Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier fastest, Ott Tanak stars on opener

Sebastien Ogier holds the early Rally Mexico lead after topping Thursday night's Guanajuato street stage

Rally Mexico: Sebastien Ogier fastest, Ott Tanak stars on opener

The slippery asphalt stage, just 1.01km in length, is an anomaly on the otherwise all-gravel itinerary, but always attracts an enormous crowd of fans.

While world champion Ogier set the pace for Volkswagen, the star of the night was Ott Tanak.

After his impressive fifth place on his World Rally Championship return in Sweden, Tanak moved down to WRC2 for Mexico to begin his main programme for the year, but beat all the World Rally Cars bar Ogier on the Guanajuato streets, with a time just 0.3 seconds off the VW.

That denied VW an early one-two, with Andreas Mikkelsen pushed back to third ahead of Kris Meeke's Citroen and points leader Jari-Matti Latvala in the third Polo.

Thierry Neuville was the top Hyundai in sixth, with eighth-placed Mikko Hirvonen the leading M-Sport Ford.

Chris Atkinson had to reset the electronics on his Hyundai early on the stage, costing him just over 20s.

Follow Rally Mexico on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live from 2pm UK time on Friday March 7.

Leading positions after SS1: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Sebastien Ogier VW 52.9s 2. Ott Tanak Autotek Ford +0.3s* 3. Andreas Mikkelsen VW +0.4s 4. Kris Meeke Citroen +0.6s 5. Jari-Matti Latvala VW +0.8s 6. Thierry Neuville Hyundai +1.1s 7. Mads Ostberg Citroen +1.3s 8. Mikko Hirvonen M-Sport Ford +1.4s 9. Robert Kubica M-Sport Ford +1.7s 10. Lorenzo Bertelli FWRT Ford +2.3s* * WRC2 
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