WRC Rally Mexico: Ogier claims record-breaking 7th Mexico win, Neuville takes second

Rally Mexico: Ogier claims record-breaking 7th Mexico win

Sébastien Ogier has claimed a record-breaking seventh victory at Guanajuato Rally Mexico, the event where it all started back in 2008 when he won the JWRC Category on his debut on a WRC event.

Ogier started the final day with a 35.8-second advantage over his Toyota teammate Elfyn Evans. Ogier eight-time WRC champion took the lead after the first stage of Saturday morning as leader after Friday, Esapekka Lappi, went off in the opening stage.

Ogier’s final day was about managing his gap to second place. After the penultimate stage, he hinted at a Power Stage push for bonus points: “We were managing the tyres a bit in the morning. Let’s see for the Power Stage, we won’t go for the full attack, but we’ll go for a decent drive.”

That ”decent drive” turned out to be a rather good one for Ogier as he took the Power Stage win alongside a record-breaking overall victory in Mexico.

Just 0.4s separates P2 and P3

The battle to watch on Sunday was the scrap for second place. Evans held a 4.3-second margin over Neuville at the start of the day.

Neuville started the day with a stage win in the short Las Dunas Super Special. The Belgian was just 0.2s faster than Evans.

Evans responded in the next 35.63 km long Otates stage by going 1.7 seconds faster than Neuville and increasing the gap to 5.8 seconds.

The scrap continued in the penultimate stage as Neuville went fastest again, this time 3.1 seconds faster than Evans to close the overall gap to 2.7 seconds.

Neuville knew he had to apply pressure to Evans as he had seen the Welshman work on his car: “I continue pushing. We won’t give up. Elfyn has been fixing his car, he touched something & damaged his suspension in the previous stage.”

When asked at stage-end about the problems, Evans’ comments were short: “No, no problems.”

Neither Neuville nor Evans could match Ogier in the Power Stage. Neuville said at the Power Stage finish that he couldn’t do more. It turned out to be enough as Evans completed 3.1 seconds behind Neuville in the final stage and thus lost P2 by 0.4 seconds as Neuville had leapfrogged him.

Kalle Rovanperä and Dani Sordo finished in a distant fourth and fifth while the WRC2 winner in Mexico, Gus Greensmith, was sixth. Emil Lindholm was seventh ahead of Oliver Solberg.

Ott Tänak managed to come back to the top 10 on the final day after his turbo problems in Friday’s opening loop. Kajetan Kajetanowicz closed out the top 10.

Ogier takes championship lead

Ogier retakes the lead of the championship following his win in Mexico, despite not competing in Sweden last time out.

The Toyota driver confirmed that he will be competing in Rally Croatia next month, meaning that he will be first on the road there.

It’s close at the top of the standings, with Neuville just 3 points behind Ogier while Rovanperä is just one point behind Neuville.

Championship leader before the start of Rally Mexico, Ott Tänak, drops to fourth in the standings, he is now 9 points adrift of the top.

In the constructors’ championship, it’s Toyota who extend their lead to 27 points over Hyundai.

Next up on the WRC calendar is Rally Croatia next month from 20 – 23 April.

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WRC Rally Mexico 2023 – Results

#DriversCarTime / Diff. to 1st
1.Ogier / LandaisToyota GR Yaris Rally13:16:09.4
2.Neuville / WydaegheHyundai i20 N Rally1+27.5
3.Evans / MartinToyota GR Yaris Rally1+27.9
4.Rovanperä / HalttunenToyota GR Yaris Rally1+1:55.3
5.Sordo / CarreraHyundai i20 N Rally1+2:58.8
6.Greensmith / AnderssonSkoda Fabia RS Rally2+12:31.5
7.Lindholm / HämäläinenSkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo+13:04.4
8.Solberg / EdmondsonSkoda Fabia RS Rally2+13:37.7
9.Tänak / JärveojaFord Puma Rally1+15:19.6
10.Kajetanowicz / SzczepaniakSkoda Fabia Rally2 Evo+15:56.6

WRC 2023 Drivers’ Championship results – Standings after Round 3/13 [Top 10]

1.Sébastien Ogier56
2.Thierry Neuville53
3.Kalle Rovanperä52
4.Ott Tänak47
5.Elfyn Evans44
6.Craig Breen19
7.Dani Sordo17
8.Esapekka Lappi15
9.Gus Greensmith8
10.Takamoto Katsuta8

WRC 2023 Manufacturers’ Championship results – Standings after Round 3/13

1.Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT127
2.Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT100
3.M-Sport Ford WRT73

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool