Lappi doubles rally lead on superspecial

Esapekka Lappi's Rally México lead over Sébastien Ogier is now nearly seven seconds

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A good day just keeps getting better for Esapekka Lappi, who won another stage and grew his Rally México lead to 6.9 seconds over Sébastien Ogier.

Following eight long stages of attrition, the drivers made their way to the 2.3-mile Las Dunas superspecial, which will also feature on Saturday’s itinerary.

But losing concentration wasn’t an option for any of the runners, with there still being plenty of room for error despite the shorter length of the stage.

For Lappi it was a matter of staying consistent, and another great drive allowed him to take victory on SS9 to further extend his advantage – by an impressive 3.5s over Ogier even on such a short stage.

That is of no concern to Ogier however, who seems to be enjoying his time back out on the Mexican stages despite struggling for grip on Las Dunas.

“So far, so good. Still a small one to go and the gaps are small,” he said. “This one was very slippery and twisty, so difficult to get some speed.”


Despite Thierry Neuville’s concerns about a damaged damper on the previous stage, he continued to make up time on Elfyn Evans and is now 10.2s from third after chipping 2.3s away from the gap.

Fortunately for Neuville his issue was resolved on the road section after he discovered the problem.

“We had the rear-right damper which was completely blocked, but on the road section we got it free again and it was working quite OK in here,” he explained.

“Obviously lots of cleaning in there so we need to be prepared to lose a lot of time.”

From Evans’s side however, he couldn’t put his finger on where he was losing his advantage in third.

“It didn’t feel like a good run, I struggled to turn a bit to be honest but yeah I didn’t drive so well,” he said.

Ott Tänak did not look comfortable after the second pass of Las Minas, and following SS9 he sits 14m06.7s off the lead, mainly due to his morning turbo problems.

Words:Adam Proud