Racer M-Sport Ford Sebastien Ogier celebrated ten years with the debut in the WRC with a comfortable win on Rally Mexico and the return of the leadership in the overall standings after a disastrous performance in Sweden three weeks ago.
The French rider, in Mexico in 2008, making his debut in the main world championship, took advantage of the problems opponents in mid-race and took the lead on special stage 14.
The final day, Ogier began with a margin of 35.9 seconds and finished with an advantage of 1 minute and 13 seconds thanks to a mistake by Chris Mika. Four kilometers before the finish of the penultimate stage Irishman flew off the track, losing around 40 seconds and fell back from second to third place in the General classification. Thus the closest rival Sebastien at the finish was Spaniard Dani Sordo, who in the season of 2018 shares the third car of Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon.
“Fantastic! For me it is a special place. Many times I have up here on the podium and now won a fourth victory, Ogier commented on his 42nd career triumph. – I knew from the second position in the start list will not be easy, but we did not give up and the car looked awesome.”
After the points earned in Mexico, the Frenchman is back in the lead in the overall standings and ahead of Thierry Neuville by ten points.
Mick, despite his humiliating departure, finished third and won his first podium of the season in 2018 after a fourth place in Monte Carlo and vanishing in Sweden.
The fourth Rally Mexico made a partner of Hyundai Sordo, Andreas Mikkelsen – the Norwegian did not make any major mistakes and have avoided a lot of problems, but still behind the winner a minute and a half.
Mexican stage could become an arena for the triumphant return of Sebastien Loeb. Nine-time world rally champion, released at the start in the WRC for the first time since Monte-Carlo 2015, was in the lead after the mid-range, but a single puncture cost him two minutes and drove the Alsatian in fifth place.
Now the former championship leader and the winner of the previous round in Sweden, Thierry Neuville after losing two minutes on Friday and Saturday was only sixth. At least the Belgian scored two extra points on the bonus stage, showing the fourth time.
In this failure became the first gravel stage of the season-2018 for Toyota drivers: Jari-Matti Latvala after the failure of the alternator on Friday became the eighth with a lag of 15 minutes, Esapekka Lappi went off the road and became the 11th and Ott Tanak retired from the battle for the victory due to the failure of the motor on Saturday morning and finished 14th.
|1.||Sebastien Ogier||M-Sport Ford WRT||Ford||3:53.58,0|
|2.||Dani Sordo||Mobis Hyundai Shell WRT||Hyundai||3:55.11,6||+1.13,6|
|3.||Kris Meeke||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||3:55.27,2||+1.29,2|
|4.||Andreas Mikkelsen||Mobis Hyundai Shell WRT||Hyundai||3:55.46,4||+1.48,4|
|5.||Sebastien Loeb||Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT||Citroen||3:56.32,6||+2.34,6|
|6.||Thierry Neuville||Mobis Hyundai Shell WRT||Hyundai||4:03.11,0||+9.13,0|
|7.||Pontus Of Tidemand||Skoda Motorsport||Skoda||4:04.32,7||+10.34,7|
|8.||Jari-Matti Latvala||Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT||Toyota||4:09.45,1||+15.47,1|
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