Mexico debrief: part 2

The action was hot, hot, hot at Rally Guanajuato Mexico – like the weather. In the second part of our debrief, we focus on the key moments from the WRC’s third round.

Stage of the Rally
Is there any better opening to a WRC event than Thursday night’s start in the wonderful city of Guanajuato?

It is frequently described as the most beautiful city in Mexico and comes alive at rally time as locals and visitors provide a crackling atmosphere in the narrow streets and remarkable mining tunnels.

These underground roads hosted the opening speed test over an extended and improved route before drivers received a rapturous welcome in front of the Alhóndiga de Granaditas museum. Colourful, noisy, and unmissable – it is loved by fans and drivers alike.

One to Forget
It has been a miserable beginning to the year for Elfyn Evans. Little more than a handful of points came his way from Monte-Carlo and Sweden, and Mexico offered the chance for the Welshman to cast aside his early-season blues and kick-off his campaign.

He made a great start and was only a few seconds adrift of leader Dani Sordo in third after three speed tests. And then it went badly wrong.

A huge sixth gear roll left his Ford Fiesta with remarkably little damage but with concussion to co-driver Dan Barritt. Game over for the weekend.

The king returned - Sébastien Loeb led on his first WRC appearance for more than three years

Turning Point
On Saturday lunchtime the prospect of a fairytale Sébastien Loeb victory was THE talking point in the León service park. The Frenchman, driving his first WRC rally for more than three years, headed Sordo and Kris Meeke, with Sébastien Ogier 15sec adrift in fourth.

The afternoon’s opening 30.97km Guanajuatito changed all that with punctures for Loeb and Sordo. The Frenchman mistakenly stopped to change his while Sordo pressed on but the result was the same. Both fell back and Ogier took a lead he was never to lose.

You’ll Never Believe It
Mexico was the start of local hero Benito Guerra’s WRC 2 programme. Only it wasn’t.

A testing fire three days before the start destroyed his Skoda Fabia R5 and Guerra’s biggest impact on the week was being introduced to fans on the pitch before León’s Mexico Cup victory over Celaya the night before the start. 

Watch here.


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