World Rally Championship: Sebastien Ogier on top after openday in Mexico
Last Updated: 08/03/14 9:34am
Sebastien Ogier: Avoided troubles to take lead in Mexico
Sebastien Ogier built up a 26.1 second lead on a torrid opening day of the Rally of Mexico.
The Frenchman avoided the carnage that affected a number of his rivals, with dust one of the biggest issues leading to plenty of early retirements.
Ogier struggled a little during the morning, when he had to plough a line through the loose gravel, but he improved on cleaner tracks in the afternoon and set four fastest times overall.
Mads Ostberg led after the morning session but he lost out during the long El Chocolate stage and had to settle for second at the end of leg one.
Jari-Matti Latvala was first on the road in the morning, making life tough for the Finn, and he dropped from first to fifth before fighting back into third by the end of the day, some 42.5 seconds behind his Volkswagen team-mate.
But there was chaos in behind with Mikko Hirvonen retiring his Ford Fiesta from third after a third alternator failure, and Kris Meeke - who would have inherited third from Hirvonen - going out with a broken suspension arm.
Robert Kubica had used the troubles ahead to climb to fourth but he then rolled his Ford Fiesta at the Leon racetrack super special stage and Andreas Mikkelsen retired when he hit a rock and broke his Polo's suspension.
That left Britain's Elfyn Evans in fourth ahead of Thierry Neuville and Martin Prokop, with Mexico's Benito Guerra delighting home fans with a series of fine runs to sit in seventh.