Great re­cov­ery by Ogier in Por­tu­gal

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MATOSIN­HOS: Four-time world cham­pion Se­bastien Ogier stormed closer to a record­e­qualling fifth tri­umph at the Rally of Por­tu­gal on Satur­day, turn­ing an overnight five-sec­ond deficit into a 16-sec­ond ad­van­tage ahead of the fi­nal day.

Ogier won in Por­tu­gal in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 and would em­u­late Markku Alen’s record of five vic­to­ries in the rally should he won late yes­ter­day.

The 33-year-old, be­hind the wheel of a Ford Fi­esta, held off a dou­ble Hyundai chal­lenge from Thierry Neuville, who is 16.8sec off the lead, and Dani Sordo who is 51.3sec be­hind.

“I didn’t push hard in the fi­nal stage be­cause it was rough at the end and Thierry had a good run,” said Ogier, who had been 20 sec­onds ahead ear­lier in the day.

“I think I man­aged my tyres too much, maybe I was a bit too cau­tious. I’m happy with the gap I have but we still have to push to­mor­row as Thierry will fight to the end.”

The French driver had been third overnight as M-Sport team­mate Ott Tanak led Sordo by 4.6sec.

But Tanak’s hopes of a maiden win in the cham­pi­onship evap­o­rated when his car was dam­aged in a col­li­sion with a bank. AFP

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