Mexico saw the Ford Fiesta of Ken Block who will be completing 3 WRC events as part of his 2012 program. Whilst the new livery on his car looked spectacular, he was never on the pace of the front runners. Block was also one of the many who fell victim to the loose gravel and slippy surfaces, experiencing a few punctures and light damage over the course of the rally. He ended up 9th overall thanks to a few retirements above him.
His new teammate for the event, Chris Atkinson, was going well, having given Monster World Rally Team their first stage win on day 1. His rally was effectively over when he experienced braking problems on SS16 which knocked him down from eighth place. Atkinson's last rally was Ireland in 2009, with the Citroën Junior Team. Prior to this he had raced for Subaru, until they pulled out of the WRC in 2008.
After a rally win in Sweden, Jari-Matti Latvala hoped for a repeat performance in Mexico. This wasn't to be, as Latvala experienced several issues throughout the rally. This bad luck was summarised when Latvala mistakely thinking the car of Evgeny Novikov was upside down on the road. His evasive actions led to a roll and by the time he had changed the resulting puncture he had lost several minutes. To make matters worse, officials discovered slight damage to his roll cage, and Latvala was forced to retire. This meant he has only scored points in 1 of the 3 rallies now, and he must be more consistent if he wishes to challenge Loeb.
For the reigning champion it was business as usual, with few issues and consistent form leading to a rally victory. It was a good day for Citroën Total WRT with Mikko Hirvonen achieving second place to give he team a one-two finish. Petter Solberg salvaged some points for Ford with a third place overall, and prevented Loeb from getting a maximum 28 points by posting the fastest time on the power stage.
The next rally will be Portugal, from the 29th March - 1st April. Check back for a brief report!
|1.||Citroen Total World Rally Team||37||28||43||108|
|2.||Ford World Rally Team||15||40||15||70|
|3.||M-Sport Ford World Rally Team||16||12||10||38|
|4.||MINI WRC Team||26||26|
|5.||Qatar World Rally Team||8||8||16|
|6.||Adapta World Rally Team||12||12|
|7.||Citroen Junior World Rally Team||6||6|