Sordo in front at Rally Mexico
Hyundai driver Dani Sordo clearly leads the rally Mexico after five special stages – Sebastien Loeb returns to a strong third place
Dani Sordo (Hyundai) set the pace on Friday morning at the Rally Mexico, third round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) 2018. The Spaniard used his rear starting position and leads the field after five of 22 special stages. Sordo’s lead over second-placed Kris Meeke (Citroen) is 16.6 seconds. Sebastien Loeb (Citroen, +17.9 seconds) is in a good third place at his first World Championship rally for more than three years.
However, Loeb also benefited from his late starting position in his WRC comeback. The WRC record champion was twelfth on the track immediately after Sordo, but still showed that he hadn’t forgotten anything:”That was a good morning for me. I quickly found my rhythm again, but I certainly also benefited from my starting position,”says Loeb,”It’s nice to be here again. These new WRC cars are a lot of fun.”
Fourth place goes to Ott Tänak (+21.4 seconds) in the best Toyota. The Este came through the morning better than his team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi, whose Yaris WRC had problems with cooling in the thin mountain air at temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius.”The car overheated, especially on the uphill stretches. We had to switch to road mode to reduce temperatures,”says Latvala.
Sebastien Ogier (Ford) occupies fifth place (+31.4 seconds), which is more than remarkable in view of his early starting position two. However, the Frenchman was not overly confident in his lunchtime service:”We have quite a few problems with the suspension, I almost flew off,”he says.
His team mate Elfyn Evans, who lost almost three minutes in the fourth WP “Ortega 1” after a wild take-off, was also affected by these suspension problems:”We were in sixth gear and hit a pretty big bump. The rear broke out, I couldn’t turn back, then we hit a bank and rolled over a couple of times. Evans Fiesta WRC survived the departure without much damage, so that the Welsh could continue his journey.
The Friday morning was also problematic for the World Cup leader Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), who not only suffered from his starting position one, but also lost almost half a minute at the 1.11 km short spectator stage “Street Stage Leon 1”, said a visibly pissed Neuville, who also fought with an open driver’s door in this special stage and then at the left E
In the afternoon (local time) at the Mexico Rally, the three longer special stages of the morning will first be repeated before two rounds of the spectator stage “Autodromo de Leon” will follow in the evening.
Intermediate result after SS 5/22 (Top 10): 01. Dani Sordo (Hyundai) – 54:05.9 minutes02. Kris Meeke (Citroen) +16.6 seconds03. Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) +17.904. Ott Tänak (Toyota) +21.405. Sebastien Ogier (Ford) +31.406. Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai) +32.707. Jari-Matti Latvala (Toyota) +53.808. Teemu Suninen (Ford) +57,809. Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) +1:09.7 minutes10. Esapekka Lappi (Toyota) +1:22.6
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