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Rally Mexico: Ogier wins and claims Power Stage while Meeke crashes
7th March 2014, 16:16 at 4:16 pm #251082
Day one of Rally Mexico is under way and we are at the halfway point.
Sebastien Ogier led following the first stage yesterday but has just slipped behind Mads Ostberg. Rally Sweden star Andreas Mikkelsen has unfortunately crashed out while Robert Kubica is currently having to drive one handed and shift without assistance after the hydraulic’s failed in the adapted gear shift.
Meanwhile another star of Rally Sweden – Ott Tanak – has moved into the WRC2 category for this rally and impressed with second place on the stage yesterday. Unfortunately he slid off the El Chocolate stage (SS3) and tore a wheel from the car, ending his day as well.
WRC returnee Chris Atkinson has suffered a torrid return having a problem on each of the stages so far. Meanwhile Hyundai teammate Thierry Neuville hasn’t exactly had an easy time of it dropping a lot of time on each stage so far.7th March 2014, 21:52 at 9:52 pm #251152
The second run through El Chocolate has just been completed and Ogier blitzed the field turning his 1.2 seconds deficit to Mads Ostberg into a 13.7 second advantage. Hirvonen is third with Britain’s Kris Meeke in fourth while Championship leader Jari-Matti Latvala has fallen to fifth due to road sweeping and Robert Kubica rounds out the top 6.7th March 2014, 22:08 at 10:08 pm #251155
Chaos on stage 8. Kris Meeke – Who’d been flying on recent stages and was a few seconds up on Ogier through SS8 – has suddenly slowed in the final split time of the stage and has stopped not far from the finish line while Hirvonen has stopped early on in the stage with an electrical fault.7th March 2014, 22:23 at 10:23 pm #251181
Good news for Neuville, Atkinson and Kubica who will all benefit from this attrition, and all in need of good results. Especially the Hyundai team, good grief this was not a good start for them this season.7th March 2014, 22:26 at 10:26 pm #251183
Absolutely @rjoconnell. Gutting for both though. Meeke was really starting to fly and poor old Hirvonen has had a torrid start to the season. Retiring on the final stage in Monte and now from third here!7th March 2014, 23:58 at 11:58 pm #251189
Robert Kubica has rolled his car on the Super Special Stage.
Rolling on a Super Special is a very rare and unusual thing to do indeed, so it’s only natural that Kubica would do so.
Despite the fact the car has apparently been smashed to pieces they’ve rolled it back over and have tried to limp round. Meanwhile both Robert and his co-driver are perfectly fine.8th March 2014, 0:19 at 12:19 am #251193
Kubica missed his braking point and ran wide around the corner clipping a concrete bollard which flipped the car. (A mix of concrete and plastic bollards line the corner).
Atkinson has apparently done the same except realised he’d missed the corner so neglected to turn and instead went straight on just wiping out the plastic bollards.
A lot of drivers have reported the corner is very slippery and very oily. A very dramatic end to a mad first day in Mexico.8th March 2014, 3:31 at 3:31 am #251202
I must have jinxed Atkinson and Kubica earlier today. RK can’t catch a freaking break since winning WRC2 last year.8th March 2014, 17:40 at 5:40 pm #251268
Mads Ostberg suffers issues on SS12 after clipping a bank and breaking the rear suspension. He’s tried to repair it on the road section but it’s not worked and he’s missed his start time by over 30 minutes, which means he is out from today.
Meanwhile both Mikkelsen and now Kubica too have rolled on SS138th March 2014, 18:06 at 6:06 pm #251275
Meeke and Hirvonen are now back in contention for points, jeez. Neuville has a podium all but wrapped up if he doesn’t suffer from more Hyundai gremlins.8th March 2014, 18:17 at 6:17 pm #251276
@rjoconnell – At this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if Hirvonen makes it back to the podium!8th March 2014, 23:46 at 11:46 pm #251301
It’s been confirmed Robert Kubica will not return tomorrow after the roll cage of his Fiesta was damaged in today’s roll.
Mikkelsen and Ostberg are expected to return tomorrow but thankfully this afternoon has been a tad quieter so far. Ogier leads from Latvala and Neuville with Elfyn Evans back in fourth.
Unfortunately due to the high rate of attrition so far in Mexico there are huge gaps between each pair of drivers so the order looks unlikely to change unless there are issues for someone.
Meanwhile, just the Super Special Stages remain tonight. Hopefully no-one repeats what Kubica did last night and it’s a bit of a calmer stage than yesterday.9th March 2014, 21:22 at 9:22 pm #251383
So the final day was altogether a lot calmer despite the final stage. Everyone seemed to make it through the mammoth 55km stage unharmed, with the exception of WRC2 leader Protasov. Luckily he could afford to slowly nurse his damaged car to the end however with a 27 minutes lead to the next WRC2 car.
Kris Meeke suffered a heartbreaking end to his rally after clipping a rock on the final stage – the power stage. It resulted in his car ending up broadside across the road and unmovable with a 20 minute delay while it was recovered.
Thankfully the drama’s ended there and Sebastien Ogier blasted through to steal the 3 Power Stage points from teammate Jari Matti Latvala – who also finished second overall. Thierry Neuville claimed Hyundai’s first return podium in the WRC in third while Hirvonen – despite running the stage with a very cold car having been sat on the start line for 20 minutes while Meeke’s car was recovered – claimed the final power stage point.
The rally-2 rules – the rules that allow a retired competitor to re-enter the rally the following day – albeit with a huge time deficit – have been ever so slightly tweaked for Mexico meaning anyone re-starting on the final day of the rally is ineligible for Power Stage Points. Falling into this category in Mexico were Andreas Mikkelsen – who retired on both day’s 1 & 2 – and Mads Ostberg.
With Protasov’s problem’s and Meeke’s final stage retirement, Volkswagen’s closest rival Ostberg did manage to at least pick up two points however , something that seemed very unlikely given the fact he was over seven minutes behind even just one point going into today’s final four stages.17th March 2014, 15:37 at 3:37 pm #251196
How the hell do you roll on a one-kilometer stage, most of which is in a narrow tunnel?
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