Ogier cruises to Portuguese WRC win

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IOL mot pic apr7 WRC Portugal Ogier Getty World champion Sebastien Ogier on his way to a fourth win in the Algarve. Picture: Massimo Bettiol

Faro, Portugal - World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier coasted home to win the Rally of Portugal for the fourth time on Sunday.

The Volkswagen Polo driver's third win out of four this season cemented his position at the top of the World Rally Championship standings.

Ogier, who had a 43 second cushion over his nearest pursuer, Finland's Miko Hirvonen, led virtually since the first stage on Thursday to notch up his team's eighth consecutive win, moving Volkswagen up to level with Citroen's record Constructors' run in the WRC.

Behind Ogier and Hirvonen in third, 1m12 adrift, came Norway's Mads Ostberg, in a Citroen DS3.

Ogier sealed his 19th career win by taking Sunday's power stage, his eighth stage win out of 16 in the Algarve, to gain the maximum 28 points.

His nearest rival in the title race, Jari-Mata Latvala, finished out of the top 10.

“Some people were saying I should ask for Portuguese nationality,” Ogier said after adding this to wins here in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

He said he felt “more relaxed and liberated” after claiming his first world title in 2013.

“I'm really at home on these roads,” added Ogier, who leads Latvala by 29 points in the overall standings - only three points had split the pair before arriving in Portugal.

“We've certainly pulled clear of Jari-Mati but we are never free of the danger of a mechanical problem.”

The next round of the WRC season will be run in Argentina, starting on 8 May. - AFP

RESULTS

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen - 3hours24m38.7

2 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +35.4sec

3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen +1:08.1

4 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen +4:40.5

5 Henning Solberg (Norway) Ford +4:49.2

6 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai +7:40.0

7 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Ford +8:01.1

8 Juho Haenninen (Finland) Hyundai +8:28.1

9 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Ford +9:49.7

10 Jari Ketomaa (Finland) Ford +10:00.5

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS - Drivers

1 Sebastien Ogier (France) Volkswagen Motorsport - 91 points

2 Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Volkswagen Motorsport - 62

3 Mads Ostberg (Norway) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 48

4 Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) Volkswagen Motorsport II - 36

5 Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) M-Sport World Rally Team - 36

6 Thierry Neuville (Belgium) Hyundai Motorsport - 21

7 Elfyn Evans (Britain) M-Sport Ltd - 20

8 Bryan Bouffier (France) M-Sport Ltd - 18

8 Martin Prokop (Czech Republic) Jipocar Czech National Team - 18

10 Kris Meeke (Britain) Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 17

11 Henning Solberg (Norway) Henning Solberg - 16

12 Ott Taenak (Estonia) M-Sport World Rally Team - 10

13 Benito Guerra (Mexico) M-Sport World Rally Team - 8

14 Chris Atkinson (Australia) Hyundai Motorsport - 6

15 Jaroslav Melicharek (Slovakia) Slovakia World Rally Team - 4

16 Pontus Tidemand (Sweden) Pontus Tidemand - 4

17 Juho Haenninen (Finland) Hyundai Motorsport - 4

18 Matteo Gamba (Italy) Matteo Gamba - 2

19 Craig Breen (Ireland) Craig Breen - 2

20 Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) Nasser Al-Attiyah - 2

21 Yuriy Protasov (Ukraine) Yuriy Protasov - 2

22 Jari Ketomaa (Finland) Drive Dmack - 1

Constructors

1 Volkswagen Motorsport - 144 points

2 Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team - 75

3 M-Sport World Rally Team - 60

4 Hyundai Motorsport - 45

5 Volkswagen Motorsport II - 40

6 Jipocar Czech National Team - 20

7 RK M-Sport World Rally Team - 4



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