Saturday | 05 Mar 2016

SS14: Ogier: ‘I’m not pushing anymore'

Sébastien Ogier appeared to concede victory to Volkswagen team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala at Rally Guanajuato Mexico following Saturday afternoon’s live TV Agua Zarca speed test.

Stage info: SS14

Agua Zarca, 16.47km
This is a shorter version of the morning Ibarrilla test, finishing at the famous wigwams. It is littered with big dips and compressions and contains a blisteringly fast section in which drivers will be flat out for almost 2km before negotiating a new purpose-built jump alongside the wigwams just before the finish.

The Frenchman, who has cleaned the mountain tracks of slippery gravel since the start in his position as road opener, was third fastest in his Volkswagen Polo R but conceded a further 5.6sec to stage winner and leader Jari-Matti Latvala.

That extended Latvala’s advantage to 1min 21.9sec and prompted Ogier to say at the finish: “I’m not really pushing anymore.”

Latvala was not totally convinced by Ogier’s apparent decision to give up the fight. “There’s maybe a little belief, we’ll see in the next stage,” said the Finn, alluding to the long 42.62km Otates stage which followed.

“There was some pollution on top of the road which was difficult for him and he had to clean it. It’s a good lead but there is the long 80km stage to come tomorrow and we have to keep a margin over him for that,” added Latvala.

Andreas Mikkelsen split Latvala and Ogier in the stage times, but there is a threat of a penalty hanging over the fourth-placed Norwegian after appearing to check his Polo R into the mid-leg service in León one minute early.

Hayden Paddon was fourth despite stalling his Hyundai i20 at the start. “I lost a few seconds. I was too anxious to get into the stage and dropped the clutch a bit too quickly,” explained the Kiwi.

Thierry Neuville, who rolled his i20 heavily this morning, has been given a clean bill of health by doctors after being taken to hospital for checks.

Head to WRC+ to see the latest onboard and video reports from Rally Guanajuato Mexico

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