Ostberg finishes first leg of Rally Mexico in second

Team Citroen Total Abu Dhabi driver Mads Ostberg finished the first leg of Rally Mexico on Friday in second place, 26.1 seconds off the lead pace of Sebastien Ogier.

Mads Ostberg is third in the 2014 World Rally Championship driver's standings, with 30 points from two races, 10 behind leader Jari-Matti Latvala. Ulises Ruiz Basurto / EPA
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In the first full day of racing at Rally Mexico on Friday, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi driver Mads Ostberg put himself in the early hunt for a victory, snatching second place 26.1 seconds behind leader Sebastien Ogier.

Ostberg finished the day on a high note, winning the 11th stage and gaining 1.3 seconds on Ogier, who finished the final stage of the day fourth. Ostberg also won the third and fourth stages of the race.

“To be honest, I’m really pleased with the start I’ve made to this rally. The first loop went particularly well,” Ostberg said in a press release. “We tried to adapt the set-up for the changing road conditions in the afternoon. It didn’t really work, but you have to bear in mind that this is our first gravel rally ... but overall, it’s been a very encouraging start which augurs well for the rest of the rally.”

Ostberg and Ogier were joined in the top-3 by Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala, who came in 16.4 seconds after Ostberg. The trio largely made it a three-man race after the first leg, with fourth-placed Elfyn Evans of Britain arriving 1 minute 46.2 seconds after Latvala.

Citroen Abu Dhabi’s other driver, Kris Meeke, broke part of his suspension during the eighth stage after hitting a rock and was unable to complete the first day of racing.

“My strategy was pretty much the same as in Sweden. I drove at my own pace without worrying too much about the times the other drivers wer setting. On some stages, I was fairly comfortable although there was a lot of dust. The roads were also very slippery. On Stage 8, we hit a rock on a bend. The suspension arm broke. We tried to continue but we decided it was better to stop so that we could rejoin tomorrow in better shape,” said Meeke.

The second leg of the race will begin with Stage 12 on Saturday in Ibarilla. Rally Mexico is the third race of the World Rally Championship season.

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