Wilson a day away from points with Stobart
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford rally team driver Matthew Wilson and co-driver Scott Martin have advanced a further place from their overnight position on day 2 of Rally Mexico; round three of the FIA World Rally Championship.
his first event as a Stobart-nominated point-scoring driver, since Wales Rally GB in 2006, the young Brit sits in sixth position overall and in good stead for both WRC drivers' and manufacturers' points. With well over one minute gaps between competitors either side of sixth position, the 21-year-old drove a sensible day to maintain a strong position in the drivers' points. He is now just 61 competitive kilometres away from his first points finish in 2008.
Despite having a comfortable cushion it was certainly not an easy day for Wilson. On the final stage before mid-day service he spun on a right-hand hairpin corner and stalled his Stobart Ford Focus RS WRC07 losing around 10 seconds. Just a few kilometres further on trouble stuck again when a stray dog ran onto the road slightly damaging the front-end of his car.
Stage 13 also threw some drama at the Englishman when a stone was thrown at his windscreen, damaging the glass. The incident occurred two kilometres into the test and caused some visibility issues over the closing kilometres and the final two super specials.
Crews headed north of Rally Campus today for six challenging special stages before heading back to Leon for two passes over the spectator-packed super special. Day 2 also hosted the longest stage of Rally Mexico, Ibarrilla 1, which stood at a lengthy 29.9 kilometres.
Weather conditions again remained dry offering blue skies and sunshine throughout the day. Extremely calm winds forced event organisers to extend the on-road gap to three minutes between each World Rally Car as lingering dust became far too dangerous to run them at usual two minute intervals.J
Tomorrow's short final leg is made up of three proper gravel stages followed by a final run over the 2.21 kilometre Leon super special. The event then comes to a close at midday when the cars return for final service at the Poliforum in Leon's city centre.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Driver Matthew Wilson said:
"It has been another good day for us and now we are looking safe to score our first WRC points of the year. This morning went OK but I did struggle a little bit with the pace in areas as I was able to push sometimes but where it was rough I probably backed off a bit too much. We lost about 10 seconds on stage 13 after I spun on a hairpin right and stalled the car which took a bit to get started again. We also hit a dog in the same stage so it was a fairly eventful one to round off the morning. I was happy to be setting times today in and around the top-six and it's great to get the car back to final service after what has been a challenging second day of Rally Mexico. Tomorrow we will take another steady approach and look to hold sixth position which would be a fantastic result here."
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford Team Principal Malcolm Wilson said:
"It has been another great day for Matthew and he is now in a good position to score his first points of the year. He has had a couple of small problems but has managed to get through at a reasonable pace and stay out of trouble. Today was another tough day for the guys and again saw several crews overcome by the challenging conditions. It was unfortunate Gigi could not restart today but now Matthew has the chance to score some good points for the Stobart team and help to keep their strong position in the Manufacturers' Championship."