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Ogier takes debut win

Sebastien Ogier sees off the Sebastien Loeb threat in Portugal to take his break-through success at the 'senior' level.
Citroen Junior Team's Sebastien Ogier held off Sebastien Loeb to win in Portugal today and take his first win at the top level.

Ogier took the lead on Friday morning and ended the opening leg 26.6 seconds up on Dani Sordo. The Frenchman then continued to push on Saturday and while Sebastien Loeb took over as his main rival, the 2005 Junior World Rally champion maintained his advantage and began the final day with a 21.1 second cushion.

Ogier came under severe pressure on Sunday and his lead was more than halved this morning in the first two stages. He kept his composure though and eventually came through to take the victory by 7.9 seconds.

"It's a fantastic feeling, really fantastic," said Ogier. "Sebastien Loeb is the best driver in the world and it's always difficult to conserve the lead when he is behind you. But we pushed hard for all the rally and managed to keep him behind."

Loeb meanwhile, for once, had to settle for the runners-up spot and despite being quickest in all four of the 'proper' tests today, he was unable to overhaul his compatriot.

"I tried to beat him but he was just too fast. I have a new rival now," Loeb added. "He was really strong all the weekend, especially on the second pass he was very, very fast. We couldn't make any difference today in the afternoon."

Dani Sordo completed the podium, to give Citroen a perfect 1-2-3 finish. Sordo slipped back on Saturday afternoon when he had tyre wear issues, but the Spaniard managed to get back in front of Petter Solberg this morning when the Norwegian had a steering problem in SS14 and complained that his privately-run Citroen C4 WRC felt 'very loose' and was 'difficult' to drive after SS15.

Solberg also had problems in the short event ending super special, when he hit a barrier and lost 10-15 seconds. That dropped him to fifth, with BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen inheriting P4, 14.4 seconds off second and 3.7 seconds up on 'Hollywood'.

Further down the order Britain's Matthew Wilson was sixth for the Stobart Ford Team, although he was 5.5 minutes further back. Wilson had started the leg in seventh, but gained a place when his team-mate, Henning Solberg had technical problems and was forced to retire in SS15.




Related Pictures

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Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team, Sebastien Loeb (FRA) Daniel Elena (MON), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team and Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ESP), Citroen C4 Citroën Total World Rally Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Podium, Sebastien Ogier (F) Julien Ingrassia (F) Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team

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Who Cares - Unregistered

May 30, 2010 4:16 PM

Oh my! One Sebastien Frenchman in a Citroen was already a nightmare for the opposition, so imagine two of them! I can't remember when he raced his first WRC, but that first win comes early I think, at least on the Malcolm and Matthew Wilson scale...



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