24 - 27 Mar 11
15:02 Thank you for following!
Well what a rally! Thank you for following us here on Live Text, we shall be back for Rally Jordan in three weeks time. Until then you contact us at @OfficialWRC and let us know what you're up to and what you think of the new season.
14:46 Ogier wins Rally Portugal 2011
Sebastien Ogier has won Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2011. The Citroen driver started Day 3 with a comfortable lead and maintained it with strong times throughout the day, even finishing the final Power Stage third with a time of 22m40s, 4.1s behind team mate Sebastien Loeb. The Frenchman was delighted to reach his first podium in five rallies and replicate his success of last year with his first win of the season in Portugal. It's been an amazing weekend, with début of the new Mini, more punctures and drive shaft issues than you can shake a stick at and most of all a very impressive performance from the Citroen duo. Well done Sebastien Ogier.
14:43 Loeb quicker than Latvala
Many thought he would hold back and cruise the final stage but World Champion Sebastien Loeb shows why he's the best by setting the fastest pace on the Power Stage and pushing right until the end of Rally Portugal. The Frenchman set a remarkable pace of 22m35.9s, 1.7s faster than Latvala. When asked what he thought about being fastest he laugh "Ogier is still out there."
14:39 Latvala sets the pace on Power Stage
Flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala has completed the Power Stage and currently has the fastest time so far, he was 13.8s faster than Solberg. However with Loeb up on the splits will it be enough to take the Power Stage win?
14:37 Wilson plays it safe to secure sixth.
Matthew Wilson has claimed sixth place overall as he finishes the Power Stage in ... When asked about the stage Wilson said “I was driving slower than I’ve driven before but the last thing I wanted to do is do something daft, especially with what happened here two years ago..... I've really enjoyed it”
14:34 Henning - "Can I buy luck?"
After finally finishing Rally Portugal, Henning Solberg reflected on his misfortune "I have had a lot of problems, I'm not sure if I was born with it or not. I want to know can I buy luck?" But the Norwegian smiled "You will see me on the podium in the end"
14:30 Hirvonen fourth overall
Mikko Hirvonen has closed off the Power Stage in 22m57.9s, 6.5s behind stage leader Petter Solberg. HJe was initially leading on the split but dropped down towards the end, when asked about it he said "The rear suspension broke aagin so the last 5km I couldn't push any more." But he remained positive about the season "We're still well in the fight"
14:29 Henning stops on stage
Henning Solberg's terrible luck continues as he stops on the Power Stage, he has pulled over to let Mikko Hirvonen to get past.
14:26 Petter just overtakes Raikkonen on final stage
Petter Solberg has managed to secure sixth overall as Kimi Raikkonen completes SS17 23m57.2s. Petter is 36.7s faster than Kimi overall. When asked about the rally, Kimi said "We had smaller issues with tires on the first day and we knew Petter was going to push like hell so we had to keep going"
14:22 Villagra guarantees at least ninth
As Fredrico Villagra finishes Rally Portugal with a stage time of 24m08.2s he secures at least ninth overall, Henning Solberg is currently 25.4s behind him overall and is currently live on the stage.
14:20 Petter fastest so far on Power Stage
Petter Solberg is currently the fastest on the final stage with a strong time of 22m51.4s, when asked about the rally he said "I was very sad about the first day, it was unbelievable....but I never give up." However he seemed unconvinced he will hold the fastest time on the stage "I missed one corner in the middle of the stage but I tried all I could"
14:18 Mads Ostberg sets the pace
Mads Ostberg sets the pace on the Power Stage with a time of 23m19.7s, however he does not feel it will be enough, at the end of the stage he said "It's difficult now to get the points. I made a mistake at the start of the stage" But he ended on a positive "We're getting closer to the best set up with the car and I'm pleased with that"
14:12 Al Qassimi relieved to finish Rally Portugal
After his crash yesterday Khalid Al Qassimi was happy to finish Rally Portugal, closing the stage in 24m56.9s When asked about the run he said "The most important thing was were trying to find confidence after the accident yesterday"
14:09 Hirvonen quicker than Solberg on the splits
Mikko Hirvonen is battling away to win vital Power Stage points, he is currently 2.2s faster than Petter Solberg on the second split
14:07 Magalhaes first Portuguese driver to finish Rally Portugal
Bruno Magalhaes was extremely happy to be the first Portuguese driver to finish at Rally Portugal in his Peugeot 207 S2000. He finished in 25m34s, 35.3s off the pace set by Kruuda.
