09 March 2013 ~ 3 Comments

Ogier delivers outstanding drive to lead Rally Mexico after day two

2013 Rally Mexico: Sébastien Ogier

It’s getting to be a regular occurrence – Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia lead the Rally Mexico after the first full day’s competition. Ogier claimed seven special stage wins and collected nine of a possible 11 top three results on a day which saw the WRC teams drive a total of 160km against the stopwatch. In what also seems to be a familiar story Finns Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila were hit by misfortune, or rather a large rock 300m into the start of day two, breaking one of their Polo R WRC’s wishbones and forcing them out of the day’s action. The pair will rejoin the event under Rally 2 regulations, but they will be awarded a 50-minute time penalty for the stages which they did not complete.

‘That was the shortest stage I have ever driven. The dust from the previous car was still in the air, so vision was not great. 300 metres after the start we were rounding a right-hander when we came across a stone the size of a melon right on the racing line. As it was not possible to avoid the stone at the speed we were travelling, I tried to position it centrally between the two front wheels and line it up as well as possible with the underside protection. The impact was not particularly strong, but the stone damaged the right wishbone. It was just unlucky. The rock had probably been pulled out onto the road by one of the cars in front of us. We will start again tomorrow and will view the rally as a test and an opportunity to gain more experience in the Polo R WRC,’ said a disappointed Latvala.

Ogier was understandably more upbeat: ‘I am obviously very happy with today’s result. The special stages were not easy, with a lot of stones, loose gravel and little grip. The 30km on ‘El Chocolate’, in particular, were extremely demanding. That made it all the more pleasing that we had built up a small cushion by then. Everyone in the team is delighted that the Polo R WRC appears also to be quick on gravel. However, we have to bear in mind that there is still a long way to go at this rally, and the toughest stages are still ahead.’

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