Rally of Portugal: Sebastien Ogier recovered from a virus to extend his lead
Sebastien Ogier showed his return to rude health after he stretched his lead in the Rally of Portugal.
Last Updated: 14/04/13 4:28pm
There were doubts over whether the Volkswagen driver would be able to compete at the event as he had been suffering from a virus.
But the Frenchman performed well on the second leg in Portugal, impressing in his Polo R over some difficult gravel stages.
The world championship leader won four of the stages in the hills above the Algarve to extend his lead over VW team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala to 34 seconds.
Latvala also enjoyed some success though, after claiming the day's opening two stages as the German manufacturer dominated proceedings.
Mikko Hirvonen is in third place for Citroen, 68 seconds behind Ogier, with Evgeny Novikov fourth ahead of fellow Fiesta driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, while the VW of Andreas Mikkelsen currently lies sixth.
Meanwhile, ex-F1 driver Robert Kubica had another frustrating day on his World Rally Championship debut.
The Pole suffered tyre problems on Friday that were compounded by hydraulic issues with his Citroen on Saturday that forced his second retirement from the event.
"I started to feel a bit better this afternoon. Physically I've given everything I have but it's going better and better. I'm okay," said Ogier.
"I think I saved my tyres better than the others. It was a good day but tomorrow has two long stages so it's going to be tough as well."
Latvala took over second place after Ogier's opening-day challenger Dani Sordo was forced to retire after his Citroen suffered a damaged rear wheel and the Finn admitted he was delighted with his performance behind the wheel of the new VW.
"It's the first day this year when I have been smiling," he said.