SS6: Ogier opens account in Portugal

Sébastien Ogier became the fifth different winner in five completed stages at Vodafone Rally de Portugal when he topped the timesheets in Friday’s second pass through the Caminha test.First on the road Ogier benefited from roads cleaned of loose gravel during the initial run, but the morning’s sandy surface was replaced by rocks and ruts and several drivers regretted not raising their car’s ride height.

Sebastien Ogier
Sebastien Ogier

Ogier was fastest by 2.6sec in his Volkswagen Polo R from team-mate and leader Jari-Matti Latvala, with Ott Tänak a tenth of a second further back in a Ford Fiesta RS.

Ogier, who climbed to sixth ahead of Mads Østberg, jumped out of his car at the stage finish to check the tyre wear while Tänak, like many, was surprised just how demanding the roads were.

“It was really rough compared to the earlier pass. It was hard on the tyres and we have to keep nursing the car,” said the Estonian.

Second for Latvala enabled him to extend his lead to 7.4sec over fourth fastest Kris Meeke, who admitted his DS 3 was bouncing so much on the rough tracks that he struggled to see the road.

Andreas Mikkelsen was fifth to retain third place in his Polo R, 3.5sec behind the Briton. “I was really surprised how rough it was, very rutted and broken,” he said. “The car was a bit too low and I tried to look after it by driving around the rocks.”

Both Martin Prokop and Lorenzo Bertelli punctured in their Fiesta RS cars, the Italian losing almost six minutes as he replaced the tyre in the stage.

Elfyn Evans did not leave service after exceeding the time allowance following the throttle problem in his Fiesta RS this morning.

Top 15 after stage six:

1. 2 FINJ. LATVALA FINM. ANTTILA Volkswagen Motorsport M RC1 1:07:19.4
2. 3 GBRK. MEEKE IRLP. NAGLE Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT M RC1 1:07:30.5 +11.1 +11.1
3. 9 NORA. MIKKELSEN NORO. FLOENE Volkswagen Motorsport II T RC1 1:07:35.4 +4.9 +16.0
4. 6 ESTO. TANAK ESTR. MOLDER M-Sport World Rally Team M RC1 1:07:37.2 +1.8 +17.8
5. 8 ESPD. SORDO ESPM. MARTI Hyundai Motorsport M RC1 1:07:41.2 +4.0 +21.8
6. 1 FRAS. OGIER FRAJ. INGRASSIA Volkswagen Motorsport M RC1 1:07:45.3 +4.1 +25.9
7. 4 NORM. OSTBERG SWEJ. ANDERSSON Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT M RC1 1:07:50.7 +5.4 +31.3
8. 20 NZLH. PADDON NZLJ. KENNARD Hyundai Motorsport N T RC1 1:07:59.4 +8.7 +40.0
9. 7 BELT. NEUVILLE BELN. GILSOUL Hyundai Motorsport M RC1 1:08:27.4 +28.0 +1:08.0
10. 14 POLR. KUBICA POLM. SZCZEPANIAK Robert Kubica RC1 1:08:48.5 +21.1 +1:29.1
11. 21 CZEM. PROKOP CZEJ. TOMANEK Jipocar Czech National Team T RC1 1:10:07.8 +1:19.3 +2:48.4
12. 42 QATN. AL-ATTIYAH FRAM. BAUMEL Nasser Al-Attiyah WRC2 RC2 1:10:48.8 +41.0 +3:29.4
13. 32 FRAS. LEFEBVRE BELS. PREVOT PH-SPORT WRC2 RC2 1:11:54.2 +1:05.4 +4:34.8
14. 40 FINJ. KETOMAA FINK. LINDSTROM Autotek-Drive Dmack WRC2 RC2 1:12:35.0 +40.8 +5:15.6
15. 75 QATA. AL-KUWARI GBRM. CLARKE Youth & Sports Qatar Rally Team WRC2 RC2 1:12:42.2 +7.2 +5:22.8