THE MOTORSPORT LAP
Ogier pulls out all stops to power to the top of log
The Mexico leg of the World Rally Championship took place this past weekend
It was all about the WRC (World Rally Championship) last week with the rally circus stopping in Leon, Mexico where Sebastien Ogier in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC car took overall laurels.
This marked Ogier’s 42nd WRC success and the second for the Ford Fiesta WRC on gravel. More importantly, it marked the first win for the Blue Oval since Estonian Markko Martin won on the event’s debut in the WRC back in 2004 at the wheel of a Ford Focus.
In second was the Citroen C3 Abu Dhabi WRC car of Kris Meeke, followed in third by the Hyundai i20 WRC of Dani Sordo. Ogier leads the 2018 championship with 56 points, followed by Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) on 52 points, while Andreas Mikkelsen (Hyundai) is in third with 35 points. The next race is the Corsica Rally in France on April 5.
Meanwhile, the list of permanent competitors for the 2018 FIA World Rallycross Championship has been released with 15 drivers, including eight proven race winners, set to fight it out for top honours.
THE LIST OF PERMANENT COMPETITORS FOR THE 2018 FIA WORLD RALLYCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP HAS BEEN RELEASED.
The permanent competitors, who will be joined by up to 10 round-by-round drivers at each event, comprise six teams and three individual entries. Cars from six different manufacturers feature including the GRX Taneco Team which will field a pair of Hyundai i20s and GC Kompetition with the new Renault Megane RS.
Johan Kristoffersson, the 2017 World RX Champion will carry the coveted number one on his PSRX Volkswagen Sweden Polo R as he bids to defends his title.
He will be joined by 2014 and 2015 title winner Petter Solberg.
Mattias Ekstrom, 2016 World Champion, returns to challenge for another title with the renamed EKS Audi Sport. He is joined in the team’s second Audi S1 by Norwegian Andreas Bakkerud, a six-time World RX event winner who races an Audi for the first time this year.
Sebastien Loeb and Timmy Hansen return as Peugeot’s chosen drivers in a pair of 208s, Team Peugeot Total now a full factory entry for World RX. GC Kompetition joins the World RX field for the first time with a new Renault Megane RS developed and built by Prodrive.
It was also the opening round of the 2018 NRC (National Rally Championship), which took place in KwaZulu-Natal where the pair of Richard Leeke and Henry Kohne (Ford Fiesta) took overall victory.
They were followed by the team of AC Potgieter and Nico Swartz (Volkswagen) in second, while Matthew Vacy-Lyle and Schalk van Heerden (Toyota) finished in third place.
The next round, the York Rally, will take place in Sabie, Mpumalanga from April 20-22.