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Rally Guanajuato México

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00:00:00 (UTC -6)

13°C55°F
Leon
SS2 Super Special 1 (4.60 km)

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Thu 21:41 - Until then
keep an eye on the news section for all the latest from Rally Guanajuato Mexico, and don’t forget to check out WRC Plus for clips from tonight’s spectacular opening stage. Adiós for now.

Thu 21:40 - That’s Thursday’s stages done
And the end of our live text service for today. We will return on Friday at 0850hrs (local) to report of the first full day of the rally, when the action shifts to gravel roads high in the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains.

Thu 21:40 - WRC 2 top 5 after day one
(after SS2) Protasov is quickest again to hold the overnight lead [+ times compared to leader] 1. Protasov (Ford Fiesta RRC): 4m21.8.s, 2. Ketomaa (Ford Fiesta R5): +3.5s, 3. Fuchs (Ford Fiesta R5): +3.7s, 4. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): +5.9s, 5. Gorban (Mini JCW S2000): +7.1s.

Thu 21:28 - WRC top 5 after day one
(after SS2): Stage win moves Ogier into a slender overnight lead. [+ times compared to leader]: 1. Ogier (VW): 4m13.0s, =2. Neuville (Hyundai): +1.2s, =2. Mikkelsen (VW): +1.2s, 4. Latvala (VW): +1.8s, 5. Ostberg (DS 3): +2.1s

Thu 21:20 - SS2: Ogier vs Neuville
Ogier wins the heat, the stage AND takes the overnight lead. "You can count on me to give my best," he acknowledges. "It's a good start to the rally, tomorrow all I can do is go flat out." Neuville ends the day 1.2sec behind, tied in second with Mikkelsen. "A good start, I tried to push hard here but Ogier had a very strong run. I hope I can have a competitive run tomorrow," he says.

Thu 21:11 - SS2: Latvala vs Mikkelsen
Mikkelsen wins the heat and is fastest so far. "It was okay, a close race, but I managed to get him at the end - great fun!" he says. Latvala is second quickest so far, 0.1sec off his team-mate's pace. "I took it a bit too carefully," he says.

Thu 21:04 - SS2: Evans vs Ostberg
Ostberg now shares joint fastest time with Tanak. "The stage was quite okay, no problems, nothing to complain about," he says. Evans is 7.4sec slower. He says he lost confidence after almost missing a braking point in a muddy section.

Thu 20:59 - SS2: Paddon vs Tanak
Now Tanak is fastest so far, in a time of 3m21.5s. "Very tricky, but generally quite good. Not so bad." Paddon is 11sec slower. "We lost 10sec in a spin."

Thu 20:53 - SS2: Sordo vs Meeke
Meeke wins the heat with the quickest time so far. "Not so bad. A tricky little stage, I had a reasonable run." he says. Sordo meanwhile seems happier with his Hyundai. "A little bit better than the first stage. I'm happy and looking forward to tomorrow."

Thu 20:48 - SS2: Bertelli vs Prokop
Goes Prokop's way by 1sec - but both drivers are angry at the amount of water organisers have sprayed on the stage. Bertelli says: "They cannot make it so wet as this - it is crazy! It is like mud, so slippery in one braking place. It wasn't like this for the recce!"

Thu 20:41 - SS2: Kubica vs Guerra
Kubica the heat winner, by 2.8sec, and fastest driver so far in 3m23.1. It looked drama-free too, unlike his Friday appearance here last year when he rolled. "A very tricky stage, but the real rally starts tomorrow," he says. Guerra says his car is missing its launch control system. He hopes to get that fixed for tomorrow.

Thu 20:36 - SS2: Al-Attiyah vs Lefebvre
No surprise that the experienced Al-Attiyah has the edge here. He completes 6.5secs quicker than Mexico novice Lefebvre. "Fantastic, but not easy - there's a lot of water in the corners," says Al-Attiyah.

