M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin are battling for the top positions at this weekend’s Rally Mexico – their EcoBoost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC currently holding second place on the third round of the FIA World Rally Championship.
Delivering impressive pace and consistency, the British pairing are just 14.8 seconds adrift off the lead with two more days of arduous competition left to contest.
There was less good news for Teemu Suninen and Marko Salminen who retired on the first stage of the morning (S22). Hitting a stone on the inside of a corner, their Fiesta spun into the rock face at high speed. The heavy impact caused too much damage to attempt a repair, and the Finns will not continue this weekend.
Team Principal, Richard Millener, said:
“It’s great to see Elfyn up there battling for the top positions. He and Scott are delivering a really strong drive with the pace and consistency that this event demands. They’re in a comfortable rhythm at the moment, and it’s still all to play for.
“But things didn’t go quite as well for Teemu whose rally came to an end pretty early on this morning. Hitting a stone on the inside of a corner, he was spun into the rock face at high speed which caused extensive damage to the front-right chassis leg. The damage was beyond even our technicians and unfortunately meant the end of the weekend for him and Marko.”
Elfyn Evans (2nd) said:
“It’s been a good day out there – with the car and everything inside the car all working really well. It’s not been the sort of day to be on the limit. It’s been about staying clean, staying in the line, and trying to find the grip. It’s been very slippery out there today, but it should be a bit faster with a bit more grip tomorrow.
“There are some really nice stages to come, but also some really demanding ones. It’s a bit of a mix and you have to get it all right so I’m looking forward to the challenge. We’ve got to keep pushing because anything can happen and there is still a long way to go. We’ll keep giving it our all and see what happens.”
Teemu Suninen (DNF) said:
“We were driving cleanly, until we hit a big stone. We lost the front-right and spun into the side of the mountain. There was quite a lot of damage which means that we can’t continue, but the main thing is that both me and Marko are okay.”
1. Sébastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Citroen C3 WRC) 1:18:33.8
2. Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (Ford Fiesta WRC) +14.8
3. Kris Meeke / Sebastian Marshall (Toyota Yaris WRC) +21.1
4. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Toyota Yaris WRC) +37.1
5. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferme (Citroen C3 WRC) +39.1
6. Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) +1:00.7