Disclaimer: We would like to say that if it's any misspellings in this article, it can be because our heart rate still hasn’t fallen bellow 180 bpm, and the adrenaline fuelled constant trembling of the hands, and uncontrollable body spasms, makes it hard to hit the right keys.
Only a protege of the late, great Colin McCrae can serve up a finish this dramatic. When Kris Meeke went of in the lead, only 1 kilometre before the end, a whole motorsport world held it's breath. Being able to go on to win lead to one of the most dramatic WRC finishes ever.
Why we underestimated Meeke.
We in OneBet will go trough the main details of a rally that ended in a way only a protege of the late great Colin McCrae can serve up.
Kris Meeke was a dark horse from the offset. Setting the odds we had discussions on which factors to put the most emphasis on. His general speed and ability, and his wins from about the same starting positions in Rally Portugal and Rally Finland last year, or his and Citroëns failings to show form in the first two events of 2017.
His own doubts and his efforts at Shake Down lead us to prioritise the latter - and boy where we wrong!
Helped by the fact that every other WRC car - bar the Citroën C3 WRC - struggled in the heat, the rally turned out very differently to what we expected.
Signs of things to come.
Already at the street stage in Mexico city we started to see some signs of what to come - and we should have paid more attention.
Helped by the weather - but still pulling out a great drive - Juho Hänninen won the first stage of the rally - with Kris Meeke second. Things went a bit more “normal” on the second running of the street stage in Mexico City.
We wrote that the first stage proper - El Chocolate - would be a decisive stage. And that who ever wins here, would have a very good chance of winning the rally. The winner of El Chocolate 2 (the first loop was cancelled due to logistical difficulties), was Kris Meeke - and he ended up on top.
But Rally Mexico wasn’t only about Kris Meeks stirling drive. Because on that gruelling 54,90 kilometres that was the El Chocolate stage, all the teams bar Citroën faced major mechanical struggles.
Toyota still in development - the others too.
We predicted Toyotas over heating problems, but did not expect the same to happen to M-Sport. Hyundai also struggled, with what turned out to be a fuel filter issue, and with that everything was over turned.
Our favourite Thierry Neuville had to settle for third. Sebastien Ogier didn’t have enough speed to challenge Meeke, and it ended with an epic victory for Kris Meeke.
Image: Red Bull Content Pool