Castrol EDGE supported Mads Ostberg claims maiden WRC winMonday, April 2nd, 2012
Ford have claimed a 1-2-3 finish with the Fiesta RS World Rally Car in Rallye de Portugal following a late-night decision to exclude winners Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen for a technical infringement on their car.
The decision means that Castrol-supported Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson claimed their maiden FIA World Rally Championship victory in this fourth round of the season. Evgeny Novikov and Denis Giraudet were promoted to second, while Castrol EDGE Ford World Rally Team’s Petter Solberg and Chris Patterson took third.
With another strong performance Sébastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia took victory for the Castrol-backed Volkswagen Motorsport team in the S2000 class at Rally Portugal.
In the overall classification, the French duo that had won the WRC class in Portugal in the past two years again managed to leap into the top-ten in eighth place and scored four championship points.
Turbulent weather changes caused extreme track conditions on the 368.43 kilometres of special stages. After the rally, the Volkswagen team is staying in Portugal for tests with the Polo R WRC.
Castrol Ford WRT’s Solberg now lies second in the drivers’ standings, just four points from the lead, after a remarkable recovery in Portugal. The 37-year-old Norwegian slipped to 13th, almost seven minutes adrift of the podium, after sliding into a ditch early in the second leg of this four-day event.
Ford WRT remains second in the manufacturers’ standings but has narrowed the gap at the top to just 12 points.
Hirvonen was excluded by the rally stewards following a report from the FIA technical delegate which stated his car’s clutch did not comply with the homologation form. The report also stated that the turbine wheel in the car’s turbocharger exceeded the maximum authorised diameter. A decision on this was suspended to allow the FIA technical delegate to carry out further examinations. Hirvonen’s Citroen team appealed the exclusion and the results remain provisional pending the outcome.
“Nobody likes to see the results settled in the officials’ room and I feel sorry for Mikko and Jarmo,” said Solberg. “But tonight’s events mean I’m now only four points from the lead of the championship and Ford has made a big leap forwards in the manufacturers’ standings. I can’t wait for the next round in Argentina!”
Amended final positions (subject to appeal)
1. M Østberg/J Andersson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 21min 16.1sec
2. E Novikov/D Giraudet RUS Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 22min 49.3sec
3. P Solberg/C Patterson NOR Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 23min 11.7sec
4. N Al Attiyah/G Bernacchini QAT Citroen DS3 4hr 27min 21.9sec
5. M Prokop/Z Hrůza CZE Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 27min 25.3sec
6. D Kuipers/R Buysmans NED Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 28min 03.4sec
7. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Skoda Fabia S2000 4hr 28min 25.1sec
8. T Neuville/N Gilsoul BEL Citroen DS3 4hr 29min 54.0sec
9. J Ketomaa/M Stenberg FIN Ford Fiesta RS 4hr 31min 08.9sec
10 P Van Merksteijn/E Chevaillier NED Citroen DS3 4hr 31min 27.1sec
1. S Loeb 66pts
2. P Solberg 62pts
3. M Østberg 53pts
4. M Hirvonen 50pts
5. E Novikov 39pts
6. J-M Latvala 28pts
1. Citroen Total WRT 108pts
2. Ford WRT 96pts
3. M-Sport Ford WRT 69pts
4. Qatar WRT 31pts
5. Mini WRT 26pts
6. Citroen Junior WRT 18pts