14:02 Ten Brinke pleased with rally finish
Bernhard ten Brinke is happy to have finished Rally Portugal, he closes off the final Power Stage in a time of 25m54.2s.
14:01 On Twitter - @DanielDarrall
"Just been sitting in lobby talking to Egon & Mait who won the Academy, they did a great job this weekend. Congrats to both of them. #WRC"
13:58 Solberg flying through the splits
Petter Solberg is showing his intent to win the Power Stage with the fastest split times so far, he is currently 6.3s faster than Mads Ostberg by the second split.
13:54 Paddon wins PWRC title
Hayden Paddon has crossed the finish at SS17 and claims the PWRC rally win. His Subaru Impreza STI completed the stage in 25m30.5s, a very happy Paddon said "This is amazing to get my first win outside of New Zealand, huge thanks to the team the car's been excellent.... Thanks to the support from home, couldn't do it without them." He finished with "There's definitely a lot more to come from the car and myself. I can't wait"
13:53 Oliveira stopped on stage
Daniel Oliveira has stopped his Mini S2000 on the stage.
13:51 Karl Kruuda first to finish Rally Portugal
As Karl Kruuda finishes Santana da Serra he completes Rally Portugal 2011. He sets the pace on the Power Stage at 24m58.7s, at the end of the stage he said "I really had fun in the last stage, I really enjoyed it"
13:47 Oliveira behind Paddon on the splits
Daniel Oliveira is currently behind Hayden Paddon on the splits, 0.5s on the third split.
13:37 On Twitter - @The_New_Rawn
"@OfficialWRC No such thing as drama for Paddon he's a kiwi boy and he's gunna take pwrc home for us"
13:34 On Twitter - @FakeLatvala
"Hang on a minute... this is a replay of last years #WRC season isn't it!"
13:29 On Twitter - @RaikkonenNo1
"Ogier needs to be sensible and Petter well he'll past Kimi and probably get the 3 points"
13:28 Stage Begin - SS17 Santana da Serra 2 (31.04km)
The final stage of Rally Portugal is now under way, Karl Kruuda is first onto the stage due to the reverse order. The extremely long stage of Santana da Serra will be the most exciting yet as with the Power Stage all drivers are able to pick up vital points. We can expect the likes of Mads Ostberg and Petter Solberg to be going flat out as well as the Ford duo Latvala and Hirvonen who have had a very unlucky rally so far. We are unlikely to see the Citroen drivers push hard for extra points but until Sebastien Ogier crosses the finish anything can happen here at Rally Portugal.
13:27 Petter claims win on penultimate stage
Petter Solberg has claimed his second stage win of the day with a very strong run on the wettest stage so far here at Rally Portugal and is rewarded with seventh place overall. However his brother Henning suffered turbo problems and has dropped down ninth As we head into the Power Stage Mikko Hirvonen has pushed back up to fourth but the top three remain the same.
13:24 Loeb cruises over finish on SS16
World Champion Sebastien Loeb has completed Silves with a fairly reserved time of 13m01.2s, 48.7s behind the pace set by Solberg.
13:22 Henning Solberg has Turbo problems
Henning Solberg has finished Silves disappointingly 1m39.3s off the pace set by his brother Petter. According to his team he is suffering turbo problems. The slow time has resulted in him currently dropping down to ninth
13:18 Hirvonen pulls away from Wilson
Mikko Hirvonen has pulled further away from Matthew Wilson after placing a strong time of 12m30.3s, 34.4s faster than Wilson. This is enough for Mikko to head back into fourth and make up for the time lost due to a broken drive shaft on Santana da Serra before the midday service.
