8 March 2013
Ogier ends day one on top
Dani Sordo sits in a lonely fifth and he was frustrated not to have been quicker and closer to the pace of Hirvonen in the sister car: “It hasn't been easy returning to this rally in such difficult conditions,” said Sordo, who is already around 2 minutes shy of Mikko. “As there were quite a few retirements among the drivers starting ahead of me, very quickly I found myself running in a more difficult starting position. There were tracks, but the lines weren't clearly marked out and so I ended up having to sweep my own racing line.
“I struggled to find the right pace and adapt to the car. I lacked confidence, and very quickly we were losing a second per kilometre. We'll analyse my performance today so that we can take a different approach to the second leg.”
Next up is Nasser Al-Attiyah in sixth, ahead of Ken Block, Benito Guerra, Martin Prokop and Chris Atkinson in positions 7 through to 10. Atkinson had dropped to 15th after problems in SS3, but he battled his way back up into the points in SS11.
“I had a fairly standard Rally Mexico mishap, when I hit a rock that wasn't there in recce,” the Aussie explained. “The first result was not having to retire at that point. Then the team did a great job in the service park to fix the car and I was able to continue. It's nice to be able to pay them back with a few good times. We'll keep pushing tomorrow to try to keep moving up the standings.”
Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala also hit a rock in SS3, however, he was unable to continue and will now rejoin the fold on Saturday under the Rally 2 regulations.
Of the rest, another driver to suffer misfortune was Evgeny Novikov. Novikov was slowed after a rock pierced the underfloor of his Ford Fiesta RS WRC in SS4 damaging the connectors in the ECU and resulting in a consequential loss of power. He ended the day in 13th overall, one spot behind WRC2 leader, Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari.
“This morning was a big disappointment for me, I came to this event full of confidence and ready to get a good result for the team, and also for Ilka [Minor, my co-driver] on what is a very special [100th WRC] event for her,” said Novikov. “But these things happen and there is not a lot we can do about it now. The most important thing for us is to keep motivated and make sure that we make it to the end of the rally.”
Rally Mexico now continues on Saturday with SS14, the 30.04 km Ibarrilla 1 test, starting at 08.58 hours local time [14.58 hours UK time]. Day two includes seven stages in total.
Rally Mexico: Overall standings after Stage 13 (Top 10):
1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC 1hour 57mins 46.9secs M
2. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +33.0s M
3. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +42.0s M
4. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +1m 07.1s
5. Dani Sordo Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +2m 40.1s M
6. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +3m 24.1s T
7. Ken Block Hoonigan Racing Division Ford Fiesta RS WRC +4m 46.5s
8. Benito Guerra Citroen DS3 WRC +6m 03.4s
9. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +6m 25.4s T
10. Chris Atkinson Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +7m 15.1s T
11. Michal Kosciuszko Lotos Team WRC MINI John Cooper Works WRC +8m 41.1s
12. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC +12m 19.7s WRC2
13. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +12m 53.2s M
14. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +14m 54.0s WRC2
15. Armin Kremer Subaru Impreza STi +16m 30.7s WRC2
WRC2 standings after Stage 13 (Top 3):
1. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari Ford Fiesta RRC 2h 10m 16.6s WRC2
2. Nicolas Fuchs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX +2m 24.3s WRC2
3. Armin Kremer Subaru Impreza STi +4m 01.0s WRC2
SS3. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC Hit a rock M*
SS9. Yuriy Protasov Subaru Impreza WRX STi WRC2*
SS12. Lorenzo Bertelli Subaru Impreza WRX WRC2
*denotes expected to re-start under Rally 2
all times unofficial
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