Sebastien Ogier holds narrow lead in Mexico

Sebastien Ogier heads the field in Mexico

Sebastien Ogier heads the field in Mexico

Thierry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier took a win apiece in the opening two street stages of Rally Guanajuato Mexico, but it is Ogier in the Volkswagen Polo R who heads the field ahead of the first full day of stages.

The VW driver was fourth in Guanajuato just 0.5sec behind the Ford Fiesta RS of Neuville. But fastest in the second stage promoted him into top spot overall, 0.3sec ahead of the Fiesta RS of Mads Ostberg.

Ostberg was second behind Neuville, tied with Nasser Al-Attiyah’s similar Fiesta. Behind Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala and Chris Atkinson were fifth equal.

Mikko Hirvonen was second in Parque Bicentenario, just a tenth of a second behind Ogier, the Finn regaining time after almost stalling on the startline of the opening test.

Ostberg was third, with Dani Sordo, Neuville and Australia’s Chris Atkinson rounding off the top six. Atkinson is driving a factory specification Citroen DS3 this weekend.

Both Atkinson and Ken Block clipped a kerb inside Guanajuato’s tunnel, Block sheepishly admitting it was the same stone he hit last year. Neither Atkinson’s DS3 nor Block’s Ford Fiesta RS were damaged. Latvala stalled at the start of the second stage.

Earlier in the day Hirvonen won the qualifying stage and has opted to run as far down the start order as possible for the opening leg.

Behind Hirvonen it was a case of follow the leader. Second quickest Evgeny Novikov chose 12th in his Ford Fiesta RS, with third fastest Thierry Neuville opting for 11th in a similar car. All the remaining drivers chose the next lowest position available.

Competitors face five stages totalling 78.78km on the first leg.

 POSITIONS: After SS2

Pos Driver Team Car

Time

1

Sebastien Ogier

Volkswagen Motorsport

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

3:19.5

2

Mads Ostberg

Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

+0:00.3

3

Thierry Neuville

Qatar World Rally Team

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

+0:00.6

4

Mikko Hirvonen

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT

Citroën DS3 WRC

+0:01.1

5

Dani Sordo

Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT

Citroën DS3 WRC

+0:01.4

6

Chris Atkinson

Abu Dhabi Citroën Total WRT

Citroën DS3 WRC

+0:02.4

7

Nasser Al-Attiyah

Qatar World Rally Team

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

+0:04.1

8

Evgeny Novikov

Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

+0:05.3

9

Jari-Matti Latvala

Volkswagen Motorsport

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

+0:06.4

10

Bruno Guerra

Benito Guerra

Citroën DS3 WR

+0:07.1

 

The start order for the opening leg is:

1. Michal Kosciuszko
2. Martin Prokop
3. Benito Guerra
4. Ken Block
5. Nasser Al-Attiyah
6. Chris Atkinson
7. Jari-Matti Latvala
8. Dani Sordo
9. Sebastien Ogier
10. Mads Ostberg
11. Thierry Neuville
12. Evgeny Novikov
13. Mikko Hirvonen

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