Published on April 8th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
VW and Ogier Wins Challenging Portugal WRC
Volkswagen claimed a hard-fought win at the toughest rally of the year. In difficult, variable conditions, defending champions Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F) secured the fourth victory of the 2014 FIA World Rally Championship for the Polo R WRC – the eighth in a row for Volkswagen including the events at the end of last season.
The duo’s 19th triumph was far from a walk in the park – the Rally Portugal featured three different manufacturers on the podium, duels that came down to tenths of a second, and three different leaders over the course of the rally. The Volkswagen pairing of Andreas Mikkelsen/Mikko Markkula (N/FIN) ended the rally fourth overall. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) fought back after a crash on Friday. In doing so, they picked up valuable points in the Manufacturers’ Championship and finished runner-up behind Sébastien Ogier on the closing Power Stage, on which bonus points were up for grabs for the fastest three drivers.
“The Rally Portugal was just as we expected – difficult for the team and drivers, but ultimately successful,” said a delighted Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development. “Our duo of Ogier/Ingrassia once again showed their class in difficult conditions. But the team also did another fantastic job. The way they managed to get Jari-Matti Latvala’s back up and running within the allotted time after his crash was mighty impressive. Another reason this trip to Portugal has been so worthwhile for me is that it is great to experience the enthusiasm of the many fans lining the route and cheering our drivers on so magnificently.”