SS15: Anguish for Hirvonen in Portugal
A broken driveshaft 10 kilometres from the finish
Mikko Hirvonen has dropped back to fifth place on Vodafone Rally de Portugal after his Ford Fiesta RS WRC suffered a broken driveshaft 10 kilometres from the finish of stage 15.
The Finn had moved ahead of Matthew Wilson into fourth spot by winning the previous stage but is now 27.9s behind the Briton heading to the mid-morning service halt in Faro.
Hirvonen’s team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala was second fastest through the test behind stage winner Petter Solberg. Mads Ostberg was third and Sebastien Loeb took fourth.
“It was very slippery in some places, quite damp with the grip changing,” said Loeb. “We made a few pace note changes for the Power Stage this afternoon.”
Sebastien Ogier continues to lead in his Citroen DS3 WRC after an incident-free run. With two stages remaining the Citroen driver’s advantage over team-mate Loeb is 36.8s.
“It was long and slow,” said Ogier. “There was absolutely no risks, just validate the pace notes for this afternoon. It’s not easy driving like this but you need some rhythm to stay concentrated.”
Solberg’s quickest time means he has closed to within 34.6s of eighth-placed Federico Villagra. “I have some small improvements to do to the car so it will be even better later,” said the Norwegian afterwards.
Standings after SS15:
|01||S. OGIER / J. INGRASSIA||Citroën DS3 WRC||3h35m11.3s|
|02||S. LOEB / D. ELENA||Citroën DS3 WRC||+36.8s|
|03||J. LATVALA / M. ANTTILA||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+3m43.7s|
|04||M. WILSON / S. MARTIN||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+6m12.9s|
|05||M. HIRVONEN / J. LEHTINEN||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+6m30.2s|
|06||H. SOLBERG / I. MINOR||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+9m46.3s|
|07||K. RAIKKONEN /K. LINDSTROM||Citroën DS3 WRC||+9m58.9s|
|08||F. VILLAGRA / J. PÉREZ COMPANC||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+10m21.0s|
|09||P. SOLBERG / C. PATTERSON||Citroën DS3 WRC||+10m55.6s|
|10||D. KUIPERS / F. MICLOTTE||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+15m10.4s|
|11||H. PADDON / J. KENNARD||Subaru Impreza STI||+18m46.5s|
|12||B. MAGALHAES / P. GRAVE||Peugeot 207 S2000||+20m09.5s|
|13||K. KRUUDA / M. JARVEOJA||Skoda Fabia S2000||+23m01.4s|
|14||K. AL QASSIMI / M. ORR||Ford Fiesta RS WRC||+24m54.0s|
|15||J. KETOMAKI / K. RISBERG||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||+26m49.6s|
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