Sebastien Ogier is in a good position to win this weekend’s 2011 Vodafone Rally de Portugal, as his finished Saturday 37.6 seconds ahead of team mate Sebastien Loeb.
Friday’s leader Jari-Matti Latvala had a broken driveshaft on in his Ford Fiesta WRC on Stage 12 which caused a significant loss of time. He has fallen into 3rd place, a little more than 4 minutes behind Ogier.
On Sunday there will be four more stages and almost anything can happen. It seems like tire problems have become quite common on this rally, so it is conceivable that positions could change before this rally is over.
Ogier will be first on the road tomorrow, which means that he will be sweeping the road. Tomorrow, the last day of 2011 Vodafone Rally de Portugal, the competitors will run two stages twice with a total stage length of almost 105 km.
Latvala’s Ford team mate, Mikko Hirvonen, was second at the beginning of the day, but like others he had tire problems on Stage 9 and also rear suspension problems on Stage 13, all of which resulted in Hirvonen ending the day in 5th position, behind Matthew Wilson.
Henning Solberg is in 6th position ahead of ex-Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen lost substantial time on Stage 11 when he was held up in the dust of the Armindo Araujo for about 8 km. Araujo’s MINI John Cooper Works Super 2000, started Saturday in 7th position, but he had engine problems and once again like others, had a flat tire on Stage 11 and fell back to 17th position.
Looking at the results from Saturday, Petter Solberg is 11 minutes 27.1 seconds behind the leader, Ogier. However Solberg was assessed a 10 minute penalty under the Superally rules. Without the penalty he would be in 3rd position.
The overall results from Saturday at the 2011 Vodafone Rally de Portugal are presented in the following table:
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