Rovanperä and Lappi equal on México shakedown

They set identical stage times ahead of Thursday's opening two tests


Esapekka Lappi and Kalle Rovanperä set an identical time on shakedown ahead of Rally México.

The Llano Grande route provided the first opportunity for the drivers to maximize their setups ahead of three days in the Sierra de Lobos and Sierra de Guanajuato mountains.

But it quickly became apparent that rocks will be an issue to overcome as Rally México progresses, with large stones strewn across the surface throughout the route after only a few drivers had passed through.

Shakedown also allowed Ott Tänak the chance to get an idea of what Friday morning’s stages will feel like as he begins the rally first on the road.

He completed his opening pass in 3m56.4 seconds, which quickly proved that cleaning would play a huge factor this weekend when he went a further 7.8s faster on his third run to put him seventh at the end.

Sordo was initially fastest on the first pass and went even quicker on his second attempt with a time of 3m45.8s before Rovanperä jumped ahead.


Lappi then dislodged the reigning world champion at the top, setting a matching time of 3m44.4s on his fourth pass, the only driver to complete as many.

Sébastien Ogier – who can break the record for most Rally México wins this weekend – had a brief moment shortly into the shakedown when he came close to clipping a wall on his first pass.

But that wasn’t enough to put off the Toyota driver who finished shakedown in third with a 3m44.7s effort on his third run.

Sordo couldn’t go quicker on his third and final run meaning he finished fourth, 0.2s ahead of Elfyn Evans.

Thierry Neuville couldn’t improve on the time set during his second run and finished in sixth ahead of Tänak.

Ott Tanak

The two newcomers to Rally México, Pierre-Louis Loubet and Takamoto Katsuta, finished eighth and ninth, Loubet going one second faster than the Toyota on his final pass.

In his first WRC outing for Škoda, Gus Greensmith topped shakedown in the WRC2 class with just one run.

His former Rally1 rivals, Oliver Solberg and Adrien Fourmaux, followed behind with times of 3m58.5s and 4m00.3s respectively.

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