Ogier Takes Second Win Of The Season In Portugal

May 15, 2024Joe Moore

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 has come to an end. Sebastien Ogier took home his second consecutive event win. 

Drivers’ Championship Rundown

Thierry Neuville retains the championship lead after Rally Portugal. Expanding his lead from just 6 points to 24. Ott Tänak moves into third place in the championship, now sitting 31 points behind Neuville and 24 points behind Evans. Adrien Fourmaux drops the fourth overall from third. With the Frenchman now sitting 8 points behind Tänak. Sebastien Ogier rounds out the top five, sitting just one point behind his fellow countryman Fourmaux. To this point, the championship has been pretty tight. However, a rough event from Evans has given Neuville a pretty nice lead heading into Sardinia at the end of the month. 

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 Day One

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 kicked off with a lone SuperSpecial stage on the first day. Thierry Neuville took the stage win to take a 0.6-second lead over Sebastien Ogier into the first day of action. Ott Tänak and Takamoto Katsuta tied for third, with both finishing two seconds slower than Neuville. 

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 Day Two

Reigning Rally Portugal winner Kalle Rovanperä took the event lead after a non-eventful first full day of action. Rovanperä ended the day with a one-second lead over five-time Rally Portugal winner Sebastien Ogier. Takamoto Katsuta moved into sole possession of third, ending the day 4.7 seconds behind Rovanperä. Just 5.4 seconds separated first and fourth on the day. Dani Sordo who had the most stage wins on the day sat fifth overall, 17.9 seconds behind Rovanperä. Ogier, Sordo and Neuville also reported they had hybrid issues throughout the day. Elfyn Evans had his chances at a win in Portugal slashed after a puncture on SS7. 

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 Day Three

Sebastien Ogier became the third driver to lead the event. Ogier took the event lead after Rovanperä rolled off the road on SS11. Takamoto Katsuta broke his right rear suspension on SS12 ending his event. Ogier ended the penultimate day with an 11.9-second lead over Ott Tänak. Thierry Neuville sat third overall over a minute behind Ogier. Tänak and Ogier traded stage wins all day, with Tänak winning three and Ogier winning four of the days nine stages. 

Vodafone Rally De Portugal 2024 Day Four

The fourth and final day of Rally Portugal was set up to be a battle between Ogier and Tänak. With just four stages for Tänak to take the lead from Ogier, anything was possible. Ogier kicked off the day with a stage win expanding his lead to 18.1 seconds. Tänak won the next two stages closing the gap to just 10.1 seconds. 11.18 km would decide if Ogier took his record 6th Rally Portugal win and 60th career win, or if Tänak would take home his first win of the season. Ultimately Tänak beat out Ogier on the stage, however, Ogier was still able to take home the win. As Tänak only took 2.2 seconds out of Ogier’s lead. 

Underwhelming Event For Evans 

Elfyn Evans went into Rally Portugal just six points behind Thierry Neuville in the championship standings. However, Evans had his worst showing at an event in a while. A puncture on day two put Evans way out of contention for a win. He did manage to finish sixth on the Saturday standings. After both Rovanperä and Katsuta retired. Sunday wasn’t much better for the Welshman. As engine overheating issues on SS21 forced Evans to complete the stage in electric mode. Retirement was not an option for Evans who needed to finish the event to cash his Saturday points.