LAPPI HOLDS OFF OGIER TO LEAD AFTER OPENING LOOP IN MÉXICO; KATSUTA CRASHES
Las Minas 1 preceded a return to León for a lunchtime regroup and service at the Rally Campus Service Park.
Kalle Rovanperä completed the loop with no hybrid boost on the Yaris and ceded 7.4 seconds to Thierry Neuville, who was also suffering boost issues in fifth.
Elfyn Evans consolidated third overall with the fourth quickest time behind the leading duo of Esapekka Lappi and Sébastien Ogier. The Finn managed to pip the eight-time World Champion by 0.6 seconds and headed back to service with a lead of 1.4 seconds. Dani Sordo held fourth overall.
Takamoto Katsuta lost the rear of the car at speed, spun and left the track down a banking. The Toyota landed on its wheels but the Japanese was too far off the stage to continue.
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
Safely negotiated the last stage of the loop with the ongoing turbo issue. The team will now attempt to
rectify the problem and continue at race speed during the afternoon. “There was nothing I could do
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“This one was a bit better. It is tricky when Ott is not leaving the lines. I hit something and lost the hybrid.
We lost a bit of time without the boost in the stage.”
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“Obviously not a good morning fo rus, The driving was good but we got caught by that bump and then
we lost the hybrid and we lost time in the uphill sections. There is a lot of work to do. The car was
suffering a bit.”
Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“Pretty okay, the last part downhill was slippery and some fine loose gravel on the top. But okay.”
Car 17. OGIER/LANDAIS
“We were running fifth this morning. We knew it’s better than being first. You have to be careful of the
rocks and focus on driving clean. This afternoon should be more equal.”
Car 4. LAPPI/FERM
“I must be satisfied for this. Seb has won this rally many times and we can match his pace. Driving is
never perfect. There are a couple of places where there were tenths here and there.”
Car 18. KATSUTA/JOHNSTON
Lost the rear of the car 8.4km into the stage and it spun off the side of the road, down a banking and
out of the day’s action.
Car 6. SORDO/CARRERA
“The cars are heavier than before and they are moving a lot. We will change the set-up now and try to
keep the car more in the line. I cant carry the speed into the corners.”
Car 20. GREENSMITH/ANDERSSON
“We carried two hard tyres around for nothing. We struggled a lot with the car moving this morning. It
should be better this afternoon on hards. We can go faster.”
Car 21. SOLBERG/EDMONDSON
Spun in SS4. “It’s a nice stage. It’s difficult when it’s the first time. You don’t want to do anything stupid.
Unfortunately, I spun on the last one and lost some time. There’s a long way to go.”
Car 22. FOURMAUX/CORIA
“I am really happy. We had a good stage. Rocks everywhere so I was a bit careful.”
Car 23. GRYAZIN/ALEKSANDROV
Reported to have rolled in the Ortega stage.
Car 24. LINDHOLM/HÄMÄLÄINEN
Led WRC2 at the start of the stage after setting the fastest time in Ortega on his first visit to Rally
México. The defending WRC2 champion was fourth quickest in this stage to hold a three-second WRC2
lead at the midday halt. “Obviously I have some more experience in this car rather than the new one.
Strange how slippery it is. It was an okay stage. Also we had hard tyres on the car. The battle has only
just begun. Let’s see on Sunday.”
Car 25. KAJETANOWICZ/SZCZEPANIAK
“I’m not sure in some places in the fast sections. I will find a good pace. At this moment we have just
fun. We will do it.”