-Sport Ford +3m00.9s 8. Martin Prokop Czech Ford +4m58.0s 9. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford +5m09.1s 10. Juho Hanninen Hyundai +5m18.7s 
shares
comments
WRC Portugal: pace notes believed to be cause of Kris Meeke crash
Previous article

WRC Portugal: pace notes believed to be cause of Kris Meeke crash

Next article

World Rally Championship drivers ordered not to talk to TV crews

World Rally Championship drivers ordered not to talk to TV crews
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022
How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead Plus

How Rovanpera overcame rallying royalty in Portugal to extend his WRC lead

Although the Rally Portugal entry list featured World Rally Championship royalty in Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier, victory was secured by rallying's rising star in Kalle Rovanpera. Here's the story of his 2022 hat-trick, as his key rivals faltered among the gravel and asphalt ahead of them

WRC
May 23, 2022
The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera Plus

The former WRC star playing the unsung hero role for Rovanpera

Kalle Rovanpera’s 2022 World Rally Championship displays have been spectacular, with the Toyota driver benefitting from a secret weapon in his crew to win two of the opening three rallies. But while the former challenger to Sebastien Loeb won’t take credit for his fellow Finn's performances, a key bond has been formed which could prove key to Rovanpera’s title charge

WRC
Apr 29, 2022
How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals Plus

How Rovanpera's Croatia turnaround sent a message to his WRC rivals

After a dominating Rally Croatia, a wrong tyre choice on the final day looked to have undone all Kalle Rovanpera's hard work and left him with a mountain to climb heading into the power stage. That he emerged the winner all the same has surely quelled any lingering doubts that the Finn is the man to beat in the 2022 WRC

WRC
Apr 25, 2022
How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021 Plus

How M-Sport's faith in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

It's fair to say 2021 was a year to forget for Pierre-Louis Loubet. A maiden full World Rally Championship season offered hope but soon turned into a nightmare that ended in hospital, after being hit by a car in a road traffic accident. Now handed a lifeline by M-Sport, the Frenchman is desperate to rebuild his career

WRC
Apr 20, 2022
Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect Plus

Why WRC mechanics deserve more respect

The drivers get the glare of attention, but it’s the mechanics who are key to the operation of any World Rally Championship car. Autosport donned a set of overalls and joined M-Sport on a Belgian national rally event to get an inside look into the trials and tribulations of a rally mechanic

WRC
Apr 17, 2022