Sebastien Ogier claimed his 5th
Vodafone Rally de Portugal win on May 21, 2017. With this, he increased his FIA
World Rally Championship lead with his second victory of the season by 15.6sec
from Thierry Neuville who was driving a Hyundai i20 Coupe. His 40th career
success also matched the record five Portugal wins of Finn Markku Alén.
Driving his Ford Fiesta, Ogier,
who scored his maiden WRC win in Portugal seven years ago, took the lead on the
fourth day. Neuville was targeting a hat-trick after victories in Corsica and
Argentina. He is now second in the title battle, 22 points behind Ogier.
Team-mate Dani Sordo finished
a further 46.1sec behind in third. The Spaniard struggled with the handling of
his i20 on the dusty gravel roads and could not fend off Ogier and Neuville
after lying second earlier in the weekend.
Ott Tänak looked to be the man
to beat on Saturday. He led before swiping a bank and breaking his Fiesta’s
suspension and brakes. He recovered to finish fourth, almost half a minute
adrift of Sordo.
Craig Breen was again the
leading Citroën C3 driver in fifth, the fourth occasion in six rallies he has
occupied that position. He was 27.2sec adrift of Tänak, but well over a minute
clear of Elfyn Evans’ Fiesta.
The championship reaches its
midpoint next month at Rally Italia Sardegna. The four-day gravel fixture is
based in Alghero on June 8 - 11.
1. S Ogier / J Ingrassia FRA
Ford Fiesta 3hr 42min 55.7sec
2. T Neuville / N Gilsoul BEL
Hyundai i20 +15.6sec
3. D Sordo / M Marti ESP
Hyundai i20 +1min 01.7sec
4. O Tänak / M Jarveöja EST
Ford Fiesta +1min 30.2sec
5. C Breen / S Martin IRE
Citroën C3 +1min 57.4sec
6. E Evans / D Barritt GBR
Ford Fiesta +3min 10.6sec
FIA World Rally Championship (round 6 of 13):
1. S Ogier 128pts
2. T Neuville 106pts
3. J-M Latvala 88pts
(Inputs Red Bull Content Pool / Pictures courtesy Red Bull Content Pool)