Ogier takes the lead in the championship over teammate Latvala.
Reigning FIA World Rally Champions Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed their second victory of the season today, winning Rally Guanajuato Mexico - the third round of the series - by more than a minute. Team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila finished second, giving Volkswagen Motorsport its first one-two of the year. Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul took a fine third in the i20 WRC, claiming Hyundai Motorsport’s first-ever podium in the WRC in only their third outing with this car.
"Our entire team did a sensational job all weekend, and the Polo R WRC was once again super reliable and super quick in extreme conditions," said Ogier. "I was hungry for this win after my mistake in Sweden!"
Today’s route covered just four stages and 80.22 competitive kilometres, but included the longest stage of the rally; the mammoth 55.92 kilometre Guanajuatito test. Ogier, who notched up his 18th world rally victory in Mexico, won the opening short stage and was able to control the pace before heading to the final El Brinco Power Stage, where he claimed maximum points for fastest through this single stage. Latvala had an uneventful run to second, with extra points for finishing second in the Power Stage, and Neuville appeared to have third position under control until a hole in the radiator after the final stage put his run back to the finish in jeopardy. Repairs on the road section however saw the young Belgian claim an emotional first podium for Hyundai.
Elfyn Evans drove a measured and mature rally to claim a career-best fourth in a WRC event and Martin Prokop finished fifth. Benito Guerra, Mexico’s only World Rally Car driver, finished sixth and Chris Atkinson claimed seventh in the second Hyundai, the Australian suffering a few problems throughout the event including brake and gearshift issues today. Mikko Hirvonen and Mads Østberg, running under Rally 2 regulations, were eighth and ninth respectively and FIA WRC 2 Championship driver Yurii Protasov rounded off the top 10 with victory in his category too. Kris Meeke was the only retirement of the day, the Citroën driver clipping something in a long right hand corner in the Power Stage and damaging the front wheel.
The fourth round of the FIA World Rally Championship takes the crews back to Europe for Vodafone Rally de Portugal (3-6 April).
FIA WRC and Volkswagen Motorsport