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PHOTO: The M-Sport team of Malcolm Wilson (centre) and Sébastien Ogier’s Fiesta WRC were cleared of an alleged gearbox irregularity after Rally Mexico (WRC Media pic)

SÉBASTIEN Ogier’s position as WRC leader remains unchanged after an official investigation found no irregularities with the gearbox used in his Ford Fiesta’s gearbox on the recent Rally Guanajuato Mexico.

Event stewards decided to take no action against the Frenchman and his M-Sport World Rally Team after further checks were carried out on the transmission, following initial inquiries in Mexico after the finish nine days ago.

Ogier finished the four-day rally in second place, but after post-event scrutineering in León FIA technical delegate Jérôme Toquet reported that the weight of Ogier’s gearbox apparently did not comply with official paperwork.

M-Sport representatives, including team director Malcolm Wilson, were summoned by the stewards to a hearing at which it was agreed Ogier’s gearbox and a spare unit from team-mate Ott Tänak’s car would be sent to the FIA for further investigations.

Both gearboxes were compared to another homologated unit and found to comply and the stewards confirmed the results.

The decision means Ogier retains his eight-point lead in the drivers’ standings over Jari-Matti Latvala heading into the season’s fourth round at France’s Tour de Corse on 6-9 April. M-Sport remains 36 points clear of Toyota Gazoo Racing in the manufacturers’ points.

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Chris Nixon

Chris Nixon is Media Manager for Kennards Hire Rally Australia.

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