Sunday 8 March 2015

Rally - Mexican mayhem

At the end of the second full day of rallying in Mexico, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have extended their lead to 1:15.2 minutes overt the Citroen of Mads Østberg and Jonas Andersson. Ogier’s VW Polo team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen is third but by just 4.5 seconds.

Jari-Matti Latvala was holding second place on Saturday till he hit a bank and damaged the rear suspension.

Ogier commented: “From a driving perspective, this weekend is definitely one of the best of my career, I'm very happy with my performance. Julien and I have had another perfect day and haven't made any mistakes. We kept putting pressure on the others. While I didn't need to continue taking risks after Jari-Matti Latvala retired, the job is far from done. I said previously that a win here was highly unlikely unless my rivals had a bad weekend – and now it looks like it might actually happen.”

Latvala added: “If you want to win, you have to put the leader under pressure. But I knew that I couldn't risk everything. I had a good rhythm on the twelfth stage. There was a pothole on the inside of a bend and I came off the line slightly to avoid it, and I ended up on loose ground in this really narrow section. I hit a bank with the rear left of the car and damaged my suspension.”

Neither was it a good day for Kris Meeke: “We knew that today’s leg was going to be very difficult for the early starters. Unfortunately, after rejoining under Rally 2 rules, our road position meant we’d be sweeping the loose gravel. The goal is to make it to the finish, nothing more. We can no longer fight for a position in the overall standings, we just need to concentrate on scoring points for the manufacturers’ championship.” 

Leaderboard after SS18 (of 21):
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) 3:33:27.4
2. Mads Østberg / Jonas Andersson (Citroën DS3 WRC) +1:15.2
3. Andreas Mikkelsen / Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC) +1:19.7
4. Elfyn Evans / Daniel Barritt (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +2:28.6
5. Dani Sordo / Marc Marti (Hyundai i20 WRC) +4:10.6
6. Martin Prokop / Jan Tomanek (Ford Fiesta RS WRC) +4:39.6
7. Nasser Al-Attiyah / Matthieu Baumel (Ford Fiesta RRC) +10:43.9
8. Nicolas Fuchs / Fernando Musano (Ford Fiesta R5) +18:34.5
9. Jari Ketomaa / Kaj Lindtröm (Ford Fiesta R5) +19:39.5
10. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari / Marshall Clarke (Ford Fiesta RRC) +19:49.1…

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