A look back at WRC Rally Portugal


After an exciting WRC Rally Portugal we take a team-by-team look at how the WRC guys fared.



Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Volkswagen Board Member for Technical Development.

“Our duo of Ogier/Ingrassia once again showed their class in difficult conditions. But the team also did another fantastic job. The way they managed to get Jari-Matti Latvala’s back up and running within the allotted time after his crash was mighty impressive. Another reason this trip to Portugal has been so worthwhile for me is that it is great to experience the enthusiasm of the many fans lining the route and cheering our drivers on so magnificently.”



Mads Østberg:
“This second podium finish of the season, the first on gravel, has been earned through the hard work done by the entire team since the start of the year. We are making progress at every rally and in each test session. This third place is an excellent result and the point from the Power Stage is a bonus. That was our aim before the start. We didn’t take too many risks during the rally. It augurs well for the rest of the season. We’ll be able to aim even higher in future.”



Mikko Hirvonen (2nd) said:

“I’m really happy with this result. We came here wanting a good, clean rally and that is what we have done. The car has been absolutely perfect – and really competitive – all weekend so a big thanks to the boys for the top job they’ve done.

“We knew that we had the pace, it was just a case of bringing everything together and I think that we did that this weekend. We’ll keep developing and learning, so hopefully we can fight even harder in the coming rallies.
“We’ve been another step closer this weekend, and it’s really good for the whole team. I’m sure this result will boost everyone and that we can continue to challenge at the head of the field.”



Team Principal Michel Nandan said:

 “Today has been another important milestone for our still young team as we secured three stage wins out of six. It is a further reward for the efforts of the entire team and it’s a pleasure to see the Hyundai i20 WRC fighting for stage wins so early in our debut season. We are running three cars here in Portugal which means a lot more work, a lot more effort and a lot more valuable experience. In the morning stages, the conditions were tricky and it favoured those who went last but Dani was most confident with his pace notes on the slippery surface and he was rewarded with two scratch times. Thierry was patient in the morning and built his confidence during the day, making some key set-up changes over lunch. He adapted his settings and showed good pace this afternoon. Juho had a few issues in the morning and as the grip came back in the afternoon it was not easy to choose the right tyre compounds, but he still set some solid times. We have three Hyundai i20 WRCs in the race at the end of Day One and we will remain concentrated on our objectives: to finish the rally with three cars.”

Other major runners

Martin Prokop


We are at the finish of very difficult and demanding rally. Portugal again showed how unsearchable it is and was a big test for both drivers and cars. Before the rally I was saying to myself, OK you can be happy to finish in top 10 here, the competition is so big! So the sixth place for sure is a result I can be happy with. Lot of top drivers either went over the edge of risk and crashed or their cars didn´t manage the pace and rough conditions. From this point of view I am happy to achieve such a good result without bigger problems. On the other hand I have to admit that my feelings are quite inconsistent. I tried really hard to improve my driving style and times during the weekend to move closer to the best factory drivers, but this unfortunately didn´t happen. I have to improve myself what the team and fans are expecting from me, but we are still on the same speed with virtually no progress. I do not want to fall in some kind of stereotype.”

Robert Kubica


It had been a short and tough day. From the very beginning we were driving at a very steady pace, but still it did not stop me from making another mistake. 

“Going into a turn over a crest I was convinced it was much faster. I thought it was five but in the pacenotes it was three. We were going too fast even though a few kilometres before I had slowed down because we had some understeer into the right-hand corners. Still though, we were going too fast for that part of the stage. 

“We almost made it back to the stage. Half of the car was on the road, but since I could not downshift, the revs went down too much and we lost the momentum. I went back down the embankment and tried to find another way back to the stage, but because of my attempts the clutch gave up and it was over.

“Right now I am going through a difficult period of my life, even though I’ve had worse times. I think I must somehow reset myself and try to approach rallies the way I did at the very beginning, twelve months ago. I really hope we will have a much better rally in Argentina.”

Our View:Fast but ultimately fragile Kubica, he will need to slow up a bit and get to the end of a rally without rolling the car.  Once he can do that, I think we will see great things.  Whether he can make it there, time will tell.


Photos and quotes courtesy of their respective teams.

RacerViews was established in 2011 and with the aim of delivering a new web experience to motorsport fans. We bring exclusive interviews and photos from motorsports finest drivers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Our team has over 30 years of experience in the motorsport field. With a heavy presence on Facebook, Twitter and iTunes where we have over 2800 followers, our mission to bring exclusive content is in safe hands. We have partnered with motorsport teams like Stig Richards Motorsport, One of a Kind Motorsport, Dark Horse Racing and MRT Performance in order to give you the best exclusive motorsport coverage.

We are always looking for new people to join our team. If you are a motorsports photographer or journalist looking for additional exposure or a great place to learn your trade, contact us