Evans vs Neuville now the México focus

All eyes now on the battle for second behind Ogier

Elfyn Evans

Rally México’s main focus is now Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville’s fight for second, with the pair separated by 10.9s and the Toyota currently ahead.

This is a fight which could prove crucial for the championship come Sunday as rally leader Sébastien Ogier is only doing a part-time season.

Erstwhile leader Esapekka Lappi’s crash on the first stage of Saturday played into his Hyundai teammate Neuville’s hands, thrusting him into third after a difficult Friday.

But Neuville has been trying to chase down Evans all rally long, with the gap hovering around the 10 second mark since yesterday.

El Mosquito hosted the second stage of the day and deep cuts in the corners soon began to form with each passing driver.

This was something for those starting further down the order to keep an eye on, with any mistake sure to provide a bite as has been shown by several drivers already this weekend.

There were no such problems for Neuville, who topped the times on SS12, his first stage win of the weekend.

The Hyundai driver controlled the first pass of El Mosquito, going quickest by 0.7s over Evans.

Sebastien Ogier

Ogier had not led at all this weekend until Saturday morning, but following Lappi’s crash on SS11, the eight-time champion moved into first by 27.3s.

Third-fastest time on the first pass of El Mosquito suggested Ogier will control things from here.

Kalle Rovanperä is fourth with no one around him, Dani Sordo follows the reigning champion in fifth and 39.1s behind.

Words:Luke Barry