Latvala revives WRC title bid with Mexico win

Speedcafe.com

Monday 7th March, 2016 - 10:00am

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Latvala (right) and Miikka Anttila celebrate in Mexico

Latvala (right) and Miikka Anttila celebrate in Mexico

Jari-Matti Latvala completed a dominant performance to win Rally Mexico and re-ignite his WRC hopes.

Latvala had failed to score in the first two rounds of the World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo and Sweden, so the Mexican result could not have come at a better time.

With the exception of the opening night’s three spectator stages, the Volkswagen driver completely dominated the opening two days of gravel running to forge a 90-second advantage heading into the final day.

The sting in the tail which was the 80km Guanajuato stage saw team-mate and world champion Sebastien Ogier claw back around a third of that margin, but the Finn had plenty of up his sleeve over the final TV stage.

“This is a fightback and it’s a fantastic feeling. I had such a difficult start to the season with two rallies and zero points. My mind wasn’t so good and this hasn’t been a strong rally for me in the past, but I drove with no problems,” said Latvala.

Ogier also won the final live TV Power Stage to claim three bonus points. Latvala took two points for second while Hayden Paddon claimed the final point in third his Hyundai. The Kiwi took fifth place overall behind Mads Ostberg and team-mate Dani Sordo. Sordo was orginally placed third, but officials found that he had used 29 tyres and not the maximum 28. His 2-minute penalty placing him behind the Ford driver.

“Overall we scored good strong points here. There’s a good fight going in the championship within the top five and I’m sure that’s going to go on season long,” said Paddon.

“We’re going to work hard now before Argentina and the following gravel rallies to get closer to the front and put a bit more pressure on those guys.”

The next round of the World Rally Championship will be in Argentina from April 21.

VIDEO: The 80km Guanajuato stage

VIDEO: Final stage

 

FINAL POSITIONS : Rally Mexico

Pos Driver Team Car Time/Gap
1 Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen 4:25:57.4
2 Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Volkswagen +1:05.0
3 Mads Ostberg M-Sport World Rally Team Ford +5:36.4s
4 Dani Sordo Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai +5:37.9
5 Hayden Paddon Hyundai Motorsport N Hyundai +6:22.6
6 Ott Tanak DMACK World Rally Team Ford +9:59.5
7 Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford +12:58.5
8 Lorenzo Bertelli FWRT s.r.l. Ford +14:09.6
9 Teemu Suninen TGS Worldwide Ou Skoda +18:01.8
10 Valeriy Gorban Eurolamp WRT Mini/BMW +32:37.3

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastien Ogier 77
2 Mads Ostberg 42
3 Andreas Mikkelsen 33
4 Dani Sordo 30
5 Hayden Paddon 29
6 Jari-Matti Latvala 27
7 Ott Tanak 24
8 Thierry Neuville 15
9 Stephane Lefebvre 10
10 Martin Prokop 6
10 Henning Solberg 6
12 Elfyn Evans 6
13 Lorenzo Bertelli 4
13 Craig Breen 4
15 Teemu Suninen 3
16 Esapekka Lappi 2
17 Armin Kremer 1
18 Valeriy Gorban 1
19 Kris Meeke 1

TEAMS´ CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Teams Points
1. Volkswagen Motorsport 97
2. Hyundai Motorsport 61
3. M-Sport World Rally Team 46
4. Volkswagen Motorsport II 30
5. DMack World Rally Team 26
6. Hyundai Motorsport N 24
7. Jipocar Czech National Team 6
8. Yazeed Racing 0

 

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