Ogier rewrites records with seventh WRC Rally Mexico win

Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool

Ogier rewrites records with seventh WRC Rally Mexico win


Ogier rewrites records with seventh WRC Rally Mexico win


Sebastien Ogier added another FIA World Rally Championship record to his already impressive tally with a seventh victory at Rally Mexico on Sunday afternoon.

The eight-time WRC champion, competing in the second event of his part-time 2023 campaign with Toyota Gazoo Racing, moved to the top of the Rally Mexico roll of honor with his record-extending triumph – breaking a six-win tie with nine-time WRC champ and fellow Frenchman Sebastien Loeb.

With a sizeable 35.8s advantage going into the final leg of four special stages, it was a relatively straightforward Sunday for the Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 pilot (above).

Ogier negotiated the first three tests well within his comfort zone, but turned it on for the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage, setting fastest time and collecting maximum bonus points. In the end, he finished 27.5s clear of Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville at the event where he made his FIA World Rally Championship debut in 2008.

Sebastien Ogier’s seventh Rally Mexico win also moved him into the WRC points lead.

“The car was great this weekend and it was a faultless rally for us and the team,” said Ogier, who now leads the drivers’ championship by three points from Neuville.

“As I am doing the next rally, it’s important to start first on the road there and it was important to get the points for the team as well,” he added, referencing the all-asphalt WRC Rally Croatia, where an early staring position delivers the cleanest road surfaces.

Neuville’s stubborn spirit behind the wheel of his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 took the battle for second with Ogier’s Toyota teammate, Elfyn Evans, all the way to the wire. Having started the day 5.3s in arrears, Neuville closed in on the Welshman, who was impeded by a bent suspension arm on his GR Yaris.

The Belgian’s perseverance paid off as he overtook Evans in the final stage, claiming second overall by just four-tenths of a second and providing an exhilarating end to the first full gravel event of the season.

Thierry Neuville left it late to grab second place after a hard-charging drive.

Reigning WRC champ Kalle Rovanpera struggled to match the pace of the front-running trio and settled for a lonely fourth overall in his Toyota. Still, he continued to pull further away from Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, who finished more than one minute further back in fifth.

The rough gravel terrain and power-sapping altitude took its toll on several of the leading Rally1 crews, enabling Gus Greensmith to finish an impressive sixth overall in his first outing in his WRC2-spec Skoda Fabia RS.

WRC2 winner Gus Greensmith finished an impressive sixth overall in his new Skoda Fabia RS.

Filling the other podium spots in international rallying’s second-tier class, and seventh and eight overall, were Emil Lindholm (Fabio Evo) and Oliver Solberg (Fabia RS), following the final-leg retirement of M-Sport Ford Fiesta driver Adrien Fourmaux from his overnight runner-up spot in WRC2.

Ninth overall was the best that erstwhile WRC points leader Ott Tanak could manage after turbocharger issues cost the M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 driver more than 14 minutes on Friday morning, while WRC2 driver Kajetan Kajetanowicz completed the overall top 10.

The WRC returns to asphalt for next month’s Rally Croatia, April 20-23, based in capital city Zagreb. With Ogier on the entry list and looking for a perfect start of three wins from three starts for his part-time campaign, can any of the full-season crews beat the on-form Frenchman and kickstart their own title chances?

WRC Rally Mexico, final positions after Day Three, SS23

1 Sebastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) 3h16m09.4s
2 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +27.5s
3 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +27.9s
4 Kalle Rovanpera/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) +1m55.3s
5 Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) +2m58.8s
6 Gus Greensmith/Jonas Andersson ((Skoda Fabia RS – WRC2 leader) +12m31.5s
7 Emil Lindholm/Reeta Hamalainen (Skoda Fabia Evo – WRC2) +13m04.4s
8 Oliver Solberg/Elliott Edmondson (Skoda Fabia RS – WRC2) +13m37.7s
9 Ott Tanak/Martin Jarveoja (M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1) +15m19.6s
10 Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (Skoda Fabia Evo – WRC2) +15m56.6s

WRC Drivers’ Championship after 3 rounds

1 Ogier 56 points
2 Neuville 53
3 Rovanpera 52
4 Tanak 47
5 Evans 44

WRC Manufacturers’ Championship after 3 rounds

1 Toyota Gazoo Racing 127 points
2 Hyundai Motorsport 100
3 M-Sport Ford 73

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