Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier's lead grows amid Saturday drama
|Sunday, March 10th 2013, 00:13 GMT|
Sebastien Ogier survived a scare with a closed gate on SS18 of Rally Mexico to take a near three-minute lead into the final day.
The dominant Volkswagen lost half a minute on Otates when Ogier encountered a gate that had been closed across the stage prior to him coming through.
He had to stop so that co-driver Julien Ingrassia could open the gate and let them continue.
Ogier's lead was already so ample that the gate controversy did not jeopardise his first place, and in any case his advantage grew even further when nearest rival Mikko Hirvonen collected a puncture on the same stage.
The Citroen driver dropped almost two minutes as a consequence, meaning third-placed Thierry Neuville closed to within 7.5s. Neuville had earlier lost a few seconds backing off to nurse overheating on his M-Sport Ford.
Dani Sordo and Nasser Al-Attiyah continue in fourth and fifth.
Ken Block's sixth place is now in jeopardy, with Chris Atkinson just 26.7s from his tail after taking seventh from Benito Guerra.
Following his time-consuming ECU problems on Friday morning, Evgeny Novikov has made it back into the points, helped in part by transmission dramas for Michal Kosciuszko.
The rally concludes with a single loop of three stages, including the 55km Guanajuatito, on Sunday.
Leading positions after SS20: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen 3h38m42.2s 2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 2m52.4s 3. Thierry Neuville M-Sport Ford + 2m59.9s 4. Dani Sordo Citroen + 4m45.2s 5. Nasser Al-Attiyah M-Sport Ford + 5m33.9s 6. Ken Block Hoonigan Ford + 8m57.1s 7. Chris Atkinson Abu Dhabi Citroen + 9m23.8s 8. Benito Guerra CRT Citroen + 10m00.9s 9. Martin Prokop Czech Ford + 11m22.3s 10. Evgeny Novikov M-Sport Ford + 15m41.9s