Mexico WRC: Ogier in control as Neuville shuffles the deck

Three different drivers won the trio of stages that formed Saturday’s morning loop on the World Rally Championship’s visit to Mexico, but overnight leader Sebastien Ogier continues to hold a secure lead.

Mexico WRC: Ogier in control as Neuville shuffles the deck

A revised running order to start the new day put Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville at the front of the field, sweeping the stages after retiring yesterday with an electrical failure. 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.

Whatever the problem was, it was cured sufficiently for Neuville to immediately claim the stage victory, heading team-mate Ott Tanak by 2.9 seconds. 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.

Read Also:

Hyundai's net stage pace gains were Toyota’s loss, with Kalle Rovanpera and Elfyn Evans both nudged further up the running order to accommodate Neuville’s miraculous recovery. 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.

Cla Driver/Codriver Car Total Time Gap
1 France Sébastien Ogier
France Julien Ingrassia
Toyota Yaris WRC 2:03'08.800
2 Finland Teemu Suninen
Finland Jarmo Lehtinen
Ford Fiesta WRC 2:03'37.100 28.300
3 Estonia Ott Tanak
Estonia Martin Jarveoja
Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC 2:03'43.700 34.900
4 United Kingdom Elfyn Evans
United Kingdom Scott Martin
Toyota Yaris WRC 2:03'53.100 44.300
5 Finland Kalle Rovanperä
Finland Jonne Halttunen
Toyota Yaris WRC 2:04'31.200 1'22.400
6 Sweden Pontus Tidemand
Patrik Barth
Škoda Fabia R5 Evo 2:10'19.900 7'11.100
7 Russian Federation Nikolay Gryazin
Russian Federation Yaroslav Fedorov
Hyundai i20 R5 2:11'16.800 8'08.000
8 Marco Bulacia
Giovanni Bernacchini
Citroën C3 R5 2:13'04.700 9'55.900
9 Norway Ole Christian Veiby
Sweden Jonas Andersson
Hyundai i20 R5 2:15'30.800 12'22.000
10 United Kingdom Gus Greensmith
United Kingdom Elliott Edmondson
Ford Fiesta WRC 2:16'05.000 12'56.200
shares
comments
Lappi on dramatic exit: “I didn't realise how big the fire was”

Previous article

Lappi on dramatic exit: “I didn't realise how big the fire was”

Next article

Rally Mexico to end early due to looming travel restrictions

Rally Mexico to end early due to looming travel restrictions
Load comments
How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Prime

How Finland's newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Prime

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Prime

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win.

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021