Finland's Esapekka Lappi (Hyundai) dominated the second day of Rally Mexico 2023, the third round of the WRC World Championship, on Friday, winning five of the eight events contested on the dirt roads of the Guanajuato mountain range.
Throughout the 128 kilometers of the day, Lappi was in close competition for the scratch times with the Frenchman Sébastien Ogier (Toyota), whom he leads by 5.3 seconds.
A luxury freelancer, Ogier, who is aiming for a seventh victory in Rally Mexico in order to become the sole record holder for success in this event, has won two specials.
Briton Elfyn Evans (Toyota) and Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) are in ambush about thirty seconds from the lead.
Reigning world champion, Finland's Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) is in fifth position, almost a minute behind his compatriot.
The day ended with an urban stage, a 1.3 kilometer circuit in the city of León, the winner of which was the Spaniard Daniel Sordo (Hyundai), 6th in the general classification.
“I have to be satisfied, Seb (Ogier) has won this rally many times and we can keep up with his pace.
Driving is never perfect and there were a few places where I lost a few tenths, but there is room for improvement,” Lappi said during the day.
Estonian Ott Tänak (M-Sport Ford), leader in the championship, suffered a mechanical problem on Friday morning and finds himself relegated to more than 14 minutes behind Lappi.
The Mexico Rally is made up of 23 special stages for a total of 320.23 timed kilometres.
On Saturday, 128.61 kilometers will be covered in nine stages on the dirt roads of Guanajuato.
. Classification of the Mexico rally
Classification of the Mexico rally
1. Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm (FIN/FIN) Hyundai 1h25:12.0
2. Sébastien Ogier/Vincent Landais (FRA/FRA) Toyota at 5.3 seconds
3. Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (GBR/GBR) Toyota 30.1
4. Thierry Neuville /Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL/BEL) Hyundai 39.8
5. Kalle Rovanperä - Jonne Halttunen (FIN/FIN) Toyota 59.7
6. Dani Sordo/Candido Carrera (ESP/ESP) Hyundai 1:27.2
Winners of the special stages:
Esapekka Lappi (SS3, SS5, SS6, SS8, SS9), Sebastien Ogier (SS4, SS7), Daniel Sordo (SS10), Ott Tanak (SS1, SS2).
Pierre-Louis Loubet (FRA / Ford), Takamoto Katsuka (JPN / Toyota)