The M-Sport driver clocked the quickest time via the 2 passes of the well-known avenue stage held across the Unesco World Heritage website in downtown Guanajuato.
Tanak’s instances moved the Estonian right into a 1.7s benefit over Toyota’s reigning world champion Rovanpera, whereas Hyundai’s Esapekka Lappi will head into Friday’s gravel levels, 2.2s adrift in third.
“Right now was a little bit of enjoyable, tomorrow is the job,” stated Tanak, who will open the gravel roads on Friday. “For certain it is not going to be a straightforward day however we have to maximise. Let’s have a look at what tomorrow brings – I’ve by no means pushed on this automotive on gravel earlier than.”
Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville and six-time Rally Mexico winner Sebastien Ogier ended the night locked collectively, with the pair tied for fourth, 2.8s adrift of Tanak.
Large crowds descended upon Guanajuato’s historic streets to welcome the WRC again following its two-year hiatus.
With the highway order reversed for the superspecial, it was Tanak, the ultimate Rally1 automotive to sort out the 1.12km twisty and technical stage, that lit up the timesheets.
The 2019 world champion emerged 0.8s sooner than nearest rival Rovanpera, whereas Lappi posted a benchmark early on that resulted within the third quickest time, 1.3s adrift.
Elfyn Evans was fourth quickest regardless of flirting with the kerbs situated within the cobble stone run via the enduring tunnel part, which this yr is adorned with a watch catching mural tribute to the late Ken Block, who died earlier this yr.
Neuville was two tenths additional again however was sooner than his Hyundai team-mate Dani Sordo and Toyota’s Ogier, who clocked equivalent instances.
Tanak was 1.8s sooner than his first time within the second cross of the stage, which earned him back-to-back stage wins on Thursday night time.
Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Picture by: Toyota Racing
Rovanpera as soon as once more emerged as his nearest rival though the Finn set an equivalent time to his countryman Lappi to share the second quickest stage time, 0.9s behind Tanak.
“It’s a loopy ambiance. This type of stage is just not so pleasing however when you could have followers like this it’s good,” stated Rovanpera.
Ogier was solely a tenth again on his second run as he managed to navigate via the tight avenue stage with out challenge.
“I really feel good. The actual rally begins tomorrow. Tonight was about staying away from the kerb,” stated Ogier.
Evans will head into Friday’s levels sitting fifth total, 3.3s from Tanak, after his secure cross via the 2 levels.
The crews will sort out Mexico’s tough gravel levels on Friday, with the motion set to start on the well-known El Chocolate (29,07km) stage at 1448 GMT.