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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Lappi stars to guide Ogier after eventful Friday

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Lappi lit up the timing screens throughout the afternoon’s phases, profitable three of the 5 assessments, to show a 1.4s margin right into a 5.3s benefit over the six-time Rally Mexico winner, Ogier.

Ogier managed to shut to inside 0.3s early within the afternoon earlier than Lappi reeled off a string instances to drag away from the eight-time world champion, earlier than a mini fightback on the final stage.

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans ended the day in third, albeit 30.1s adrift after struggling to match the tempo of Lappi and Ogier. Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville accomplished the loop in fourth, 9.7s behind Evans.

World champion Kalle Rovanpera, who was successfully the highway sweeper for a lot of the day, restricted the injury to carry fifth, 59.7s in arrears.

A puncture late within the afternoon dropped Hyundai’s Dani Sordo from fourth to sixth, whereas championship chief Ott Tanak heads into Saturday exterior of the factors after recovering from a turbo failure on stage 3.

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M-Sport duo Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis, and Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta retired after crashes in the course of the morning loop.

The afternoon started with a second go of the El Chocolate (29.07km) take a look at, and in contrast to the morning Tanak was capable of go via the stage at rally pace after his M-Sport squad managed to repair the turbo failure that blighted his morning.

Nonetheless, beginning first on the highway, the Estonian struggled for outright tempo, ending the take a look at 29.0s behind the stage winner.

“The turbo is ok now but it surely was an enormous job,” stated Tanak. “There was fairly a little bit of cleansing right here however usually I’ve no feeling in any respect. It is difficult.”

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, M-Sport Ford World Rally Workforce Ford Puma Rally1

Picture by: Purple Bull Content material Pool

It was rally chief Lappi that starred to assert his third stage win of the rally. The Finn, armed with arduous tyres, managed to edge Ogier, additionally on hards, by 0.8s.

The highest two had been in a league of their very own as Evans emerged as the most effective of the remaining forward of Sordo, Neuville and Rovanpera, some 7.6s adrift of Lappi’s tempo.

Ogier issued a response on stage 7 by slashing Lappi’s total result in 0.3s after profitable the second go via Ortega. The stage underwent a small change from the morning loop as officers eliminated a compression that nearly caught out Neuville and Rovanpera on the primary go.

Lappi dropped 1.9s to Ogier within the stage however managed to hold onto to his slender benefit. Evans once more was third quickest to increase his margin over Neuville and Rovanpera within the battle for third total. 

That battle was lacking Sordo who dropped out of the battle after the Spaniard i20 N suffered a left rear puncture. The injury ripped a gap within the automotive that allowed mud to fill the cabin, shedding a minute within the course of.

On the entrance, Lappi managed to get well the time misplaced to Ogier and enhance his rally result in 3.4s courtesy of a blistering time via Las Minas.

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Esapekka Lappi, Janne Ferm, Hyundai World Rally Workforce Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Picture by: Romain Thuillier / Hyundai Motorsport

Lappi took 3.1s out of Ogier to chalk up his fourth stage win to this point and maybe probably the most spectacular drive of the rally up to now.

“I’ve been driving with the identical rhythm all day and attempting to be clear,’ stated Lappi. “I feel in right here we managed to do it nicely and the time is okay. The automotive is feeling nice, so I can get pleasure from.”

In distinction, Tanak continued to wrestle for pace, dropping one other 23.2s within the stage, together with his Puma carrying one other difficulty.

Neuville was additionally battling a blocked rear damper that affected the i20 Ns dealing with, the issue was resolved on the next highway part in the direction of the primary superspecial stage of the day.

Neuville put in a strong effort within the model new Las Dunas stage, a blast via a twisty gravel highway positioned in a quarry.

Nonetheless, the Belgian was unable to beat rally chief Lappi, who delivered an impressed run to win the three.7km stage by 2.6s. The trouble allowed the Hyundai driver to greater than double his margin over Ogier to six.9s.

Lappi’s drive was not the one spectacular efficiency. A annoyed Oliver Solberg following a puncture on the earlier take a look at produced a shocking effort to place his WRC2 spec Skoda third quickest forward, Ogier, Sordo, Evans and Rovanpera.

The ultimate stage of the day, a brief 1km asphalt superspecial across the Leon service park, was gained by Sordo, who pipped Tanak by 0.5s. It additionally proved to be helpful take a look at for Ogier, who clawed 1.6s again from chief Lappi.

In WRC2, Gus Greensmith led former M-Sport team-mate Adrien Fourmaux by 8.5s, with reigning champion Emil Lindholm third.

9 phases await the crews for the Saturday leg of Rally Mexico.



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