SPORT WORLD NEWS
World Rally Championship: Mads Ostberg inherits win in Rally of Portugal
|Armindo Araujo of Portugal and Miguel Ramalho of Portugal compete in their WRC Team Mini Portugal Mini John Cooper Works WRC during Day4 of the WRC Rally Portugal on April 1, 2012 in Faro, Portugal. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images) |
By Dorel Tant, AIPS Member, msport1.com
ALGARVe, April 3, 2012 - There was drama in the Rally of Portugal where all WRC stars
suffered along the grueling four days of the competition.
Champion with Citroen, Sebastien Loeb, was out of the race in the first
day after an error on the night stage, while main rival Jari-Matti
Latvala didn't enjoy too much his lead in Portugal, his Ford Fiesta
being caught out by the weather in the second day. The lead then passed
to Ford team mate Petter Solberg, but the conditions forced Solberg to
an error also.
Last man standing from the big names was Mikko Hirvonen
for Citroen, the Finn succeeding in finishing the rally first in the
standings, followed by Mads Ostberg from Norway and Russian driver
Novikov. But the drama wasn't over!
Post-event scrutineering revealed
that the Citroen DS3 WRC was found not in conformity with the
Homologation Form and Hirvonen was excluded from the race, upon appeal.
As a result, Mads Ostberg inherits his maiden win in WRC, with Evgeny
Novikov and a charging Petter Solberg making it a Ford 1-2-3 win. Dakar
Rally winner in 2011, Nasser Al-Attiyah scores his best WRC finish in
4th, with Prokop and Kuipers rounding up the top 6.
Ostberg declared: "Well this is definitely not how I wanted to win my first WRC event and
doesn’t really change anything. I did a good rally and was really happy
with my performance by finishing second after a tough event. The next
time I want to do it right and win by being on top of the podium."
In the drivers' standings, Sebastien Loeb retains the lead with 66
points, upon his team mate exclusion, followed by Petter Solberg with 62
and Portugal winner Ostebrg with 53. In the manufacturers standings,
Citroen leads Ford by 12 points.
The next World Rally Championship round is scheduled in 3 weeks in Argentina.