Rally Mexico WRC Pace Report

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Rally Mexico Summary

Sebastien Ogier took the win at Rally Mexico after a very strong performance. Ott Tanak and Thierry Neuville also showed similar strength to defy the Friday road order to second and fourth overall. Elfyn Evans will be happy with a strong third place after an incident free rally.

Hyundai drivers Andreas Mikkelsen and Dani Sordo were both unfortunate to suffer incidents on Friday. Mikkelsen hit a massive rock and had to retire as the damage was too much, losing a well deserved lead. Sordo dropped from second after his battery failed.

Elsewhere Kris Meeke suffered tyre and performance issues which ended his fight at Rally Mexico. Team mate Jari-Mati Latvala had to retire on Friday evening, taking 14 minutes for less than 5km of super special. He battled with his car’s reliability in the fight back over the weekend.

Esapekka Lappi had a soft off on SS10, the first stage of Saturday. With so many stages left the penalty times stacked up and left him with no way of fighting back on Sunday. Teemu Suninen had a more spectacular off on SS2 but the damage was too much for the M-Sport mechanics to repair.

Keep reading to see the report cards for ech driver. Don’t forget to check out the Rally Sweden WRC Pace Report.

Rally Mexico Targets

  • Stages: 21
  • Total Distance: 310.5km
  • +1s/km = 5m 10.4s overall
  • +1s/km = 14.8s on the average stage
Pace heatchart for Rally Mexico.
Rally Mexico 2019 WRC Pace Heatchart. The greens of Friday’s stages show just how close the entire field are.

Sebastien Ogier – Citroen C3 WRC

  • Overall Classification: 1st
  • Time: 3:11:14.9
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 3/7/9
  • Expected Classification (xC)1st
  • Average Pace: +0.1s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.34%
  • Stage Wins: 6/19
  • Best Pace: Power Stage win against hard-pushing competitors.
  • Notable Time Loss: Up to 7 seconds in the tyre wall of SS16.

It was a very strong performance as expected from Ogier at Rally Mexico. So often opening the road here has never hindered him so starting 3rd on Friday made him the favourite for the win. True enough the only mistake he made was on SS16 where he lost some time. Many believe the red flag on SS10 Guanajuatito 1 helped him but it’s more likely the puncture he was nursing was not so bad.

Ott Tanak – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 2nd
  • Time: 3:11:43.2
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 1/4/7
  • Expected Classification (xC): 2nd
  • Average Pace: +0.3s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 99.00%
  • Stage Wins: 6/19
  • Best Pace: Incredible driving on Saturday and Sunday to catch Evans, setting 4 fastest times.
  • Notable Time Loss: Nil but for playing road sweeper on Friday.

Tanak is Frightening Fast. It’s true he was helped out a little position-wise with the retirements on Friday. But Tanak seems to be able to handle any road in any condition. This is shown in the xC which reflects that his average stage classification is so high. His commitment on Saturday afternoon and Sunday to chase Elfyn’s second position was incredible and shows he is willing to push the limit and chase every point.

Elfyn Evans – Ford Fiesta WRC

  • Overall Classification: 3rd
  • Time: 3:11:45.2
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 6/6/8
  • Expected Classification (xC): 5th
  • Average Pace: +0.3s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.78%
  • Stage Wins: 0/19
  • Best Pace: Strong and consistent all weekend. Beat Thierry Neuville whose only hindrance was road position.
  • Notable Time Loss: Nil. Super specials aren’t Evans’s favourite but not significant enough to be a worry.

Incredibly enough Elfyn Evans was the only driver (other than Suninen) not to set a fastest stage time. But it’s the times that count not the stage classifications hence the xC of 5th. Being consistently strong all weekend got Evans the deserved podium. Another interesting fact is that only Evans completed every kilometer competitively when you consider Kris Meeke idled through Sunday morning’s stages.

gPace chart for WRC Rally Mexico.
Rally Mexico 2019 WRC gPace chart. Only 4 drivers finished with a rally time within 1s/km of the fasest stage times.

Thierry Neuville – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 4th
  • Time: 3:12:33.4
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 2/3/6
  • Expected Classification (xC): 3rd
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 98.36%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Best Pace: Saturday afternoon and Sunday with more favourable road conditions and position.
  • Notable Time Loss: A worn tyre on SS2 cost about 20 seconds but could have been much worse.

