Mads - Rolls & Out, Ogier - Leads & Tops | Day 1 - Vodafone Rally de Portugal | WRC - 2013

First day of Vodafone Rally de Portugal head-started with Dennis Kuipers opening the competition.

Mikko Hirvonen tackling a corner
Volkswagen Motorsport's star driver, Sebastien Ogier went fastest through SS1 [Mu 1, 20.32 km], quickly followed by Qatar M-Sport WRT driver, Mads Ostberg. Citroen Total Abudhabi WRT driver Mikko Hirvonen finished in 3rd, while VW Polo R WRC driver Jari-Matti Latvala finished 4th quickest.

Things changed quickly in SS2 [Ourique 1, 18.32 km], when Mads Ostberg finished much quicker and moved to top position, while Ogier slipped to 2nd overall. The quickest Qualifier Dani Sordo finished 2nd fastest and moved to 3rd overall, when Mikko & Latvala dropped one position each on the leaderboard.

A disappointed Mads / Jonas, SS3..
In SS3 [Mu 2, 20.32 km], the excitement and pressure started building up. Mads tried to push his own limits, went off the road and landed on his car's roof on the edge of an access road, lucky! With Mads out for the day, Ogier comfortably finished the stage. Answering to Colin Clark [of iRally] question on whereabouts of Mads, Ogier said, "Ah, he went off...he was so fast, on some section it was not possible to follow him.." And it was when Dani Sordo found his pace and went fastest to claim his first stage victory, elevating himself to 2nd overall. Retirement of the top player, yielded as a boon for the down-order player, and VW Polo R WRC debutant Andreas Mikkelsen climbed to overall fifth.

Mikkelsen & Markkula working on their car...
With one stage victory, boost Dani Sordo went on to win SS4 [Ourique 2, 18.32 km], and closing the gap Ogier to just 2.4s. Just the SS5 [SSS Lisboa, 3.27 km] left, the top 5 were just under half-a-minute away from each other. Mikkelsen had to endure his share of misfortune, as his car had a power-steering failure dropping below point scoring place by over 2mins. Although he was able to fix the issue before the 200 km long transport to Lisbon, in time.

Leader-board at the end of Day 1, at Vodafone Rally de Portugal - 2013:

Top 5 result :

| Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia  | 49:33.0
Volkswagen Polo R WRC

| Daniel Sordo / Carlos del Barrio     | 49:37.4 | +04.4
Citroen DS3 WRC| Jari Matti-Latvala / Miika Anttila     | 49:44.4 | +11.4
Volkswagen Polo R WRC

| Mikko Hirvonen / Jarmo Lehtinen  | 49:49.2 | +16.2
Citroen DS3 WRC| Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul   | 50:03.7 | +30.7
Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Action starts at 10:09 tomorrow at SS6 [Santana da Serra 1, 31.12km]. See You there!

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