Mexico WRC: Ogier in control as Neuville shuffles the deck

Nick Garton
motorsport.com

Restarting under Rally 2 rules, the Belgian’s focus could only be on getting up the order to retrieve as many manufacturer points as possible, but on the opening run through Guanajuatito his road position put him 25 seconds off the pace of Ogier’s stage-winning Toyota.

At this point the Belgian slowed for what were understood to be technical issues. The delay forced him to drop back from the first starting position and line up in fourth on the road at the start of the day’s second timed test at Alfaro.

Another scintillating Neuville performance on the third stage of the day at Derramadero was stymied by a quick trip down an escape road – albeit costing less time than might have been lost by running first on the road. Tanak claimed that stage victory.

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This had left only M-Sport youngster Gus Greensmith’s Fiesta to clear a path in front of them and neither of the Yaris drivers were able to attack in the manner that they had hoped.

Timo Suninen’s M-Sport Fiesta remains in second place but has dropped more than 10 seconds off leader Ogier. The Finn now finds the third-placed Hyundai of defending champion Tanak, only 6.6 seconds in arrears.

If the Estonian is able to maintain that sort of pace until tomorrow’s finish, and if teammate Neuville continues as the joker in the pack, then Ogier will have to summon all his famous composure to claim a record-equalling sixth Rally Mexico win.

1

France
France

Julien Ingrassia

Toyota Yaris WRC

2:03'08.800

 

2

Finland
Finland

Jarmo Lehtinen

Ford Fiesta WRC

2:03'37.100

28.300

3

Estonia
Estonia

Martin Jarveoja

Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

2:03'43.700

34.900

4

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Scott Martin

Toyota Yaris WRC

2:03'53.100

44.300

5

Finland
Finland

Jonne Halttunen

Toyota Yaris WRC

2:04'31.200

1'22.400

6

Sweden
Sweden

Patrik Barth

Škoda Fabia R5 Evo

2:10'19.900

7'11.100

7

Russian Federation
Russian Federation

Yaroslav Fedorov

Hyundai i20 R5

2:11'16.800

8'08.000

8

Giovanni Bernacchini

Citroën C3 R5

2:13'04.700

9'55.900

9

Norway
Norway

Jonas Andersson

Hyundai i20 R5

2:15'30.800

12'22.000

10

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Elliott Edmondson

Ford Fiesta WRC

2:16'05.000

12'56.200

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