March 24, 2023

Frenchman Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) won Sunday’s Rally Mexico, the third event of the season, and set a new record by winning this stage of the World Rally Championship (WRC) for the seventh time.

At 39, Ogier now has one victory more than Sébastien Loeb (6) on the slippery and demanding tracks of Mexico and continues his quest for records as he did during the legendary Monte-Carlo rally, the first event on the calendar. , which he had won for the ninth time in January.

Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) ranks second, only four hundredths ahead of Briton Elfyn Evans, who brings a second Toyota to the podium.

The mano a mano between the two pilots will have lasted the entire last day of the Mexican event, back after two years without due to the Covid-19.

Reigning world champion, Finland’s Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) is in fourth position at 1 min 55 sec and grabs a few extra points thanks to his fourth place in the Power Stage.

A Power Stage, the last stage of this rally made of stones and dust, won by the eight-time French world champion, who had until then been able to carefully manage his lead in the general classification.

Thirty-five seconds acquired after the mechanical setbacks on Friday of the leader of the world championship, the Estonian Ott Tänak (M-Sport Ford), and especially after a spectacular accident, fortunately not serious, which put the Finn Esapekka Lappi out of play ( Hyundai), while leading the race on Saturday.

With a harvest of thirty points, Ogier, who skipped Rally Sweden a month ago and is only doing a partial season with Toyota, takes the lead in the World Rally Championship with 56 points. , ahead of Neuville and Rovanpera.

Ott Tanak, first when arriving in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains, is only fourth with 47 units.

Once again, the Mexico Rally, with its course laid out at 2,700 meters above sea level, its sharp stones along the tracks and its stray dogs, pushed the mechanics and the drivers to their limits.

The Spaniard Daniel Sordo (Hyundai), victim of punctures, or the Frenchman Pierre Louis Loubet (M-Sport / Ford) of broken suspension on Friday and Saturday and a slow puncture on Sunday, can testify to this.

With this record in Mexico, Ogier also offers Toyota a victory in the form of revenge: the Japanese brand, reigning world champion of constructors, was absent from the podium in Sweden.

Next stop on the WRC calendar: Rally Croatia from April 20-23 on asphalt roads that are notorious for being narrow and bumpy.

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