It should have been better for Neuville as the expected classification suggests. But he will surely take 4th considering he was 9th by midday service on Friday.

Kris Meeke – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 5th
  • Time: 9th
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 4/5/5
  • Expected Classification (xC): 8th
  • Average Pace: +1.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 95.19%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Best Pace: Blistering speed on SS10, the red flag stage. Very strong Power Stage.
  • Notable Time Loss: A puncture on SS11 followed by car issues on SS12 cost 3 and a half minutes. Poor times on SS19 and SS20 were Kris’s decision to preserve the tyres for the Power Stage.

Kris Meeke rose from third to first and dropped to 5th within two stages summing up his rally. Once it was clear he could do nothing but throw away 5th position he knew he was on a cruise to the power stage. Here he did well and was only marginally trumped by a storming Ogier.

High Low and Finish classifications for Rally Mexico.
Rally Mexico 2019 High Low and final classifications

Jari-Matti Latvala – Toyota Yaris WRC

  • Overall Classification: 8th
  • Time: 3:28:54.2
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 8/8/4
  • Expected Classification (xC): 6th
  • Average Pace: +0.4s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 86.46%
  • Stage Wins: 2/19
  • Best Pace: Strongest times and stage wins were on Saturday. Thanks mostly to checking in late from the first stage and further down the road.
  • Notable Time Loss: Car issues forced the retirement and many penalties, else stage times were good.

Latvala was repeatedly let down by his Yaris costing a total of 17 and a half minutes in penalties, which when taken off his time puts him in 5th. The times otherwise were good but they should be from 8th road position.

Dani Sordo – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 9th
  • Time: 3:33:36.8
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 9/2/3
  • Expected Classification (xC): 4th
  • Average Pace: +0.5s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 83.88%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Best Pace: All day Friday until the car failed.
  • Notable Time Loss: SS14 +2.3s/km. Complained of a damaged wheel although the stage was short.

Likely contentious for a podium, Sordo was second when a flat battery forced him to retire. He may feel he has been here many times before. He has. An xC of 4th is good but still unkind as he would have continued with better road position on Saturday to set better times.

Andreas Mikkelsen – Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

  • Overall Classification: 11th (?)
  • Time: 3:47:33.1
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 9/1/2
  • Expected Classification (xC): 7th
  • Average Pace: +0.6s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 74.46%
  • Stage Wins: 3/19
  • Best Pace: Taking the lead on Friday.
  • Notable Time Loss: None other than the retirement which forced the road order and resulting times.

Mikkelsen started Friday with an obvious intent to compete. He was the unlucky driver to hit a massive rock that had been brought into the road by a previous car. Damaging the car he was forced to retire. Like Sordo, Mikkelsen’s xC of 7th is unkind. Had he stayed in the rally he wouldn’t have been cleaning the road on Saturday and would have continued to set good times.

Esapekka Lappi – Citroen C3 WRC

  • Overall Classification: 14th
  • Time: 4:14:30.8
  • Road Order Fri/Sat/Sun: 5/x/1
  • Expected Classification (xC): 9th
  • Average Pace: +0.6s/km
  • Rally Time Rating: 56.03%
  • Stage Wins: 1/19
  • Best Pace: SS7
  • Notable Time Loss: Retiring on the first stage of a day of 9 stages +1:03:00 instantly.

To be brutally honest Esapekka Lappi was benefiting from the misfortunes of others on Friday. In fact his stage win on SS1 may be helped by the fact the top 3 didn’t run. 5th position when he retired would likely have been ceded to Neuville, certainly had the others stayed in 9th sounds about right.

Teemu Suninen – Ford Fiesta WRC

It’s impossible to say what could have been when Suninen only completed the opening super special stage. We know he was 6th to the split before he crashed on SS2 and his best shakedown run was 9th. Suninen has not been included in calculations for xCs for other drivers.


See the full classifications and stats at eWRC or WRC.com. Before you do check out the WRC Pace Reports for the last round out at Rally Sweden. If you enjoy these pleas consider sharing or liking using the usual buttons below.

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