WRC - Ogier equals Loeb’s six victories on Rally Mexico as the event ends early | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

WRC - Ogier equals Loeb’s six victories on Rally Mexico as the event ends early

15.03.20

2020 Rally Mexico - Sunday

2020 WRC - Rally Mexico - Podium

Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia claimed the win at the end of Saturday on Rally México after the decision was taken to stop the event in the face of fast-changing travel restrictions connected with the global COVID-19 virus outbreak. Ott Tänak piped Teemu Suninen to second place in a thrilling afternoon finale.

Rally officials, the WRC Promoter and FIA reached a decision to halt the event after SS21. Enough stage distance had been covered to ensure that the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship was eligible for full championship points - with the exception of points for the cancelled Power Stage - and it gave team personnel and members of the international media additional time to return to their countries before any further restrictions were put in place on air travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Ogier guided his Toyota Yaris WRC to four stage wins on his way to a 27.8-second victory over defending World Champion Ott Tänak. The success was the Frenchman’s 48th WRC career win, a feat surpassed only by Loeb’s remarkable 79 successes. It also moved Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia to the top of the World Championship standings and enabled Toyota to increase its lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship. It was the factory Toyota team’s first success on the event and marked the fourth manufacturer with whom the Frenchman has won the rally.

M-Sport Ford’s Teemu Suninen fought gallantly to fend off a fierce afternoon challenge from Tänak in his defence of second place, but the young Finn came up just short as the Estonian moved up to fifth in the Drivers’ Championship behind Ogier, Evans, Neuville and Rovanperä. Tänak won six of the 20 special stages after fighting back from an accident that damaged the rear of the car on Friday morning.

Elfyn Evans came into the weekend as the series leader but it was never going to be easy for the Welshman to finish on the podium from his first day starting position. Fourth overall enabled the Toyota driver to stay on the coattails of his team-mate in the title race. Young Kalle Rovanperä finished fifth in the third of the Yaris WRCs.

Sixth-placed Pontus Tidemand wrapped up his third victory in the FIA WRC2 category in Léon with a dominant performance in a Toksport Škoda Fabia Evo. The Swede erred on the side of caution over the final day and eased to victory over Rally Mexico debutant Nicolay Gryazin by 1min 57.7sec, the gap exacerbated by a late drive shaft issue for the Russian.

Gryazin’s Hyundai team-mate Ole-Christian Veiby ran off a string of stage wins over the final leg, but brake issues had cost the Norwegian too much time on Friday. He finished in 10th place.
 
Gus Greensmith reached the finish in ninth. He lost out on a top six finish in the second of the Ford Fiesta WRCs after a time-consuming battery issue on the second stage of the day and recovered strongly to gain an extra pace on the closing super specials.
 
Young Bolivian driver Marco Bulacia had missed out on a FIA WRC2 category win on the event in 2019, but the talented Škoda Fabia driver dominated the newly-named FIA WRC3 section, finished eighth overall and 4min 11.1sec in front of the Citroën C3 of Chilean runner-up Emilio Fernández. Ricardo Triviño was the leading Mexican driver in 12th overall, third in WRC3 and winner of the NACAM category after an impressive drive.

 

2020 Rally Mexico - Final official results:

1. Sébastien Ogier (FRA)/Julien Ingrassia (FRA)Toyota Yaris WRC     2hr 47min 47.6sec
2. Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST)          Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC2hr 48min 15.4sec
3. Teemu Suninen (FIN)/Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN)                  Ford Fiesta WRC2hr 48min 25.5sec
4. Elfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR)     Toyota Yaris WRC          2hr 49min 01.0sec
5. Kalle Rovanperä (FIN)/Jonne Halttunen (FIN)Toyota Yaris WRC2hr 50min 08.1sec
6. Pontus Tidemand (SWE)/Patrick Barth (SWE)                 Škoda Fabia Evo2hr 58min 16.9sec
7. Nicolay Gryazin (RUS)/Yaroslav Fedorov (RUS)Hyundai NG i20 3hr 00min 14.6sec
8. Marco Bulacia (BOL)/Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA)                  Citroën C33hr 01min 25.1sec
9. Gus Greensmith (GBR)/Elliott Edmondson (GBR)      Ford Fiesta WRC     3hr 01min 44.1sec
10. Ole-Christian Veiby (NOR)/Jonas Andersson (SWE) Hyundai NG i203hr 03min 19.8sec