VIDEO | Rally Mexico Heat 2 In Full Flight

WRC | 2015 World Rally Championship – Rally Mexico Day 2

Written byMichael Vettas | Images by – André Lavadinho – @tWorld

Rally Mexico is known to be tough on both man and machine, but it seems nothing could prepare the teams for how tough it would be.

With retirements, crashes, punctures, broken wheels and a swim in a lake for Tanak, there are mixed results throughout the field.

During heat two the searing temperature kept pressure on Ogier from the start. With a slim 13.5 seconds lead over Latvala, Mads Ostberg was hot on his heels at 16 seconds further back.

Latvala was the man to watch but needed to dig deep if he was going to stay in touch with Ogier in the championship race.

Positions after the morning stages remained the same with Ogier, Latvala and Ostberg at the top of the leader board although things were about to change.

Ogier set a blistering pace during stage 12 with a time of 29 minutes and 58 seconds. “A good stage [but] a little slippery, we are having an almost perfect rally and hope that Jari is continuing without too many problems.” Ogier commented on his performance and his Volkswagen Motorsport team mate.

“A good stage [but] a little slippery, we are having an almost perfect rally and hope that Jari is continuing without too many problems.”

Unfortunately Latvala’s luck would run out. After hitting a rock during stage 11 and by stage 12, the left rear wheel of his VW Polo R was hanging on by a thread.

By stage 12 Latvala eventually crossed the line in 36 minutes and 11.8 seconds, losing over ten minutes to Ogier with his championship fight in Mexico in tatters.

“We touched a bank and it broke the rear suspension and the rear wheel,” shared a dejected and obviously emotional Latvala.

With Latvala out of contention the only person to push Ogier would be Ostberg. The gap between the drivers had increased to 1 minute 8.2 seconds with Mikkelsen moving up to third, a further 9.7 seconds behind.

FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorldFIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP 2015 -WRC Rally Mexico (MEX) -  WRC 05/03/2015 to 08/03/2015 - PHOTO :  @tWorld

Meanwhile the saga for Ott Tanka was set to continue after yesterday’s horrific crash into the reservoir. After stopping to refuel during the afternoon stages Tanka was unable to restart the MSport Ford and was forced to retire, although MSport believe they will have the issue sorted for the final day.

During the second loop of stages for the afternoon, the top three drivers pushed hard. As a result only 1.7 seconds separated the top three drivers over the 42 kilometres of the competitive stage sixteen.

Ostberg finished the stage the fastest and explained ‘It’s incredible to do a stage like this with no splits because you have absolutely no idea how your pace measures up!’

Mikkelsen was second fastest across the line, stating “There are a lot of places I could have been faster, but I’ve improved a lot since this morning and that’s encouraging. I’m not at my maximum yet.”

“There are a lot of places I could have been faster, but I’ve improved a lot since this morning and that’s encouraging. I’m not at my maximum yet.”

With the second heat coming to a close, there were no other incidents to report.

Mikkelsen managed to win the final stage of the day by just 0.6 seconds. Ogier still retains the overall lead of the rally by 1 minute 15.2 seconds from Ostberg with Mikkelsen in third just 4.5 seconds behind.

With only three stages in heat three, Ogier will be out front driving safely with the real fight taking place for second and third positions. Will Mexico be the first podium for Ostberg after such a long wait and will Mikkelsen consolidate with another second place?

Heat 3 (Sunday) the final day comprises of just three stages, the final of which will be the Power Stage.

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