Dramatic first day of Rally Mexico is behind us, and lo and behold, Sebastien Ogier is leading the pack once again, after he successfully avoided just about everything Rally Mexico was throwing at drivers and crews today. No mechanical issues, no driving errors, just a smooth and fast ride by Volkswagen number one driver. Well, technically he’s isn’t number one, because in Volkswagen there are no priorities, but with Ogier’s pace and Jari-Matti Latvala’s misfortunes I think it’s pretty clear who will be the top man in German team soon.
Behind Ogier battle raged on between three drivers, Mads Ostberg, Mikko Hirvonen and Thierry Neuville. Sadly, Neuville had some issues and was forced out of this battle for the moment, but he is still close enough, with 25 seconds separating him and 3rd placed Hirvonen. Speaking of Mikko, he’s had a pretty eventful day as well, not as much as other guys, who fought all sorts of car issues – instead, Mikko is battling himself, trying to understand why pace is so inconsistent. With 9 seconds separating him and 2nd placed Ostberg, Mikko is in for a good finish, but there is little doubt he is pretty worried with 42 second gap to leading Ogier.
Difficult and tough day one is behind us and there was drama all around, but it’s so far from over. Massive marathon stages are still ahead of the crews, and two long days will test everyones’ nerves to the limits. For now, Ogier looks safe, and battle for second will surely be interesting to watch. Even more so if Thierry finds that extra bit of pace and condfidence to get closer to Mikko and Mads once again.
In short, Rally Mexico is in full fiesta mode!