RALLY GUANAJUATO MEXICO: Ogier Seals Second Win of Season

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Sébastien Ogier secured the Rally Mexico victory in commanding fashion on Sunday afternoon.

The Frenchman, who also retakes the championship lead, finished 1m03s.6 ahead of Hyundai’s Dani Sordo with Citroen’s Kris Meeke in third.

Starting the day with a comfortable 35.9s lead with only three stages left on Sunday, Ogier took no risks on his way to his 42nd WRC win.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Despite taking full points for his win, the M-Sport driver looked set to take four extra points also after finishing second on the final stage of the rally, the Las Minas Power Stage.

However despite finishing behind Ott Tänak on the road, Ogier was later penalized with a 10 second penalty, something that M-Sport is currently appealing, for cutting a chicane.

If the penalty is withheld, Ogier will lead the drivers standings by four points over Thierry Neuville.

For the second rally in a row, the Power Stage again caused controversy. On top of the Ogier penalty, both Tanak and Neuville parked up outside the beginning of the stage in a bid to earn a better road position which automatically gave them time penalties in terms of overall position.

But with the pair lying down in sixth and fourteenth at the time, both drivers sacrificed their finishing position in a bid for a quicker time on the final stage that would earn them bonus points.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Going into the final day lying in second, Meeke would put the C3 on its side on stage 20 while trying to catch Ogier. The Irishman would lose 45s to Sordo as a result and he had to settle for third overall.

A frustrated Meeke said on his performance this weekend: “I feel a bit stupid to be honest. I had the pace, the car, the road position.. I didn’t do the job, so. never been as frustrated with a third place. I need to tidy my game up.”

Fourth overall went to Andreas Mikkelsen in the second Hyundai, despite struggling all weekend with setup issues. He finished ahead of Sébastien Loeb who, despite suffering a heartbreaking puncture while leading on Saturday, managed a fine fifth place result.

Sixth, despite receiving a four minute and ten second penalty for his last stage antics was Neuville, meaning the Belgian still scraped some vital championship points in his bid for a first world title.

Photo Credit: Jaanus Ree/RedBull Content Pool

Finishing seventh overall and leading the WRC2 class was Pontus Tidemand, who dominated the class all weekend. The Swede finished ahead of Gus Greensmith and Pedro Heller in the category, albeit with nearly 7 minute lead.

Jari-Matti Latvala was the first Toyota classified down in eighth. Teammate Esapekka Lappi finished eleventh overall, while Power Stage winner Tänak only managed a fourteenth place finish.

Round four of the 2018 FIA World Rally Championship is the Tour de Corse, between April 5-8.