Thu 20:31 - SS2: Stage live!
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stephane Lefebvre are the first pairing on track.

Thu 20:26 - SS2 Stage notes
Super Special 1, 4.60km. León’s motor racing circuit hosts this test, in which two cars at a time tackle a mix of asphalt and gravel roads. A big jump and water splash are fan favourites and this is the first of three visits during the rally. It caught out Robert Kubica last year who rolled his Ford Fiesta RS.

Thu 20:25 - Up next: SS2
The head-to-head Super Special gets underway at 2029hrs

Thu 20:24 - WRC 2 top 5 after SS1
Protasov the early leader [+ times compared to leader] 1. Protasov (Ford Fiesta RRC): 54.0s, 2. Ketomaa (Ford Fiesta R5): +1.0s, 3. Fuchs (Ford Fiesta R5): +1.3s, 4. Al-Attiyah (Ford Fiesta RRC): +1.6s, 5. Gorban (Mini JCW S2000): +3.1s.

Thu 20:21 - SS1: WRC2
Protasov is the early leader in WRC 2. The Ukrainian completes the stage one second quicker than Ketomaa. Fuchs is third with Al-Attiyah fourth

Thu 20:05 - WRC top 5 after SS1
Stage win moves Neuville into the early lead, Bertelli is a remarkable second. [+ times compared to leader]: 1. Neuville (Hyundai): 52.8s, 2. Bertelli (Ford): +0.2s, 3. Ogier (VW): +0.4s, 4. Mikkelsen (VW): +0.4s, 5. Meeke (DS 3): +0.7s

Thu 19:57 - SS1: Ogier
He slots third fastest, behind stage winner Neuville and Bertelli in second. "This stage is something to enjoy, but you really have to concentrate. Great to hear the crowds here."

Thu 19:55 - SS1: Neuville topples Bertelli
The Belgian goes fastest by 0.2sec - but it wasn't an easy ride. "My pace notes were not 100 per cent right - I had no length on the last right-hander. We have to find out why. Not the best start but the time wasn't bad, so I have to be happy."

Thu 19:51 - SS1: Mikkelsen
Second fastest so far - despite a cautious start. "It was very, very slippery. Okay, safe for us, an okay start."

Thu 19:48 - SS1: Latvala
The Finn slots fourth quickest so far - 0.7sec slower than Bertelli. "A bit slippy in a couple of places, so I chose to drive smart. We have a long rally to go."

Thu 19:45 - SS1: Ostberg
Third fastest for the Norwegian. "We have a decent start position here. My objective is to build on what we achieved in 2013 and 2014." Can you challenge for the win Mads? "Let's see..."

Thu 19:42 - SS1: Evans
The Welshman slots fifth fastest. "That was more slippery than I expected so the drive was was just about being safe."

Thu 19:39 - SS1: Tanak
He's fifth fastest so far - even with a couple of scary moments. "Very tricky, really slippery in places. We had two big slides, which definitely weren't good for the time, but we're okay."

Thu 19:36 - SS1: Paddon
It's fourth-fastest for the Kiwi. "Amazing. I've never seen so many people here and on the road section. The plan was to keep it neat and away from the kerbs."

Thu 19:34 - SS1: Meeke
Second quickest, 0.5sec off Bertelli's stage leading time. "Pretty special in there. We saw tens of thousands of people on the route here! I want a strong result this weekend. A clean rally with no mistakes would do."

Thu 19:31 - SS1: Sordo
The Spaniard now third fastest, but he seems uncomfortable. "I don't know what happened, but it seems we are down on power - so I took it easy."

Thu 19:28 - SS1: Prokop
Third fastest so far, but it sounds like Prokop also had a hairy moment at Kubica's corner. "I had a moment near the beginning, so I'm happy I didn't hit anything."

Thu 19:24 - SS1: Bertelli
The Italian fastest so far in 53sec exactly. "A clean stage no problems. The atmosphere is incredible. Every rally should be like this!"

