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Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) wins Vodafone Rally de Portugal and makes history

One of the shortest differences recorded between the top two – just 7.9 seconds – a lot of public, excitement and a sixth victory for Frenchman Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

A 2024 edition makes history for two reasons: the Frenchman became the most successful driver in the race, and the same happening with Toyota among the brands. Two broken records that had stood for more than three decades! Armindo Araújo was, for the 13th time, the best of the national drivers. Meetings scheduled for 2025 and 2026, confirmed that the Portuguese race in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) will continue.

sÉbastien ogier vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal < Sebastien Ogier

Even after eight titles, 60 victories and 101 podiums, Sébastien Ogier still manages to surprise in the WRC. This Sunday, with Vincent Landais as co-driver, the Frenchman did much more than add another victory to his impressive record… At the age of 40, he entered eternity and became the most successful driver in the history of the Vodafone Rally de Portugal, surpassing Markku Alén’s record, which had lasted since 1987. A total of six victories (in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2024 editions) and with four different brands: Citroën, Volkswagen, Ford and, now, Toyota.

The Toyota, on the other hand, recorded its ninth triumph – the last five in a row – dethroning Lancia as the most successful brand in the race organized by the Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP).

tÄnak vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal <Tanak

In one of the most exciting editions ever, as confirmed by the 7.9-second difference between the first two (after 337.04 timed kilometres), but also by the five drivers who took the lead and the six different stage winners, Sébastien Ogier He was the biggest figure in what was the fifth event of the year scoring for the World Rally Championship (WRC).

It was on Saturday, in the stage held in the North of the country, that the Frenchman took the lead in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. The Toyota driver was strongly opposed by Ott Tänak – 18.1 seconds was the most significant difference between the two – but throughout Saturday and Sunday, he managed, perfectly, those few seconds of advantage. “Once again, there’s nothing against being tied with Markku Alén – he’s a legend. But now, it’s finally happened. It was a great weekend, but not fantastic for the whole team”, highlighted Sébastien Ogier.

Ott Tänak, with the best performance of the season, did everything he could to repeat his 2019 victory in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal. The Hyundai driver was the fastest in five stages but was just 7.9 seconds behind the leader. “It was definitely a demanding weekend. We tried our best, but when you go on the attack but don’t feel completely comfortable in the car, that reflects on the result,” said the Estonian.

neuville vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal < Neuville

With third place, the WRC leader and winner of the 2018 edition of the Portuguese race, Thierry Neuville, added precious points for the championship and even increased the advantage over his most direct opponents, following his victory in the Wolff Power Stage. “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy weekend, but we had a problem-free rally. I attacked as hard as I could. Thank you to the team for providing us with a reliable car.”

Adrien Formaux was fourth, with the Ford driver confirming himself as one of the good surprises of the season. “I am really happy. The pace was good and the car was perfect. Thank you to the team.” Less luck for teammate Grégoire Munster, who retired this morning after a crash.

Despite being the fastest in two stages of the opening stage, Dani Sordo (Hyundai) managed no better than fifth position, preceding Elfyn Evans (Toyota) in the classification, with the Welsh driver having a rally marked by various imponderables.

After abandoning due to an accident the day before, Kalle Rovanperä and his teammate, Takamoto Katsuta, returned today in “Rally2” mode with the aim of gaining points in the Power Stage. The young Finn scored three points and, in the end, made a point of apologizing to the team for the accident the day before. The Japanese, in turn, added another point to the championship’s accounts.

fourmaux vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal < Fourmaux

Excitement until the end of Rally2

But if the fight for the overall victory was lively, what about between Rally2, with the top four classified finishing the rally separated by an incredible 7.7 seconds? An epic fight, with Nikolay Gryazin (Citroën) taking his second consecutive victory of the season, 4.5 seconds ahead of Jan Solans (Toyota), also the first in the WRC2, and 7.7 seconds ahead of Josh McErlean (Skoda),

Armindo Araújo first among the Portuguese

Among the national drivers, Armindo Araújo (Skoda) was – for the 13th time, the last six in a row! – the best among the Portuguese, being 17th overall and 11th classified among Rally2.
The defending national champions, Ricardo Teodósio/José Teixeira (Hyundai), with an opening stage marked by problems, were second among the Portuguese, followed by Hélder Pereira/Hugo Miranda (Peugeot), the first among the two-wheel drive cars.

