Sunday, 6 March 2016

Rally - WRC Mexico


It's not just Wales that is humming to the sound of rally cars today, on the other side of the world, the third round of the WRC, Rally Mexico, enters its final day and whilst there is no real surprise about which team is doing well, the rally leader is not who you might expect. 

Jari-Matti Latvala leads Sébastien Ogier by over a minute and a half with Dani Sordo's Hyundai in third place.

Challenging Sordo for third place, Andreas Mikkelsen lost out when his Polo clipped a buttress on the second pass of the 'Otates' special stage yesterday, spun across the road and ended up wedged in a ditch.

Jari-Matti Latvala said: “My starting position obviously still gave me an advantage. Despite this, the long stages and high temperatures made the day a real challenge. However, when you still have an 80-kilometre stage to tackle, as we do today, it is still far from over.”

Sébastien Ogier added: “Generally speaking, I am really happy with today. Julien and I could not have done any more in the cockpit. It was clear to me early on that Jari-Matti would extend his lead, given his good starting position and impressive display. My priority here at the Rally Mexico remains to hold off my closest rivals in the world championship. If we end up finishing second, I can certainly live with that. I am now looking forward to the 80-kilometre stage on Sunday."


Third placed Dani Sordo commented: “The good thing is that we are still in the fight for a podium. The long stages we tackled yesterday resulted in a few issues. We had a broken fan in the long stage, which caused overheating and had to put the engine in safe mode and lost a bit of power as a result. We were lucky to make it to service because the temperatures got really high. I also overshot a junction about 300m before the end of that stage and spun the car, which lost us a few extra seconds. We had no traction in the rear and that is something we have to work on. We have another really hard day ahead of us with the long 80km stage so we have to be focused. Our third place is not guaranteed so we will have to remain concentrated. The rally is not over yet.” 

Top Ford is Mads Ostberg's car, two minutes behind the Hyundai - just a pity Elfyn is in Wales! Thierry Neuville crashed his Hyundai on the 12th stage leaving  Hayden Paddon in fifth place ahead of Ott Tanak's Fiesta.

Provisional results after SS19 (of 21) of Rally Mexico:
01. Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN), Volkswagen, 3h 27m 22.8s
02. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Volkswagen, + 1m 35.7s
03. Dani Sordo/Marc Martí (E/E), Hyundai, + 2m 40.4s
04. Mads Østberg/Ola Fløene (N/N), Ford, + 4m 48.8s
05. Hayden Paddon/John Kennard (NZ/NZ), Hyundai, + 5m 42.1s
06. Ott Tänak/Raigo Mõlder (EST/EST), Ford, + 7m 50.5s
07. Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek (CZ/CZ), Ford, + 9m 23.5s
08. Lorenzo Bertelli/Simone Scattolin (I/I), Ford, + 10m 19.5s
09. Teemu Suninen/Mikko Markkula (FIN/FIN), Škoda, + 12m 33.7s
10. Valery Gorban/Volodymyr Korsia (UA/UA), Mini, + 27m 49.2s

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