13:12 Good run from Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen is currently the third fastest on the stage posting a good time of 12m40.1s, 27.6s off the pace set by Solberg. The Ice Man has started to get into his rhythm towards the end of the rally and will be pleased with this run.
13:10 Villagra drops to ninth
As Fredrico Villagra crosses the finish of SS16 he drops down to ninth overall. He completed the stage in 12m51.7s, 39.2s behind Petter Solberg which was just enough for Solberg to push in front.
13:08 Petter keeps pushing hard
Petter Solberg is currently the fastest past the finish on SS16 with an impressive time of 12m12.5s, 11.4s ahead of Mads Ostberg. Going into the midday service the Petter was only 34.6s behind Fredrico Villagra and will be looking to close in on the Argentinian and eighth place overall.
13:02 Mads flies through SS16
M-Sport driver Mads Ostberg has set a very good pace on Silves of 12m23.9s, 37.4s ahead of Khalid Al Qassimi, the Norwegian youngster has had terrible luck this weekend so will be pleased to set a such a strong time.
13:01 Al Qassimi fastest so far
Khalid Al Qassimi has set the pace on Silves with a good time of 13m01.3s, 11.3s ahead of Van Merksteijn.
12:59 Van Merksteijn flies past oliveira
Netherlands driver Petere Van Merksteijn has smashed the pace of Oliveira by a whole 40s with a impressive time of 13m12.6s, he will be pleased to push past Ten Brinke on the overall standings and should start the Power Stage 23rd overall.
12:59 On Twitter - @Naki_17
"I'm tired but I don't wanna sleep! I can follow 2 final stages of #Rally #Portugal GO KIMI!" - How can you sleep with the Power Stage just half an hour away?
12:58 Oliveira sets the pace
Brazilian driver Daniel Oliveira has set the pace in his Mini S2000 with a strong time of 13m52.6s, a good pace but the Manufacturer drivers are still waiting to head out.
12:51 Von Loon 46.6s behind Paddon
Netherlands driver Erik Van Loon completes Silves in 14m51.7s in his Skoda Fabia S2000, 46.6s behind PWRC leader Paddon.
12:50 Paddon 0.4s faster than Kruuda
PWRC rally leader, Hayden Paddon finishes the penultimate stage with a good time of 14m05.1s, 0.4s faster than Karl Kruuda. The Kimi driver was happy to pick up a good time after his suspension issues in the last stage before the midday break, he now heads into the Power Stage positive.
12:48 Kruude - "there's no grip out there"
As Karul Kruuda sets the pace on Silves of 14m05.5 he reflects on the wet stage "There's no grip out there, no grip when breaking, it's tough being first on the road, it's the first time in my life"
12:35 Stage Begin - SS16 Silves 2 (21.39km)
As the penultimate stage of Rally Portugal gets under way the heavens have opened, it is raining heavily over SS16 Silves. The running order have reversed at the top twenty, Karl Kruuder is the first onto the stage. Sebastien Ogier is current rally leader and during the midday service his team mate Sebastien Loeb has conceded that he will not chase him for the win and is happy to settle for second place.
09:59 As we go into the final midday service Ogier remains safely on top
The cautious Citroen drivers have maintained their top spots as we head into the final midday service, Sebastien Ogier is still first with Sebastien Loeb 36.8s behind him. However Ford's misfortune continues as Mikko Hirvonen is the victim of a broken drive shaft, Ford's second of the rally, resulting in M-Sport's Matthew Wilson to move up to fourth overall. Petter Solberg claimed another stage win, now only 36.6s behind eighth place Fredrico Villagra and will be happy setting the pace on what will be the Power Stage at the end of the day.
09:57 On Twitter - @nikojokinen
"Looks like @Petter_Solberg will be getting past Federico, Kimi and Henning if he continues like that. #WRC"
09:56 Another good time by Mads
After his broken gear box yesterday, Mads Ostberg is making up for lost time with an impressive run of 23m01.4s on Santana da Serra. He was only 9.2s off the pace set by Solberg and will be looking to make the most of the Power Stage at the end of the day.
