Mexico WRC: Ogier grabs lead from Loeb

Punctures for both Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo have handed Sebastien Ogier the lead of Rally Mexico after a chaotic Guanajuatito stage.

Mexico WRC: Ogier grabs lead from Loeb
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC
Dani Sordo, Carlos Del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Dani Sordo, Carlos Del Barrio, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, M-Sport Ford WRT Ford Fiesta WRC
Sébastien Loeb , Daniel Elena, Citroën World Rally Team Citroën C3 WRC
Kris Meeke, Paul Nagle, Citroën World Rally Team Citroën C3 WRC

Rally leader Loeb struck a small stone midway through SS14 and had to stop to replace the delaminated tyre, losing over two minutes. Sordo lost 30 seconds after hitting a similarly sized stone early in the stage.

These incidents enabled M-Sport's Ogier to jump two places to grab the top spot as he out-paced Loeb's Citroen team-mate Kris Meeke by 3.8s.

Sordo's frustration was compounded when it became clear an opportunity to seize back the lead from rival Loeb was missed.

"[I hit] a small stone at the beginning of the stage, some kilometres in," said Sordo. "Unfortunately the tyre broke at the end but we did almost the whole stage like this."

For Loeb, the Frenchman was surprised his seemingly innocuous impact caused such damage to the tyre.

He said: "There was a stone on the line, on the inside. I didn't think it was enough to give me a puncture but it did."

Sordo remains in contention for a podium, 17.4s behind Ogier in third place and well clear of Hyundai team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen, who is almost a minute adrift.

Ogier's run was far from incident-free though. The defending champion had a scary moment early in the stage as his Fiesta WRC narrowly avoided a bank as it became unsettled following a compression.

The Frenchman then had to avoid a stray dog but held his nerve to claim his third stage win and second in a row on day two.

Story by Stephen Brunsdon

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