Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen maintained his impressive victory charge at the Rally of Portugal when he stretched his lead to over a minute.

The Finn, who was runner-up in the 2011 world championship to Sebastien Loeb, will take a 1min 11sec lead over Norway's Mads Ostberg into tomorrow's final day and a 1min 41sec advantage on Russia's Evgeny Novikov.

Norway's Petter Solberg, driving a factory Ford, won four of the day's six specials to move into fifth overall.

Alastair Fisher, nephew of the late Bertie Fisher, and the four-time Irish Tarmac Rally Champion has won the opening round of the FIA WRC Academy, which concluded on stage 13 of the Rally of Portugal.

Waterford’s Craig Breen, who was forced to retire from the event yesterday, is the current WRC Academy champion.