09:50 Remarkable time by Petter puts him just behind Villagra
Petter Solberg has claimed yet another stage win with a great stage time of 22m52.2s, 2.6s faster than Latvala. The Norwegian was happy with the run saying "It's a good long stage, I think it will be even better later.", he was 1m04.3s faster than Fredrico Villagra and is now only 34.6s behind the Argentinian and eighth place overall. When asked if he will push for the Power Stage, Petter remarked "It's all I have"
09:48 Good time for Raikkonen edges him closer to Henning
Kimi Raikkonen has completed Santana da Serra 23m51s, 56.2s off the pace. The good run by the former F1 Champ has brought him within 12.6s of Henning Solberg and sixth place overall.
09:42 Broken drive shaft for Hirvonen
Ford's woes continue in the final day as Mikko Hirvonen suffers a broken drive shaft 10km into the stage. Mirroring the problems of Jari-Matti Latvala yesterday on SS13. He has crossed the finish in 24m25.7s, 1m30.9s behind the pace. This has enable Wilson to move up to fourth again in the overall standing. The Ford team will be working hard over the midday service trying to fix the drive shaft and give Mikko a chance to battle for fourth place, the Finn said "It will be difficult but not impossible."
09:39 Matthew Wilson content with morning
British driver Matthew Wilson has crossed the finish of SS15 in 23m57.8s, 1m03s off the pace. The Stobart driver is playing it safe to keep the fifth position, saying "I don't want to risk picking up a puncture or hit a rock"
09:36 Another great pace set by Latvala
The Flying Finn Jari-Matti Latvala has set the pace on SS15 with a great time of 22m54.8s, 12.6s ahead of Loeb. With Santana da Serra the Power Stage at the end of the day Latvala was happy to set a good pace this morning saying "It's a long demanding stage so we will have to concentrate"
09:34 Loeb faster than Ogier
After completing SS15 in 23m07.4s, Sebastien Loeb was 2.6s faster than his team mate but the World Champion seemed reserved "It was ok but very slippery so we have to be very careful"
09:30 Ogier first to complete longest stage
Sebastien Ogier has crosses the finish on Santana da Serra with a reserved time of 23m10s, he's not pushing too hard to avoid any puncture, the Frenchman said "It was long and very slow" when asked about playing it safe he remarked "It's not easy"
09:26 Latvala pushing on as Wilson continues to drop behind
Jari-Matti Latvala is currently 4.8s faster than rally leader Sebastien Ogier on the fourth split, however Matthew Wilson continues to lose time as he is now 23.4s behind on the same split.
09:20 Possible issues for Wilson
Possible reasons for concern with Matthew Wilson as he has posted worryingly slow split times on SS15, he is currently 15.1s slower than Ogier on the third split. This will surely remove any threat he was making on Hirvonen for the fourth place overall
09:14 Ogier fastest on first splits
Despite saying on the last stage that he no reason to take risks, Sebastien Ogier is currently putting the fastest times on the board at the first two splits, 0.4s ahead of Loeb at the second split and 0.8s ahead of Latvala on the first split. However Santana da Serra is a long stage at 31.04km so there is a long way to go to the finish.
09:07 Stage Begin - SS15 Santana da Serra 1 (31.04km)
The longest stage of Rally Portugal is now under way with rally leader Sebastien Ogier first onto the stage. The Citroen driver is playing it safe and not pushing too hard trying his best to avoid a puncture, team mate Sebastien Loeb, 39.4s behind the lead, is hanging back and has openly said he's not trying to push to take the lead. However the Ford duo, Latvala and Hirvonen, are trying their best to make up for the time lost yesterday and put the pressure on the Frenchmen.
