Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier remains in the lead of Rally de Portugal following the first loop this morning, but his overnight advantage has been more than halved.

Ogier began the final day 21.1 seconds up on Sebastien Loeb, however the multiple world rally champion put in a charge this morning and cut the deficit to just 10.1 seconds going into service G at the Algarve stadium. Loeb was quickest in both SS14 and SS15, taking 6.2 seconds out of his fellow countryman in the 21.28 km Felizes 1 stage and then gaining 4.8 seconds in Loule 1.

"It's not bad, but it is going to be very close," said Ogier, who is battling for his debut WRC win and who was second best in SS14 and SS15. "I tried very hard, not maximum attack, but still pushing. It is very difficult."

Loeb added: "I was on the limit. The first stage was okay, but the second one was bad."

Dani Sordo meanwhile moved up to third and now lies 2.2 seconds up on Petter Solberg. Solberg lost time with a steering problem in SS14 and complained that his Citroen C4 felt 'very loose' and was 'difficult' to drive after SS15.

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen completes the top five, 6.5 seconds off the fight for the final place on the podium, while Matthew Wilson gained a position in Loule 1 when his Stobart Ford team-mate, Henning Solberg was forced out with a technical problem.

Further down the order, Mads Ostberg and Kimi Raikkonen lie seventh and eighth, with Federico Villagra and Khalid Al-Qassimi rounding out the top ten.

Rally de Portugal now continues with a second run through Felizes and Loule, before the event ends, as it started, with a run through the 2.03 km SSS Estadio Algarve.

Rally de Portugal: Overall standings after Stage 15 (Top 10):

1. S?bastien Ogier Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC 3hours 19mins 57.4secs M
2. S?bastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +00mins 10.1secs M
3. Dani Sordo Citroen Total WRT C4 WRC +01min 14.4secs M
4. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen C4 WRC +01mins 16.6secs A8
5. Mikko Hirvonen BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +01min 23.1secs M
6. Matthew Wilson Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC +05mins 57.6secs M
7. Mads Ostberg Adapta Subaru Impreza WRC +06mins 30.5secs A8
8. Kimi Raikkonen Citroen Junior Team C4 WRC +09mins 10.6secs M
9. Federico Villagra Ford Focus RS WRC 08 +09mins 22.8secs M
10. Khalid Al-Qassimi BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC +09mins 26.0secs A8

SWRC Standings after Stage 15:

1. Jari Ketomaa Ford Fiesta S2000 3hours 32mins 52.0secs S
2. Xavier Pons Ford Fiesta S2000 +03mins 23.3secs S
3. Michal Kosciuszko Ford Fiesta S2000 +05mins 27.0secs S

JWRC Standings after Stage 15 (Top 3):

1. Kevin Abbring Renault Clio R3 3hours 50mins 41.8secs J
2. Karl Kruuda Suzuki Swift S1600 +05mins 24.7secs J
3. Aaron Burkart Suzuki Swift S1600 +11mins 30.8secs J

Notable retirements:

SS4. Ken Block Monster WRT Focus RS WRC Roll cage damage A8
SS7. Thierry Neuville Citroen C2 S1600 Crashed J
SS9. Jari-Matti Latvala BP Ford Abu Dhabi Focus RS WRC Crashed M
SS13. Jean-Marie Cuoq Peugeot 307 WRC Unknown A8
SS15. Henning Solberg Stobart VK Ford Focus WRC Mechanical M

all times unofficial


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