Sebastien Ogier took his seventh Rally Mexico win in FIA WRC as Thierry Neuville takes second from Elfyn Evans in Power Stage.  


Esapekka Lappi rocketed into the Guanajuato Rally México lead on Friday morning as several frontrunners, including championship leader Ott Tänak, ran into trouble. The Finn, who held third place overnight, became embroiled in a morning-long scrap with six-time Mexico winner Sébastien Ogier, ending the loop just 1.4sec ahead of the Toyota Gazoo Racing part-timer before the stages are repeated this afternoon.

Lappi, driving a Hyundai i20 N, climbed to the head of the leaderboard with the benchmark time for El Chocolate, passing overnight leader Ott Tänak in the process as the Estonian nursed a failed turbocharger on his M-Sport Ford Puma. While Ogier was able to regain a few tenths during the Ortega test, Lappi made it two stage wins out of three with a plucky run through Las Minas, which preceded the mid-leg service.

Tänak’s chances of scoring his second victory of the season now look almost impossible. He languishes more than 12 minutes adrift of the top spot after limping through the morning with minimal power. His team-mates Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis also faced their share of problems in the opener. Both had to retire due to suspension damage, marking a disastrous start to the rally for the British team.

In third place, and avoiding the drama so far, is Ogier’s Yaris colleague Elfyn Evans. The Welshman ended the loop 11.1sec adrift of the runner-up spot, with Dani Sordo only 0.6sec further back despite struggling to keep his Hyundai in the clean line. Thierry Neuville’s hybrid unit failed when he hit a compression in Ortega, leaving his i20 N down on power in the high altitudes. He arrived at service 10.1sec down on Sordo but 6.0sec clear of sixth-placed Kalle Rovanperä, whose Toyota suffered a similar fault.

Takamoto Katsuta retired from seventh overall after going off the road in a high-speed section of Las Minas. He lost control of his Yaris’s rear end, sliding down a steep embankment.  Emil Lindholm, the defending WRC2 champion, leads his category and holds seventh overall ahead of Gus Greensmith, while Adrien Fourmaux and Oliver Solberg round out the top 10.


Sébastien Ogier seized a commanding lead at Guanajuato Rally México on Saturday morning, capitalising on the misfortune of rival Esapekka Lappi. With the duelling duo starting Saturday’s penultimate leg separated by a mere 5.3 seconds, the tension was palpable. Both drivers knew that every tenth of a second would count on the unforgiving terrain in the mountains around León.

However, the closely-fought battle that was expected failed to materialise when Lappi, who had held the upper hand, crashed his Hyundai i20 N just 10.01km into the opening Ibarrilla stage. The Finn’s car collided with a utility pole before briefly catching fire. His demise left Ogier with a comfortable lead of almost half a minute over Toyota GR Yaris colleague Elfyn Evans. The Frenchman, a six-time winner in Mexico, went into safety mode for the morning’s remaining three stages, reaching the mid-leg service with an 28.5sec advantage.

Thierry Neuville’s morning was a positive one, with the Belgian taking three stage wins aboard his Hyundai. As well as moving into podium position at Lappi’s expense, he also reduced his deficit to Evans to just 8.7sec. Another 36.6sec behind in fourth overall was Kalle Rovanperä. The Finn’s Toyota lacked traction on the loose gravel stages, but he carried a sizeable advantage over Dani Sordo, who ended the loop 43.1sec further back with his Hyundai.

Road blockages due to Lappi’s incident meant the WRC2 field only completed SS14. Škoda Fabia RS Rally2 star Gus Greensmith continued to lead the category from Adrien Fourmaux, while Emil Lindholm, Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Oliver Solberg completed the top 10.


Sébastien Ogier has added another FIA World Rally Championship record to his already impressive tally with victory at Guanajuato Rally México on Sunday afternoon. The Frenchman, starting the second rally of his part-time 2023 campaign, moved to top of the Mexico roll of honour with a record seventh victory at the North American event, an accolade he had previously shared with old foe Sébastien Loeb.

With a sizeable 35.8sec advantage going into the final leg, it was a relatively straightforward Sunday for the Toyota Gazoo Racing man. He negotiated the remaining four speed tests with ultimate prowess and collected maximum bonus points from the Wolf Power Stage, finishing 27.5sec clear of Thierry Neuville at the event where he made his FIA World Rally Championship debut in 2008.

Neuville’s stubborn spirit behind the wheel of his Hyundai i20 N left fans on the edge of their seats as he battled relentlessly with Ogier’s team-mate Elfyn Evans. Having started the day 5.3sec in arrears, Neuville closed in on the Welshman, who was impeded by a bent suspension arm. The Belgian’s perseverance paid off as he overtook his rival in the finale, claiming second overall by just four-tenths of a second and providing an exhilarating end to the four-day fixture.

Kalle Rovanperä struggled to match the pace of the frontrunning trio and settled for a lonely fourth overall in his Toyota. The defending champion continued to pull further away from Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, who finished over one minute further back in fifth. The rough gravel terrain took its toll on several of the leading Rally1 crews, enabling Gus Greensmith to finish a mighty sixth overall in his WRC2-specification Škoda Fabia RS Rally2. Behind him were fellow support category challengers Emil Lindholm and Oliver Solberg.

Ninth overall was the best Ott Tänak could manage after turbocharger failure cost the M-Sport Ford Puma driver more than 14 minutes on Friday morning, while WRC2 star Kajetan Kajetanowicz completed the top 10.

Here’s WRC Rally Mexico results:

[Note: The story is as per press release]