FIA Rally Mexico: Latvala's slip-up leaves Ogier in control

After another perfect day of competition, Sebastien Ogier looks set to claim a hat-trick of victories at the start of the 2015 WRC season

A mistake by Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala handed a commanding advantage to team-mate Sébastien Ogier today and the Frenchman now leads Rally Guanajuato Mexico by one minute 15.2 seconds with just over 75 competitive kilometres remaining. It has however also opened up a great battle for second position between Mads Østberg and Andreas Mikkelsen, the battling Norwegians split by 4.5 seconds this evening.Today’s route took in two identical loops of three stages, as well as two short sealed surface stages, and was the longest of the event covering 168.81 competitive kilometres. However, it was the recovery and resurrection of Ott Tanak’s car which dominated the overnight news. Astonishingly, after 10 hours submerged in the lake, the Estonian’s car was rebuilt by the M-Sport mechanics in just three hours and was ready to re-start under Rally 2 regulations. It needed some encouragement to fire up again this morning and got as far as the re-fuel but sadly the crew had to retire the car before reaching the first stage. They will nevertheless attempt to re-join the rally for Sunday’s final day of competition after another titanic effort by the team to get the Fiesta back in ship-shape condition.Ogier and Latvala started the day split by just 13.5 seconds and the Polo R WRC team-mates were neck and neck through the opening stage. However, in the following 42.90 kilometre Otates test, Latvala hit a bank, broke the rear suspension and lost the left rear wheel, bringing an instant end to his challenge for victory. As such, it also handed a 50.5 second lead to Ogier, Østberg moving up the leaderboard to become his nearest rival. In contrast to many around him, Ogier has had another perfect day and the Frenchman looks set to rack up a hat-trick of wins at the start of the 2015 season. Østberg and Mikkelsen have been battling throughout the day, Mikkelsen reeling in his fellow countryman and setting the scene for a huge showdown over tomorrow’s closing kilometres. Elfyn Evans has had another steady day and he overnights fourth with a comfortable advantage over Dani Sordo, the Spaniard suffering with brake and gearbox problems and a puncture this afternoon, which dropped him behind Evans and ended their close fight. Martin Prokop holds sixth.Behind the world rally cars, Nasser Al-Attiyah is seventh and leading the FIA WRC 2 Championship category in his Ford Fiesta RRC. He was in a close battle with Yurii Protasov until the Ukrainian was side-lined with engine problems. Rally Guanajuato Mexico – Unofficial Results after Section 51. Sebastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia-Volkswagen Polo R WRC-3hr 33 min 27.4sec

2. Mads Østberg/Jonas Andersson-DS 3 WRC-3hr 34min 42.6sec

3. Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Floene-Volkswagen Polo R WRC-3hr 34min 47.1sec

4. Elfyn Evans/Daniel Barritt-Ford Fiesta RS WRC-3hr 35min 56.0sec

5. Dani Sordo/Marc Marti-Hyundai i20 WRC-3hr 37min 38.0sec

6. Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek-Ford Fiesta RS WRC-3hr 38min 07.0sec

7. Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel-Ford Fiesta RRC-3hr 44min 11.3sec

8. Nicolas Fuchs/Fernando Musano-Ford Fiesta R5-3hr 52min 01.9sec

9. Jari Ketomaa/Kaj Lindstrom-Ford Fiesta R5-3hr 53min 06.9sec

10. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari/Marshall Clarke-Ford Fiesta RRC-3hr 53min 16.5sec


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