High drama, and just when you least expect it, that’s what rally often does to people. And you can never be too prepared for it, because you never know when it’ll strike. You can go into final day thinking what could possibly go wrong now that you’ve got your fancy big lead, only to find a Random Rock of Doom with your name written all over it. Kris Meeke found one such rock as he tried (and sadly failed) to push for extra power stage points. Jari-Matti Latvala can write about about similar encounters. This thing really isn’t over till it’s over. Which actually means till you’re back in the service and out of all time controls.
Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport excelled once again. Not a single mistake, not one, just a fantastic drive from start to finish to claim victory number two this year ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala in sister Polo R WRC. Impressive performance by the Frenchman, showing that Sweden was just a glitch and that he is not at all bothered by a temporary loss of points flow.
Third place went to Thierry Neuville and Hyundai – first podium for the new team in their first year of running. The others were quicker, yes. Maybe their split times or stage times were more convincing. But they crashed, and rolled, and dropped out while Thierry carried on. In rally that’s called doing the job right. The young Belgian was not over the moon with this achievement and the first thing he said, after congratulating his team, was “We need to keep working, there are areas that need our atention”. This is a nice boost and a great reward for all the team efforts so far, but Hyundai is still not where they want to be.
The thing that marked the final day of Rally Mexico was the epic fight which took place after the final stage of the event. Thierry and co-driver Nicolas Gilsoul discovered a coolant leak and were forced to stop several times along the road towards the final time controls, pouring the Corona beer into the cooling system, closely followed by Colin Clark of WRC Live. Thierry received giant bottle of Corona after the final stage, along with Jari-Matti and Sebastien, and just as Karlip cleverly pointed out, it was this third place finish that saved Thierry’s third place finish.
On the power stage points went to Ogier, Latvala and Mikko Hirvonen. In the overall classification fourth place was claimed by young Elfyn Evans, who drove a very sensible rally, claiming points for M-Sport.