After snatching the lead during Friday morning’s Ortega speed test, Sebastiaen Ogier kept his Toyota Yaris on the road in sizzling hot conditions.
Whilst his rivals hit trouble, Ogier was level-headed and ended the event with a 27.8sec advantage over Hyundai i20 driver Ott Tänak. In doing so, he added a sixth Mexico triumph to his record and his first for the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
“A victory is a victory of course, but this one feels different from any other. I want to thank my team – they have done a fantastic job,” Ogier said at the finish.
Tänak was left to rue what could have been. Had it not been for rear suspension damage, caused by a minor excursion on Friday morning, he could have been in with a shot of the win. The Estonian delivered an impressive comeback drive to leapfrog Teemu Suninen in the Derramadero stage on Saturday afternoon.
Suninen was 10.1sec further back and just glad to finish on the podium, picking up valuable championship points after a difficult weekend for the M-Sport Ford team. His teammate Esapekka Lappi retired in dramatic fashion when his Fiesta became engulfed in flames on SS7.
“Actually, it’s more than I hoped for at this rally. We were able to have a consistent pace and we stayed away from the problems. At the end, we lost one brake which basically stopped the fight but that’s rallying. Even without those issues, I don’t think I would have beaten Ott,” he said.