Rally Mexico - 2nd Day - 1st Loop: Lappi holds a tiny lead, disaster for M-Sport

At the end of the Friday morning, Esapekka Lappi is the new leader of Rally Mexico with Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans following him.

Esapekka Lappi tops the overall classification of Rally Mexico after Stage 5 and his gap from the second Ogier is at 1,4 seconds. The Finn was the fastest driver in Stage 3 and 5 on his first gravel outing with the Hyundai i20N Rally1.

Sebastien Ogier is second overall and cut Lappi's lead at the end of SS4 as their gap was only at eight tenths of a second. The eight-time World Rally Champion set the fastest time on the penultimate stage of Friday morning and stayed out of trouble.

Elfyn Evans completes the 2-3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT and stole the third position of the rally from Dani Sordo at the end of SS4.

The Spaniard comes right behind Evans for sixth tenths of a second and will fight with the last one to regain his place.

Thierry Neuville completes the top five and had a scary moment in Stage 4 as he did not note a bump during the recce. Finally, he reported that he lost the hybrid power during the final stage of the morning and was struggling on the uphills.

Kalle Rovanpera lost his fifth place over Neuville at the end of SS5 and lost 7,4 seconds over the last one. Due to the fact that Tanak had to drive slowly due to turbocharger issue, the 2022 WRC Champion had to clean the road and to make the competitive lines for the following drivers. Last but not least, the hybrid unit of his Yaris did not work properly in SS5 as he lost the maximum power.

Ott Tanak dropped from first to outside the top ten as he completed Stage 3 after seven minutes and stopped 15,8 Km into SS3 to see what was the problem with his Puma. Finally, he said that he had a turbo issue and had to drive slowly throughout the morning stages.

Pierre-Louis Loubet was forced to retire in Stage 3 and had a steering damage after hitting a rock on the inside of a right-hander resulting in stopping 19,6 Kilometers into the stage.

Takamoto Katsuta was in seventh place overall after SS4 and lost major time on the opening stage of the day due to the fact that there was smoke inside his Yaris. Unfortunately, he went off the road into a ditch in Stage 5 after losing the rear of his Yaris in a fast section.

Watch below the stage times:

Watch below the overall classification after SS5:

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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