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Ogier remains in command as misfortune strikes Ford

“We explained that Mikko had had a puncture but was back up to full speed,” the Englishman revealed. “They came back two or three times because Loeb was understandably being anxious, but I don't feel in any way, shape or form bad about what's happened. We've spent time practising [changing tyres] because we knew punctures would be an issue. At the end of the day, it's a storm in a teacup because Sébastien went to apologise to Mikko. He knows it was wrong to do what he did [at the end of the stage].”

Hirvonen's misfortune has elevated M-Sport Stobart ace Matthew Wilson into fourth, although the Briton conceded that 'it's unbelievably hard knowing what pace to drive at, whether to push to keep the concentration or back off to avoid problems', with team-mate Henning Solberg falling away in sixth following an intermittent power steering problem and a puncture.

The Norwegian is now just over a minute clear of seventh-placed Kimi Raikkonen, the ex-F1 World Champion much happier with the handling of his privately-run ICE1 Racing Citroën DS3 WRC, although himself battling dust issues when he had to follow the crippled Armindo Araújo for eight kilometres through SS11. The local hero grappled against a lack of power throughout the day, before a puncture and a suspected engine fault dropped him from a promising seventh to 17th on the MINI John Cooper Works Super 2000's WRC debut. Brazil World Rally Team's Daniel Oliveira in the other MINI on the event is 15th.

Federico Villagra runs eighth, ahead of the recovering Petter Solberg – and fast-recovering at that, with three stage triumphs to his name on Saturday – and Dennis Kuipers. Khalid Al Qassimi dropped out of the top ten after a collision with a rock broke the rear suspension on his Ford Fiesta RS WRC on SS11, whilst the luckless Mads Østberg suffered a power steering fault that cost him further ground. Peter van Merksteijn Jr was halted by an engine problem in the morning.


Rally de Portugal: Overall standings after Stage 13 (Top 10):

1. Sebastien Ogier Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC 2hrs 59mins 30.2secs M
2. Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00mins 37.6secs M
3. Jari-Matti Latvala Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +04mins 14.6secs M
4. Matthew Wilson M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 26.8secs A0
5. Mikko Hirvonen Ford Abu Dhabi WRT Fiesta RS WRC +05mins 32.5secs M
6. Henning Solberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +07mins 46.4secs M
7. Kimi Raikkonen ICE1 Racing Citroen DS3 WRC +08mins 55.2secs M
8. Federico Villagra Munchis Ford WRT Fiesta RS WRC +09mins 10.0secs M
9. Petter Solberg PSWRT Citroen DS3 WRC +11mins 27.1secs M
10. Dennis Kuipers FERM Powertools Ford Fiesta RS WRC +13mins 07.9secs M


Others:

15. Khalid Al-Qassimi Team Abu Dhabi Fiesta RS WRC +22mins 51.9secs M
17. Armindo Araújo Motorsport Italia/BAMP Mini John Cooper Works S2000 +24mins 19.6secs A1
21. Anders Grondal Subaru Impreza STi +27mins 48.2secs P
24. Daniel Oliveira Brazil WRT Mini John Cooper Works S2000 +29mins 50.1secs M
34. Peter Van Merksteijn Van Merksteijn Citroen DS3 WRC +34mins 47.0secs M
55. Mads Ostberg M-Sport Stobart Ford Fiesta RS WRC +59mins 43.8secs M


PWRC standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):

1. Hayden Paddon Subaru Impreza STI 3hrs 13mins 37.0secs P
2. Benito Guerra Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +06mins 35.8secs P
3. Jukka Ketomaki Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X +09mins 23.5secs P


WRC Academy standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):

1. Egon Kaur Ford Fiesta R2 3hrs 30mins 13.8secs A
2. Victor Henriksson Ford Fiesta R2 +00mins 16.4secs A
3. Christian Riedemann Ford Fiesta R2 +03mins 31.2secs A


Notable retirements:

Bernardo Sousa Team Quinta do Lorde Fiesta RS WRC Accident on SS7 A0
Ken Block Monster WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC Crashed in shakedown


all times unofficial




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Matthew Wilson (GBR) Scott Martin (GBR), Ford Fiesta RS WRC, M-Sport Stobart Ford World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen DS3 WRC, Citroen Total World Rally Team
Esapekka Lappi and Skoda celebrate in Ireland
Esapekka Lappi - Skoda
Craig Breen - Peugeot
Robert Barrable
Daniel McKenna
Sepp Wiegand - Skoda
Josh Moffett
Esapekka Lappi - Skoda
Craig Breen - Peugeot
Robert Barrable
Josh Moffett
Daniel McKenna
Chris Ingram
Mark Higgins will drive the new JRM Subaru WRX
Henning Solberg (NOR) Ilka Minor (AUT), Ford Fiesta WRC

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