Benito Guerra avoided the trouble that struck his WRC 2 rivals to finish the penultimate day of Rally Guanajuato Mexico with a lead of 3min 33.6sec in his Skoda Fabia R5.
Starting the day with 13.6sec in hand over Marco Bulacia, five stage wins in front of an adoring crowd kept the Mexican on course for the support category victory.
His quest was aided by a lengthy stoppage for Bulacia on the second run of the Guanajuatito test. The Fabia driver lost more than three minutes on the stage changing a puncture to slip from second to third.
However, the Bolivian fought back with three stage wins and when Alberto Heller retired his Fiesta on SS14 (Otates 2) with broken steering, he moved back into the runner-up position.
Also failing to finish the day was Alberto’s brother, Pedro, who retired with a mechanical issue on SS16.
Pieniazek avoids trouble in Pro class
Lukasz Pieniazek had an almost troublefree run through Saturday’s nine stages to remain on course to take maximum WRC 2 Pro points at Rally Guanajuato Mexico.
The Pole, the sole Pro entry in his Ford Fiesta R5, admitted he had to rebuild his confidence after a day-ending crash on Friday.
Despite a puncture on SS11, Pieniazek had a safe run through the stages as he aims to secure the 25 points.
Saturday in Mexico: Ogier heads for fifth win
Championship leader Tänak up to third
SS11/12: Mexico’s mad morning
Meeke gains and then loses lead
SS10: Early exit for Lappi
Stage neutralised for safety reasons