WRC – Latvala takes the win in Portugal

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally of Portugal Day 4

Written and Images byMichael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld

With only three stages in the final day of competition, 100,000 fans lined the famous Fafe stage before watching the Volkswagen Motorsport clean sweep Rally De Portugal although which of the three would take the win.

Mikkelsen’s strong performance early on pushes Meeke out of the podium position which sets up a one, two, three VW clean sweep of the event. The big news of the morning was that of D-Mach driver Ketomma who rolled on the first pass of Fafe resulting in a drive through for all remaining competitors.

After the 1st run of Fafe Ogier managed to cut a further 1.7sec off Latvala’s lead.

  • Latvala 3:03:11
  • Ogier + 7.8
  • Mikkelsen +22.9
  • Meeke + 23.6
Images by Andre Lavadinho and Michael Vettas

It is argued that the only reason Latvala is winning is because of the road order on day one, it is a point that get traction at a later date with the governing body, the FIA.

Going into the Power Stage Latvala held a narrow lead but a sensible drive has seen him take his first points haul in three rounds.

Ogier held on to second place with a Power Stage win and Mikkelsen came home strong in third.

In the end, only 28.6 seconds separated the top three – converted to a distance, this was 0.2 percent of the kilometres of special stages covered

A happy Ogier said “It is a happy day for many people, I know a lot of people say it is boring when the same person keep winning but it is the best person winning, sure the best did not win this rally, but oh well”

The win for Latvala was his first win since France in 2014.

The top 3 had this to say at the end of the event.

Sébastien Ogier, “Congratulations to Jari-Matti, who was particularly strong today but we can be proud of our performance this weekend, possibly one of my best rallies and second place extends our lead in the World Championship which remains our priority.”

Jari-Matti Latvala, “That was a very important win, for me and the entire team, this was the right response to the poor result in Argentina, it was an exciting battle with Sébastien [Ogier], who really put us under pressure.”

Andreas Mikkelsen, “I’m really happy and delighted with my own performance, pleased with the new Polo R WRC which I drove for the first time here, we operated within ourselves this weekend, so as to avoid any major mistakes, and were ultimately right with our tyre selection.

Jost Capito, Volkswagen Motorsport Director had this to say “What a great reaction from the entire team here in Portugal after the huge disappointment in Argentina! Portugal was Volkswagen’s most successful rally since we lined up with the Polo R WRC, I take my hat off to all three, I’m incredibly proud of our team.”

2015 Rally of De Portugal – Top 5 Results

  • Latvala – 3:30:35
  • Ogier – +8.2
  • Mikkelsen- +28.6
  • Meeke + 48.7
  • Tanak + 1:56.8

The Championship Leaderboard

  1. Ogier 105
  2. Mikkelsen 63
  3. Ost 57
  4. Meeke 47
  5. Latvala 46

Teams now move to Sardinia for the new look Rally de Sardinina 11-14th June 2015, can Latvala continue to push Ogier, will the starting order yet again effect Ogier’s chances? Time will tell in two weeks …

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