Sunday | 06 Mar 2016

SS20: Ogier tames 80km epic

The longest WRC special stage since 1986 did little to disturb the status quo on the Rally Guanajuato Mexico leaderboard on Sunday morning.

Stage info: SS20

Guanajuato, 80.00km
Sunday’s opener forms the longest traditional WRC stage since 1986 and the road book features a remarkable 194 boxes! The stage mixes sections from tests driven earlier in the weekend – El Brinco, Otates, Ibarrilla and Agua Zarca – with new roads. It will be a tough physical challenge for drivers and co-drivers, as well as cars and tyres, with all types of road and hazards to be encountered.

Many of the fast roads in the 80km Guanajuato in the mountains above León had already been driven earlier in the weekend.

Sébastien Ogier celebrated finally being relieved of road sweeping duties by setting fastest time in his Volkswagen Polo R. The Frenchman completed the test in a little over 48 minutes and was 25.3sec quicker than team-mate and leader Jari-Matti Latvala.

“It was much better than yesterday. I had some brake issues during the last 45km. I struggled a bit and couldn’t really push, but it wasn’t the plan to push anyway. It all went quite smoothly,” said Ogier.

Latvala also reported brake problems but the Finn emerged with a 1min 10.4sec lead over Ogier with just the final 16.47km Agua Zarca Power Stage remaining.

“I started with a good rhythm and pushed between 10km and 50km. But when I reached about 58km I started to lose the rear brakes. I had to be really safe for the last 20km and drove very steadily,” explained Latvala, who was beaten on gravel for the first time this weekend.

The Volkswagen drivers were in a class of their own, third-placed Hayden Paddon more than a minute further back in his Hyundai i20. Mads Østberg, Dani Sordo and Ott Tänak completed the top six, all content to measure their pace with large time gaps separating them on the leaderboard.

Sordo also reported brake issues while Østberg said his decision to mix soft and hard compound Michelin rubber benefited him in the technical twisty parts but was not so good in faster sections.

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

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