Five-time world champion Sebastien Loeb extended his lead in the World Rally Championship (WRC) to 10 points after winning the Rally Portugal on Sunday, his fourth successive victory this season
The Citroen driver leads on 40 points, and is followed by Ford's Mikko Hirvonen on 30. The Finn took the runner-up spot on Sunday, just as he had done in the previous two rallies.
Frenchman Loeb came into the final day in front and held on to the lead, finishing 24.3 seconds ahead of Hirvonen (pictured) and 1.45 minutes ahead of Citroen team mate Dani Sordo.
"It's incredible -- apart from our mistake on Friday's first stage it's been almost a perfect rally," Loeb said.
Hirvonen said he was happy with the eight points but earlier in the day had sensed a chance to win the event.
"I started the day thinking a win was possible but the dust hung in the air and I realised after the opening stage that in those conditions I had no chance of catching Sebastien. I hoped to win here but it wasn't meant to be," he said.
The rally, returning to the series after a year's absence, was the first all-gravel event of the season and was based in the Serra do Caldeirão hills, above the Algarve holiday resort of Faro.
"It's frustrating to see Loeb on top again but I'm not giving up on the championship title just yet – we are only a third of the way through the season. I go to every event hoping to win and without him I would do that! The car was excellent here and I really enjoyed the rally, although it was tough yesterday when I had to clean the road at the front," Hirvonen added.
Round five takes competitors outside of Europe for the first time this season. Rally Argentina is another gravel event and is based in Carlos Paz on 23 - 26 April.
1. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 3hr 53min 13.1sec
2. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 3hr 53min 37.4sec
3. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 3hr 54min 58.5sec
4. P Solberg/P Mills NOR Citroen Xsara 3hr 55min 57.7sec
5. H Solberg/C Menkerud NOR Ford Focus RS 3hr 58min 59.4sec
6. M Østberg/O Unnerud NOR Subaru Impreza 3hr 59min 33.9sec
7. F Villagra/J Diaz ARG Ford Focus RS 4hr 06min 12.6sec
8. K Al Qassimi/M Orr UAE Ford Focus RS 4hr 11min 34.8sec
9. A Araújo/M Ramalho POR Mitsubishi Lancer 4hr 15min 31.6sec
10. M Prokop/J Tománek CZE Mitsubishi Lancer 4hr 16min 38.7sec
1. S Loeb 40pts
2. M Hirvonen 30pts
3. D Sordo 23pts
4. P Solberg 14pts
5. H Solberg 14pts
6. M Wilson 8pts
1. Citroen Total 64pts
2. BP Ford Abu Dhabi 40pts
3. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford 27pts
4. Citroen Junior 11pts
5. Munchi's Ford 7pts