08:50 Ford push hard as Citroen avoid risks
Ford drivers Jar-Matti Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen push hard on the opening stage of the final day of Rally Portugal, with a Hirvonen stage win. However with such a comfortable lead the Citroen pair of Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb are playing it safe and avoiding any unnecessary risks. Despite a brief spell in the top four Matthew Wilson has now dropped back to fifth, the rest of the top ten standings remain the same.
08:44 Good time by Petter pulls him closer to Villagra
After making up for lost time yesterday, Petter Solberg looks to be continuing his onslaught on the top ten with a strong time of 12m17.4s on Silves, 38.2s faster than Fredrico Villagra. Despite there being a massive 1m38.9s between the nippy Norwegian and Villagra Petter looks to push on. When asked about the stage Petter said "I lost a lot of time, I wasn't happy.....It's not perfect but I have to test the limit, it's important."
08:41 Raikkonen edges closer to Henning
Kimi Raikkonen has finished the first stage of the final day with a decent time of 12m53.8s, 20.9s ahead of Henning Solberg. He is now 38s behind the Norwegian and if Henning's power steering issues continue then the Ice Man could battle for sixth place overall
08:40 Power steering issues hamper Henning
Henning Solberg is suffering from continuing issues with the power steering and as a result crosses the finish in 13m24.6s, a disappointing 1m11.5s off the pace.
08:37 Mikko sets the pace and takes back fourth
Mikko Hirvonen flew across the finish of Silves in 12m13.1s, setting the pace 2.3s ahead of Latvala. This means he moves back up to fourth, now 10.6s faster than Matthew Wilson overall. When asked about the stage he said "It's not too bad, the car is working well. The plan was to get to fourth place, I want to take a bit more time out of Matthew and then concentrate on the Power Stage"
08:35 Wilson pushes hard to keep fourth
Matthew Wilson has crossed the finish of SS14 in 12m29.4s, 14s behind the pace. He was pushing hard to try and keep Mikko Hirvonen at bay who is currently 5.7s behind him overall. Talking about the stage Wilson said "We lost a little bit of time in the first kilometre, we hit a rock but it wasn't so back so we pushed on."
08:30 Great time set by Latvala
Jari-Matti Latvala is driving like a man with nothing to lose as he crosses the finish of Silves in 12m15.4s, a massive 15.7s faster than Ogier. When asked about the stage he said "With a bit of moisture on the raod I was getting good grip, I am enjoying the drive... I'm in a good rhythm"
08:28 Loeb backs off Ogier
Despite leading in the splits Sebastien Loeb pulled back towards the end of the run, crossing the finish in 12m32.9s, 1.8s behind team mate Ogier. He said he didn't want Ogier to think he was pushing hard so pulled back before the end.
08:27 Ogier - "I have no reason to take risks today"
As Sebastien Ogier sets the pace on SS14 with a reserved tie of 12m31.1s he said "There was no problem, it was a bit wet and I have no reason to take risks today." When asked if he thought team mate Loeb would be pushing for first place he remarked "I think that is important but I don't think he'll push but we will see."
08:24 Wilson shows intent to hold onto fourth
Matthew Wilson is currently 4.3s faster than Ogier on the second split, the British driver is battling with Mikko Hirvonen for fourth and will be pushing hard to keep the Finn at bay.
08:20 Latvala pushing hard despite huge time difference
Jari-Matti Latvala is flying through the stage, 9.2s faster than Ogier at the second split. Despite being 4m14.6s behind the Frenchman it would seem the Flying Finn is not ready to give up.
08:19 Loeb up by first split
World Champion Sebastien Loeb is 1.1s faster than team mate Sebastien Ogier come the first split.
08:14 Stage Begin - SS14 Silves 1 (21.39km)
After a very puncture ridden day yesterday we come into the final day of Rally Portugal with the Citroen duo Sebastien Ogier and Sebastien Loeb are out at front, with a comfortable lead of 3m37s ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala who is currently third. Providing there are no surprises the Citroen team should have this in the bag, however if this rally has taught us anything, you have to expect the unexpected. Sebastien Ogier is first out onto the stage and the final day of Rally Portugal is now live.
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