Celebrated start to the Rally Mexico in the tunnels of Guanajuato
Ogier first, Mikkelsen tied in second, Latvala fourth
Two special stages over 5.61 kilometres whet the appetite
Fiery start in Guanajuato, passionate fans and a promising result – Volkswagen made the perfect start to the Rally Mexico. Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (F/F), Andreas Mikkelsen/Ola Fløene (N/N) and Jari-Matti Latvala/Miikka Anttila (FIN/FIN) were once again shining lights for Volkswagen over the intense opening 5.61 kilometres, which took place in total darkness. The two spectator stages – the world famous “Street Stage Guanajuato” and the special stage at the motor-racing circuit on the outskirts of León – saw Ogier/Ingrassia clinch the top spot, ahead of Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul (B/B, Hyundai) and their Volkswagen team-mates Mikkelsen/Fløene, who ended the day with the same time, just 1.2 seconds off the lead in second and third. Fourth place went to Latvala/Anttila in the third Polo R WRC – just six tenths of a second further back.
Year after year, the emotional start in the silver-mining city of Guanajuato, in particular, thrills tens of thousands of fans, as well as the drivers and co-drivers of the World Rally Cars. The route of the opening stage is just over a kilometre long and takes the competitors through tunnels and round roundabouts on “Frog Hill” – the English translation of Guanajuato. The chants and cheers of the fans provided the soundtrack, which is unique in the world of rallying
Quotes after day one of the Rally Mexico
Jari-Matti Latvala, Volkswagen Polo R WRC #2
“The opening in Guanajuato was amazing – the passionate fans at the start and along the route once again created an incredible atmosphere. On the whole, the first two stages were okay. Maybe I was a little too cautious at times. However, we still have three long days of rallying ahead of us, and the leaders are closely bunched at the moment.”