W how long the VW team had fought against the new rule, like World Champion Ogier had lamented a lot about the blatant injustice that the league leaders had to be the first on the slopes for two days since this season, clearing the road for those who followed. In the gravel rallies in particular, Ogier was deprived of any chance of victory, and at the third round of the World Championship in Mexico, the rally elite competed on a loose track for the first time this season.
Only the prognosis was somehow wrong. Ogier took the lead on the second stage and never gave it up until the finish. A disadvantage for the world champion in the VW Polo could not be seen on the timesheets. Ogier had made a clever tire choice by using soft tires on the relatively cool morning in the Mexican highlands. In addition, the Frenchman presented an outstanding performance on the first stage.
Competition destroys itself
The same was for the competition, who actually believed they had an advantage, ended after half a day. Kris Meeke flew off the runway in the Citroën DS3 as did the Ford guys Robert Kubica and Ott Tänak. The latter sunk his M-Sport Fiesta in a reservoir. Only his team was allowed to feel like the winner, as they actually got the flooded boat afloat again, at least for the last stage. Haydon Paddon destroyed his Hyundai i20 on the first morning, team-mate Thierry Neuville followed in the afternoon after a tire damage with a role that pushed him out of the chase.
Jari-Matti Latvala lost the chance in the second Polo WRC with hard tires to create a gap between yourself and Ogier at an early stage. Although the Finn was in second place with 13.5 seconds after the first stage, still within striking distance of the team-internal rivals, but the pursuer had no advantage on Saturday, because before Ogier, who theoretically started ahead, all those injured from the previous day had to go to the slopes, and the leader also found the best track conditions. Latvala tore off his left rear wheel on an embankment, had to retire on Saturday and was 48 minutes behind hopelessly. Even the hope for a few points in the final power stage was not fulfilled. Latvala finished fourth, and Ogier won there too.
After all, the battle for second place was exciting. Mads Östberg in the second Citroën and Andreas Mikkelsen in thethird VW fought a second battle. After two stages, the opponents separated in the inner Norwegian duel after a Mikkelsen best time on the Superspecial 4.5 seconds. But Östberg immediately countered on Sunday morning with a best time. In the end, the Norwegian, who is not uncontroversial in the French team, kept his nerve and finished second with a 6.3-second lead.
Ogier builds points Further ahead
Behind the Vikings, Elfyn Evans landed fourth in the best Ford and Dani Sordo in fifth in the best Hyundai. Of those who stumbled on Friday, only his teammate Neuville made it into the top ten. The Belgian finished eighth behind the best privateer Martin Prokop and WRC2 winner Nasser al Attiyah.
With 81 points, Sébastien Ogier is already far ahead of the competition in the table after the first quarter. Even second-placed Mikkelsen is already 34 points behind with 47 points, the best non-VW driver is Thierry Neuville in third with 35 points. Vice world champion Latvala has already given up the fight for the title. After two clear rounds in three rallies and only 19 points on the account, he wants to concentrate on individual victories in the future.