At midday on the Mexico rally, Esapekka Lappi (Hyundai) is ahead of Sébastien Ogier (Toyota). However, the Finnish pilot and the Frenchman in search of record on the event are classified in the same second.
Esapekka Lappi (Hyundai) in the lead, Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) in ambush. The Finnish driver is currently dominating the Frenchman in search of a seventh victory in the event (he would thus beat the record) on the roads of the Mexico rally. The duel is extremely tight for the moment, however, and at midday if Lappi is ahead of the eight-time world champion in the category, who has decided to treat himself to another WRC break after winning for the ninth time in his career in Monte-Carlo last January, the two men finish in the same second. Almost a feat given the damage caused by the first three stages of this meeting which is back on the calendar after a three-year absence. The fearsome “El Chocolate” and its 29km of a special known to be one of the most difficult in the world did not in particular give any favor to the competitors, and in particular to the three M-Sports, who lost all hope of entrance. Thus, like his teammate Jourdan Serderidis, Pierre Louis-Loubet was forced to throw in the towel after hitting a stone and damaging his suspension.
Even Ogier suffers
No luck either for Ott Tänak. The first leader of this rally in Mexico (after two stages) lost more than seven minutes due to a problem with his turbo. Kalle Rovanperä remains in the game, but the reigning world champion has already trailed twelve seconds on the way to the leading duo. “It’s difficult and very slippery, even for me. Of course, the road gets better car after car. The guys in front have to struggle even more. It’s not easy, ”acknowledged Ogier just before the lunch break. Lappi, meanwhile, seemed delighted to resist the Frenchman, the huge favorite of this stage. ” It’s good. To be honest, in the special it’s difficult to know what pace you’re driving. If we are in front of him, we are in the right direction. The Finn will have no room for error if he wants to prevent the Gapençais from winning the rally for the seventh time until the end. Something no one has yet managed to do.