Séb, a legend

Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia have secured their first victory for the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team with a record-equalling sixth Rally Mexico triumph: also the first win on the gruelling gravel event for the Toyota Yaris WRC.

The finish of the event was brought forward to Saturday evening, a decision taken in the face of fast-changing travel restrictions connected with the global COVID-19 virus outbreak to ensure safe and timely travel home for officials, competitors and team personnel.

In his third start with Toyota – and first on gravel – Ogier dominated proceedings after taking the lead on Friday’s second stage. He led by 13.2 seconds coming into Saturday, and immediately extended that advantage with a stunning stage win on SS13 Guanajuatito. His final winning margin was 27.8 seconds.

With his sixth Mexico win in eight years – behind the wheel of four different cars – Ogier moves into the lead of the championship ahead of team-mate Elfyn Evans, who finished a strong fourth with co-driver Scott Martin after running first on the loose gravel roads on Friday.

Kalle Rovanperä continued the impressive start to his top-flight WRC career in fifth place: the 19-year-old’s third top-five finish in as many rallies, together with Jonne Halttunen. Rovanperä was within a few seconds of a podium place coming into Saturday, but was disadvantaged by running early in the road order.

With its all-new driver line-up having taken two wins in its first three events, Toyota has further increased its lead in the manufacturers’ championship to 21 points.