Neuville vs Evans battle resumes on final day

Hyundai driver Neuville starts Sunday with a small gain on his rival for second in México

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Thierry Neuville has started the final day of Rally México by taking a small chip of 0.2 seconds out of Elfyn Evans in their fight for second, with the Hyundai now 4.1s behind with three stages to go.

It’s a gap that has been shrinking all weekend long, with a large chunk taken out through Saturday’s stages.

Sunday started with a fourth and final run of the 2.2-mile Las Dunas Superspecial, before moving onto the longer stages that will close out the action.

With this being the fourth pass, the surface conditions of Las Dunas were much worse than before and even caught some drivers out with Dani Sordo, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Jourdan Serderidis having brief excursions; not the way they would hope to start the day.

Evans didn’t lose as much time on this pass as he did on Saturday afternoon, but Neuville made sure to keep it clean on the superspecial and still narrowed the gap a little.


“It’s going to be an intense fight. I could really feel my body warming up through the stage because you have to fight with the car in the ruts,” he explained.

“I had a puncture in here yesterday so I was a bit more careful today with the rear tires in the ruts.”

Rally leader Sébastien Ogier lost 3.6s on Sunday’s opening stage, but that will be of no concern to him as he still leads by 32.2s.

Kalle Rovanperä will now just be focused on getting to the end with no one around him to battle in fourth and is prioritizing powerstage points.

“We’re just trying to have a normal drive through the day,” he explained.

“This one was bad with all the ruts so we just went through it. Hopefully we can have a good time in the powerstage.”

For Takamoto Katsuta the final day of Rally México will again be one to gain experience of the stages following his crash on Friday.

“The conditions are getting worse because this is the fourth pass,” he said. “We have a long stage ahead so I need to focus for that.”

Words:Adam Proud