Jari-Matti Latvala came through to take the final spot on the rostrum, and after a tough start to 2013, and the issues this morning, he was delighted to claim his first top-three result with Volkswagen: “I am definitely happy with third. It's my first podium [with VW]. On the power stage I really pushed. I've got to be happy with everything,” he stated.
Behind, Evgeny Novikov
was fourth for the Qatar M-Sport WRT team, and while he was disappointed with his speed over the three-days, he was pleased with his position at the finish.
Nasser Al-Attiyah rounded out the top-five, with Andreas Mikkelsen coming in sixth on his debut in the third works VW Polo R WRC.
“I'm very happy with the weekend overall. We had a puncture in the last stage, but other than that it's been a clean rally. Good fun. I'm looking forward to Argentina and learning some more,” said the Norwegian.
Martin Prokop recovered from his problems on Saturday afternoon and took seventh, with Rally 2 runner Ostberg battling back to eighth. Ostberg had dropped down to 56th position after his off on Friday, but won three of the four stages on the final day to ensure he salvaged some points.
Khalid Al-Qassimi and Esapekka Lappi rounded out the top ten, the latter also taking the honours in the WRC2 class – more than 11 minutes up on Robert Barrable. Sepp Wiegand was third in WRC2, while former F1 ace Robert Kubica overcame a host of problems to take sixth in the class on his debut in the World Rally Championship.
In the other support categories, Bryan Bouffier took the WRC3 win, while in the JWRC, which finished at the end of Saturday, Pontus Tidemand claimed the victory.
In terms of retirements, Dennis Kuipers and Michal Kosciuszko were both forced out with mechanical issues within sight of the finish.
Sordo and Thierry Neuville – like Ostberg – were classified under the Rally 2 regulations, coming home 12th and 17th respectively.
The WRC now moves to Argentina next month for round five, with that event running from May 1-4.
To view the result for the 2013 Rally de Portugal - CLICK HERE