WRC Portugal: Sebastien Ogier holds narrow lead

Sebastien Ogier holds a narrow lead at the end of an action-packed first morning of the Rally of Portugal, while Dani Sordo gave the Hyundai i20 its first World Rally Championship stage win

WRC Portugal: Sebastien Ogier holds narrow lead

The Spaniard benefitted from the lead cars sweeping the loose gravel off the racing line in the first two stages and posted the quickest times in both to take the rally lead.

His position at the top was short-lived, however, as he was unable to match his stage-winning speed in the final test of the morning, which he finished 19.4s off the ultimate pace, set by Jari-Matti Latvala.

While Sordo dropped to fifth overall, Ogier was able to reclaim his place at the summit of the event having finished in the top four in all three of the morning's stages.

He has been exercising a degree of caution in the opening loop and did admit to some difficulties, however.

"Some places are still quite muddy. It's tricky to anticipate," said the reigning champion.

"I'm not so happy with the car and that's not helped by carrying two spare wheels, but that's a team decision - not mine."

He holds a slender 0.4s lead over Latvala, with a resurgent Mikko Hirvonen currently third and Ott Tanak showing strong pace in the M-Sport Ford.

Almodovar, the final stage of the morning, claimed three casualties in quick succession.

Elfyn Evans stopped 17 kilometres into the test and was running 10th before his misfortune, while Juho Hanninen suffered a puncture and lost the best part of two minutes before dropping down the order.

Robert Kubica is reported to have clipped a rock 10km before the finish which took a wheel off his Fiesta RS WRC.

His car then caused a blockage which took 10 minutes to remove. Both he and co-driver Maciej Szczepaniak are said to be okay.

Leading positions after SS4: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 44m28.3s 2. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +0.4s 3. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +2.3s 4. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford +5.5s 5. Dani Sordo Hyundai +8.9s 6. Mads Ostberg Citroen +9.0s 7. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +33.6s 8. Henning Solberg Solberg Ford +1m06.4s 09. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +1m22.2s 10. Kris Meeke Citroen +1m25.6s 

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WRC Portugal: Mikko Hirvonen moves into the lead ahead of Ogier

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