Thu 19:22 - SS1: Guerra
Huge cheers for the Mexican, who completes 2sec off Kubica's pace. "An amazing reaction from the fans here, and yes, that adds a lot of pressure. But we're going to do a good rally and keep them happy. We're aiming for top five."

Thu 19:20 - SS1: Kubica
The Pole is first of the World Rally Car drivers to complete. His time is quickest so far (53.7sec) but his Fiesta has a broken left-rear wheel. "It was very slippery in the tunnel, we touched [a kerb] but its okay." You can read about the tricky corner Kubica clipped in our 'recce notes' news story.

Thu 19:16 - SS1: Al-Attiyah
The defending WRC 2 champ is quickest so far - 1.8sec up on Lefebvre. "We are so happy to be here - we enjoy and try to keep going." And what is your aim this weekend Nasser? "To win." At the wheel of an RRC spec Fiesta he is certainly the pre-event favourite

Thu 19:12 - SS1: Lefebvre completes
The DS 3 R5 driver is first through. His benchmark time is 57.4sec. "A great feeling to open the rally here. It's my first time here. A fabulous atmosphere!"

Thu 19:10 - Stage live!
Don't forget you can watch the live stream on WRC

Thu 19:05 - Tyre choices
News just in from Michelin. Numbers and compounds (hard or soft) that cars left with for tonight’s stages: Citroen/Hyundai: 3xsoft & 2hard. M-Sport/Latvala/Mikkelsen/Paddon: 4soft & 1hard. Sordo: 3hard & 2soft. Al-Attiyah/Lefebvre: 5hard

Thu 18:40 - SS1 Stage notes
Street Stage Guanajuato, 1.01km. Immediately after the start ceremony, drivers tackle a brief blast through the narrow streets of Guanajuato. Part of the test, driven in the same format as 2014, runs underground in former mining tunnels with high kerbs a constant threat. A roundabout donut near the finish is a big hit with fans

Thu 18:40 - Start intervals
Cars will start at 3-minute intervals

Thu 18:35 - Start order
So, here’s how the cars will tackle tonight’s stages: 1) Lefebvre, 2) Al-Attiyah, 3) Kubica, 4) Guerra, 5) Bertelli, 6) Prokop, 7) Sordo, 8) Meeke, 9) Paddon, 10) Tanak, 11) Evans, 12) Ostberg, 13) Latvala, 14) Mikkelsen, 15) Neuville, 16) Ogier

Thu 18:34 - Thursday’s running order
Is a special one, modified from the championship standings order that will apply on Friday and Saturday

Thu 18:34 - Weather update
Things have warmed up nicely after the ice and snow of Monte and Sweden. The temperature in Leon has peaked in the high 20s Celsius for the past few days and the skies have been largely clear (although it's rather overcast at the moment). Sunset is at 1841hrs and the temperature out there now is 25ºC

Thu 18:31 - Start ceremony
Probably the most spectacular of the season. The whole city comes to a halt when the WRC crews drive over the podium and launch, nine minutes later, straight into the opening stage. Tonight's first competitor, Stephane Lefebvre, will cross the podium at 1900hrs

Thu 18:30 - Thursday’s itinerary
So, just two stages tonight, totalling just 5.61 competitive kilometres. The Guanajuato Street Stage kicks off at 1909hrs, with the Super Special at 2029hrs

Thu 18:30 - Coming up tonight
A colourful prelude to the main competition, which will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This evening, crews will tackle just two short stages: one in (and under) the historic silver mining city of Guanajuato, the other a head-to-head Super Special close to Leon

Thu 18:27 - We’re back
at the wrc.com live text desk, located this weekend in the TV production compound in the Service Park in Leon. That’s us in the corner, waving.

Thu 18:26 - Buena noches!
And welcome to our live text coverage of Rally Guanajuato Mexico, round three of the FIA World Rally Championship

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