Sebastien Ogier has got his Rally Guanajuato Mexico off to the best possible start by clocking the fastest time in the pre-event shakedown. The Citroen Total World Rally Team driver set a best time of 2m51.7 over the 5.13 km San Juan de Otates test.
Petter Solberg was second fastest in his privately-entered Citroen DS3 WRC, despite damaging his steering in an impact earlier on. World champion and four-time Mexico winner Sebastien Loeb was third fastest in his DS3.
Jari-Matti Latvala headed the Ford drivers in fourth, with M-Sport Stobart drivers Mads Ostberg and Matthew Wilson fifth and sixth. Mikko Hirvonen was seventh in the second factory Ford, ahead of Munchi's driver Federico Villagra. Evgeny Novikov, who is making a return to the WRC in a fourth Stobart-entered Fiesta, was ninth fastest, with teammate Henning Solberg tenth.
Shakedown was due to run for four hours but was delayed by nearly one hour as organisers dealt with large numbers of spectators on the stage, who needed to be moved to safer areas.
“There were too many spectators on two corners and Jacek Bartos [the FIA safety delegate] said they must move positions before the test could continue,” explained rally director Patrick Suberville. “Naturally we agreed with this decision and obviously helped to get the spectators to stand in a safe area. We normally get a lot of spectators for the shakedown but normally at the start and finish of this stage. This time they were in other areas.”