DirtFish Portugal Week: And the winner is…

Result of top-six predictor rounds out Portugal week

Ogier Toyota WRC Mexico

Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Sébastien Ogier scored his second win of the season at last week’s Rally Portugal.

The Frenchman was comfortably ahead at the end of DirtFish’s virtual result from the Matoshinos-based event. Such a result would keep the six-time champion’s bid to take his crown back at the end of the year well and truly on track.

More importantly in terms of Rally Portugal history, if this actually happened, Ogier would be the most successful driver since the 1967 inception of Portugal’s international rally. You virtually voted him past Markku Alén.

In this result determined by DirtFish’s readers, Estonian Ott Tänak finished second, and collected his fourth straight podium after you voted for his first Hyundai victory in Argentina last month. The defending champion’s fellow i20 Coupe WRC driver Thierry Neuville snatched the bottom step of the podium from Welshman Elfyn Evans.

Rally Sweden winner (real time, not pretending…) Evans once again demonstrated his presence at the WRC’s top table, with Ogier, Tänak, Neuville and Evans bagging more than double the votes of the fifth-placed Dani Sordo.

Got to be honest here and say I was surprised more people didn’t back the likeable Spaniard, given his superb record in the country that sits next door to his homeland. What’s more, given his part-programme so far this year, he’d have enjoyed a perfect place on the road in warm, dry conditions on the roads around Porto.

Hyundai man Sordo beat M-Sport Ford World Rally Team driver Esapekka Lappi by a single point, with Toyota driver Kalle Rovanperä seventh. Sébastien Loeb, Teemu Suninen and Craig Breen (Hyundai was – virtually – testing a five-car team in Portugal…) rounded out the top 10.

Huge thanks to everybody who voted for the virtual result, but this will be the last one. Without any genuine results to help generate the running order, it’s just a touch too random to try to estimate who would win next time out in Sardinia.