Ogier wins and conquers World Cup lead
Five-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Ogier wins the third WRC round in Mexico. Sebastian Loeb loses the victory because of a puncture.
Five-time French Rally World Champion Sebastian Ogier has won the third WRC round in his Ford Fiesta at the Mexican Leon and, with his second victory of the season, has also regained the lead in the World Championship standings of Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville.
The Belgian did not go beyond sixth place and dropped back to second place in the World Cup classification with nine points behind.
The podium in Leon was completed by the Spanish Hyundai driver Dani Sordo (+1:13.6 minutes) and Citroen driver Kris Meeke from Great Britain (+1:29.2).
Sebastian Loeb was unlucky: On his much-noticed return to the World Rally Championship, the nine-time champion in the Citroen was for a long time ranked second, but was deprived of his chance of victory due to a puncture on Saturday.
“That’s what rallying is like”, said Loeb:”Probably everyone has crossed this rock, but only with us there was a hole” In the end the 44-year-old Frenchman finished fifth with a gap of 2:34.6 minutes behind us.
There was a dead dog lying there, and another was standing next to it. I had to brake hard and was half off the track during the evasive manoeuvre,”said the 34-year-old.
For the final day, Ogier gained a comfortable advantage of more than half a minute over Meeke, who finished second at the time and was successively upgraded to the final three special stages on Sunday, also because Meeke was a failure.
On the slippery cobblestone passage of the 20th century. After a braking device, the Citroen was briefly on its side. Fans dumped the car back into the lane so that the incident cost only 40 seconds, but Sordo slipped past the British.
Loeb had his first appearance in the WRC series in South America since his guest appearance at the Rally Monte Carlo 2015. From 2004 until his resignation at the end of the 2012 season, the Alsatian had dominated the World Rally Championship at will.
Loeb will also be launched in Corsica in April and in Catalonia at the end of October.