28 Mar 2011

Ogier beats Loeb to win Rally of Portugal

6:09 am on 28 March 2011

Sebastien Ogier beat Citroen team mate and fellow Frenchman Sebastien Loeb to win the Rally of Portugal for the second year in a row and make amends for a costly crash in Mexico.

The Seven-times champion Loeb finished second, 31.8 seconds behind, in a repeat of last year's result.

Finland's Jari-Matti Latvala was a lonely third for Ford, with team mate and compatriot Miko Hirvonen a long way back in fourth.

The result was the Citroen factory team's first one-two finish of the season, making up for the one that got away in Mexico this month, when Ogier crashed out on the final day after leading overnight.

Loeb had already effectively conceded defeat after the morning stages when he decided not to attack, given his team mate's time advantage.

The champion could, however, take consolation in three bonus points from the final 31.04km "power stage" over gravel roads in the southern Algarve region, which lifted him level with Hirvonen at the top of the standings on 58 points from three of the 13 rounds.

Latvala, second in that stage and on the podium for the third rally in a row this year, bagged two extra points and is third overall on 48.

Ogier, celebrating his third win in the world championship, took one bonus point for the third fastest time and is fourth with 41.

The next rally is in Jordan on April the 14th-16th.