by M.C. – photo: @MSportLtd | It is hard to believe we are indeed in the year 2018 after what we witnessed last weekend in Mexico. If it wasn’t for a few details, such as the latest generation smart-phones or the fact that Citroën is not the leading scuderia, we could have been looking at the same Rally a decade back in time as not much else has changed… At the Rally Mexico 2018 we were transported to a previous era in a sort of déjà vu of former editions of the World Rally Car: Sebastien Loeb at the lead; Dani Sordo running for victory only to finish second (y van 25 segundos puestos, casi todos detrás de los grandiosos Sébastien), and Sebastian Ogier finally claiming the podium. Nothing that we haven’t seen before many times at previous editions of the WRC, only this time just Loeb was on board a Citroën.
The legendary French driver; who has been nine times world champion in the highest category, didn’t disappoint. Back once again in the competition in Mexico with his loyal co-pilot Daniel Elena, he was at the lead for a seizable chunk of the three day race, but luck wasn’t on his side in this occasion: a puncture meant he had to say goodbye to the title as he dropped down to fifth position. Behind him Dani Sordo (Hyundai) was reliving some good sensations and at times coming very close to winning the Rally, but after another flat tire he could only manage silver. The current title holder, Sebastien Ogier (Ford), made the most of his rival’s misfortunes, and thanks to his tires resisting at the key moments of the rally, climbed to the top of the podium.
The third position went for the always unpredictable British driver Kits Meeke. After last year’s mishap -when he nearly lost the victory in the last few metres of the race- the Citroën driver continued making mistakes this time around, including tipping his car into its side just when he was signing a very promising time. Despite it all, he managed to finish third.
The flip side: Toyota
The Japanese team had the poorest results. Toyota was far from claiming any success with their best man, Jari-Matta Latvala finishing in a very modest seventh position. Their most competitive asset, Ott Tänak, was one of the greatest disappointments of this rally, finishing in 14th position and distancing himself from the WRC fight.
With this triumph Sebastien Ogier takes back the leadership of the provisional classification of the World Title, followed by Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), who didn’t put on one of his bests performances this weekend, and the Norwegian Andres Mikkelsen (Hyundai), that remains on top.
Results of Rally Mexico:
- Sébastien Ogier (Fra/Ford) 3h54’08’’
- Dani Sordo (Spa/Hyundai) 1’08”
- Kris Meeke (UK/Citroën), a 1’19”
- Andreas Mikkelsen (Nor/Hyundai), a 1’38”
- Sebastien Loeb (Fra/Citroën), a 2’24”
Driver’s standings WRC:
- Sébastien Ogier (Fra/Ford) 56 points
- Thierry Neuville (Bel/Hyundai) 52 points
- Andreas Mikkelsen (Nor/Hyundai) 35 points
- Kris Meeke (UK/Citroën) 32 points
- Jari-Matti Latvala (Fin/Toyota) 31 points