armindo araÚjo vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal < Armindo Araújo

Other winners

Among Rally3, Paraguayan Diego Dominguez (Ford) won, while in Rally4 (two-wheel drive), it was Italian Matteo Fontana (Peugeot) who came out on top.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2024 – Final classification:
1st Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Vincent Landais (FRA) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, 3h41m32.3s
2nd Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, at 7.9s
3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, 1m09.8s
4th Adrien Fourmaux (FRA) / Alexandre Coria (FRA) Ford Puma Rally1, 1m47.8s
5th Dani Sordo (ESP) / Candido Carrera (ESP) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, at 2m48.9s
6th Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, 6m36.0s
7th Nikolay Gryazin (BUL) / Kostantin Aleksandrov (RUS) Citroën C3 Rally2, at 11m48.4s
8th Jan Solans (ESP) / Rodrigo Sanjuan (ESP) Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, at 11m52.9s (1st WRC2)
(…)
17th Armindo Araújo (POR) / Luís Ramalho (POR) Skoda Fabia Rally2, 23m13.1s (1st Portuguese)

Outros vencedores

Entre os Rally3, vitória do paraguaio Diego Dominguez (Ford), enquanto nos Rally4 (duas rodas motrizes), foi o italiano Matteo Fontana (Peugeot) quem levou a melhor.

Vodafone Rally de Portugal 2024 – Final classification:
1st Sébastien Ogier (FRA) / Vincent Landais (FRA) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, 3h41m32.3s
2nd Ott Tänak (EST) / Martin Järveoja (EST) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, at 7.9s
3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) / Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, 1m09.8s
4th Adrien Fourmaux (FRA) / Alexandre Coria (FRA) Ford Puma Rally1, 1m47.8s
5th Dani Sordo (ESP) / Candido Carrera (ESP) Hyundai i20 N Rally1, at 2m48.9s
6th Elfyn Evans (GBR) / Scott Martin (GBR) Toyota GR Yaris Rally1, 6m36.0s
7th Nikolay Gryazin (BUL) / Kostantin Aleksandrov (RUS) Citroën C3 Rally2, at 11m48.4s
8th Jan Solans (ESP) / Rodrigo Sanjuan (ESP) Toyota GR Yaris Rally2, at 11m52.9s (1st WRC2)
(…)
17th Armindo Araújo (POR) / Luís Ramalho (POR) Skoda Fabia Rally2, 23m13.1s (1st Portuguese)

solans vodafone rally de portugal
Vodafone Rally de Portugal < Solans

Leaders
SS1-2 Thierry Neuville
SS3-5 Takamoto Katsuta
SS6-10 Kalle Rovanperä
SS11 Sébastien Ogier
SS12 Ott Tänak
SS13-22 Sébastien Ogier

Qualifier winners
SS1 Thierry Neuville
SS2 Thierry Neuville
SS3 Dani Sordo
SS4 Dani Sordo
SS5 Thierry Neuville
SS6 Sébastien Ogier
SS7 Dani Sordo
SS8 Kalle Rovanperä
SS9 Sébastien Ogier
SS10 Kalle Rovanperä
SS11 Sébastien Ogier
SS12 Ott Tänak
SS13 Sébastien Ogier
SS14 Ott Tänak
SS15 Ott Tänak
SS16 Sébastian Ogier
SS17 Sébastian Ogier
SS18 Adrien Formaux
SS19 Sébastien Ogier
SS20 Ott Tänak
SS21 Ott Tänak
SS22 Thierry Neuville

WRC – Drivers
1.º T. Neuville (Hyundai), 110 points
2.º E. Evans (Toyota), 86
3.º O. Tänak (Hyundai), 79
4.º A. Fourmaux (M-Sport Ford), 71
5.º S. Ogier (Toyota), 70

WRC – Teams
1.º Hyundai Shell Mobis, 219 points
2.º Toyota Gazoo Racing, 215
3.º M-Sport Ford, 116

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