GUANAJUATO, Mexico - M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have taken a commanding lead at Rally Mexico. Delivering a stunning drive behind the wheel of their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, the pairing were in a league of their own today – pushing hard and transforming a 30 second deficit into more than a 30 second advantage at the head of the field.
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Extraordinary. That is the only word to describe Sébastien’s performance today. I could sense at lunchtime that there was a glint in his eye and that he was really going to attack. That’s what he did and he’s ended up with a 35.9 second lead at the end of the day.
“It was a truly incredible drive – just Sébastien and Julien at their absolute best.
“There are still three very demanding stages to go, and anything can happen, but I have no doubt in Sébastien’s ability to deliver. The pressure is on us now and we need to ensure that he and Julien have everything they need to secure the result.”
Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia have delivered another stunning drive at Rally Mexico – turning fifth place and a 31 second deficit into first place and a 35.9 second advantage at the end of day two.
Making the most of every situation, the Frenchmen are delivering a master class in what it takes to be a five-time World Champion – patience, focus, experience and speed all combined in near-perfect fashion throughout the weekend.
Taking advantage of his slightly improved road position, Ogier was the man to beat today. Setting four fastest stage times, he was never out of the top-two fastest times on gravel and is on course to deliver another fantastic result for the EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC.
SS11: 2nd (+4.3)
SS12: 2nd (+2.4)
SS17: 6th (+1.3)
SS18: 4th (+0.6)
SS19: 2nd (+0.1)
Sébastien Ogier (1st) said:
“I am very happy to be in the lead at the end of the day. Our starting position was a bit better this morning and in the afternoon there was no cleaning left to do which is where we were able to make the biggest difference. We wanted to push – and I was pretty much on the limit most of the time – but we had a good feeling in the car.
“We didn’t always have a perfect run, but I was really happy with the morning loop where I made very few mistakes – especially in the second and third stages [SS12 and SS13] which were almost perfect.
“It was a bit tougher in the afternoon – still very slippery and very hot inside the car and for the engine and the brakes as well. It wasn’t an easy loop, but everything worked well and we can be really happy with the job we have done so far.”
Teemu Suninen and Mikko Markkula are continuing to gain the knowledge that will see them well-placed for the future. Restarting under Rally 2 regulations today, the Finns are focused on completing all of the kilometres and gaining the vital experience needed to excel at this level.
Adopting a measured approach behind the wheel of his EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC, Suninen may have struggled to find a consistent rhythm, but continues to improve and learn much about the nature of this unique event.
SS11: 7th (+26.9)
SS12: 9th (+28.1)
SS13: 9th (+10.1)
SS14: 6th (+28.3)
SS15: 7th (+27.5)
SS16: 7th (+5.2)
SS17: 7th (+1.4)
SS18: 7th (+2.1)
SS19: =3rd (+0.5)
Teemu Suninen (12th) said:
“It’s been a bit difficult today. In the morning I was struggling to find the right rhythm and driving style. But in the end it was getting better and the last few stages were okay. There is still some work to do, but the good thing is that I know where I can improve and be more precise with the driving.”
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Ford Fiesta WRC) 3:25:03.1
2. Kris Meeke / Paul Nagle (Citroen DS3 WRC) +35.9
3. Dani Sordo / Carlos del Barrio (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +46.8
4. Andreas Mikkelsen / Anders Jaeger (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:28.4
5. Sébastien Loeb / Daniel Elena (Citroen C3 WRC) +2:19.7
6. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +4:44.6
7. Pontus Tidemand / Jonas Andersson (Skoda Fabia R5) +9:24.2
8. Gus Greensmith / Craig Parry (Ford Fiesta R5) +15:06.8
9. Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila (Toyota Yaris WRC) +15.59.6
10. Pedro Heller / Pablo Olmos (Ford Fiesta R5) +21:43.0
12. Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula (Ford Fiesta WRC) +32:39.0