Miniatures of Juan Manuel Fangio and a flying Tommi Makinen


Portugal 2009


SEBASTIEN LOEB COMPLETED HIS 51ST VICTORY BUT IT LOOKED AT THE BEGINNING OF DAY 1 THAT HE MAY NOT ACTUALLY MAKE IT 4 IN A ROW THIS SEASON. HE MISJUDGED A CORNER, SLID FORWARD SLIGHTLY ON LEVEL GROUND AND NEEDED TO REVERSE TO GET GOING AGAIN. NO PROBLEM, YOU WOULD THINK. BUT THE STAGES WERE SO DRY THAT HE WAS FOLLOWED OFF THE ROAD BY HIS OWN ROOSTER-TAIL OF THICK DUST. WHEN HE REVERSED, HE SIMPLY REVERSED INTO HIS OWN DUST CLOUD AND COULD NOT SEE WHERE TO GO AND HAD TO WAIT 20 SECONDS OR SO FOR THE DUST TO SETTLE. QUITE HILARIOUS IF IT HADN'T BEEN SO DAMAGING.

WORSE STILL, EVERYONE ELSE, PARTICULARLY JARI-MATTI LATVALA, WAS FLYING AND SEBASTIEN ENDED STAGE 1 IN 7TH PLACE. FORTUNATELY, JARI-MATTI WAS SOON LITERALLY FLYING - HE HIT A BANK AT TOP SPEED, JUMPED OVER THE WALL AND ROLLED 200 METRES DOWN A VERY STEEP INCLINE. NO INJURIES AT ALL TO HIM OR HIS CO-DRIVER THANKS TO THE SAFETY CELL BUT THE CAR WAS A WRITE-OFF.

MARCUS GRONHOLM, MAKING A ONE-OFF RETURN, LOOKED A SERIOUS THREAT BUT, AS HE SAID, "GOT TOO EXCITED" AND WENT OFF AND OUT. EVENTUALLY, SEBASTIEN WORE DOWN THE LEAD OF MIKKO HIRVONEN AND BY THE END OF DAY 2 HE WAS IN THE LEAD BY ABOUT 30 SECONDS.

DESPITE MIKKO'S BEST EFFORTS, HE COULD NOT DENT SEBASTIEN'S LEAD. YOU HAVE TO FEEL SORRY FOR MIKKO BECAUSE BUT FOR SEBASTIEN MIKKO WOULD BE WELL AHEAD OF THE FIELD. JARI-MATTI MAY BE FASTER BUT HE NEVER STAYS ON THE ROAD!

DANIEL SORDO FILLED THE FINAL PLACE ON THE PODIUM AND PETTER SOLBERG CONTINUED TO IMPRESS IN HIS OLD XSARA. CITROEN NOW HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL LEAD WITH A THIRD OF THE SEASON ALREADY GONE





RESULT

1. Sebastien Loeb / Citroen Total
2. Mikko Hirvonen / BP-Ford
3. Daniel Sordo / Citroen Total
4. Petter Solberg / Petter Solberg WRC
5. Henning Solberg / Stobart VK Ford
6. Mads Ostberg / Subaru
7. Federico Villagra / Munchi's Ford
8. Khalid al Qassimi / BP-Ford

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers :

Sebastien Loeb 40
Mikko Hirvonen 30
Daniel Sordo 23
Petter Solberg 14
=Henning Solberg 14
Matthew Wilson 8
Jari-Matti Latvala 6
Chris Atkinson 4

Constructors :

CitroŽn Total 64
BP-Ford 40
Stobart VK Ford 27
Citroen Junior Team 11
Munchi's Ford 7

Rally Results posted by
David Little
6th April 2009

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