Sébastien Ogier had a accomplished gravel debut with M-Sport, finishing in second place on Rally Guanajuato Mexico and regained the lead of the World Rally Championship.
Ogier finished 13 seconds behind rally winner Kris Meeke which was enough to retake the championship lead from Toyota’s Jari-Matti Latvala, who finished in sixth.
Yet Ogier is in danger of losing this due to a FIA investigation into the car’s gearbox.
The Rally Mexico stewards suspected it to be underweight and the offending part has been taken to Geneva where the FIA’s WRC Technical Delegate Jerome Toquet will investigate it.
A report is due before the next round in Corsica next month and if found to be underweight, the FIA could issue a time penalty or disqualify the Ford from the results.
Both scenarios would result in him losing the championship lead.
Not 100% Satisfied with Fiesta on Gravel
Ogier went into day two 20 seconds behind Meeke, promising he would put in an all or nothing performance to catch the Citroen.
Yet his pursuit of the leader was hindered by Meeke matching his pace and a spin and stall in stage 13.
Meeke won that stage, doubling his lead to 40 seconds, and forcing the Frenchman to throw in the towel and settle for a satisfactory second place finish.
“That little mistake is linked to the fact that I’m not yet 100% satisfied with the balance of the car,” Ogier said afterwards.
Despite this he admitted that he has learnt a lot about the car on gravel taht would be useful later in the season.
However, Ogier admits he is relishing a return to the tarmac on the Tour De Corse next month, as he feels more confident in the car on that surface.
“I can’t wait for the Tour de Corse and to get back onto asphalt, a surface on which I had a good feeling in the Fiesta in Monte Carlo,” he beamed.