After day 1 of Rally Portugal, it’s VW’s Sebastien Ogier who holds the lead of just 4.4sec over Citroens Dani Sordo.
Ogier took the lead in his Polo R WRC on the 1st stage and was the only WRC driver to use Michelin’s soft-compound tyres that especially suited the cooler, slightly damp early conditions. But many question if they were the correct choice for the following stages.
On the next stage the temperature started to rise, the surface dried and M-Sports Mads Ostberg took the lead. Ostberg setting a great pace on the event he gain the win on last year. But on the third stage, the Norwegian misheard a pace note, went into the corner 1 gear to high, hit the bank and rolled out into retirement. This moved Ogier back into the lead and Dani Sordo second.
Jari-Matti Latvala is third, 11.4sec behind his Volkswagen team-mate Ogier and feeling more at home with the handling of his car. Citroens Mikko Hirvonen is fourth, 16.2sec off the lead in his DS3. The Finn found his car’s suspension too stiff for Friday’s stage conditions but with no service he was stuck with the set-up all day.
Day 2 consists of 6 stages 153km’s of competitive racing with a mid-day Service