Tough start for Monster duo

Autosport

Monster World Rally Team drivers Ken Block and Chris Atkinson have suffered a disappointing morning on the opening loop of Rally Mexico stages.

Both drivers suffered punctures on the final stage of the loop, but Block's frustration came from sitting at the side of the stage waiting for Atkinson to pass the sister Fiesta RS WRC - only to discover the Australian had been slowed after he knocked a tyre off the rim.

"We went off on a corner I know quite well," said Block, "it's actually a really fun corner and one I really like coming in the other direction. We went off the road, there was just no grip from the tyres - it was like we were on ice - and we got the left-rear puncture.

"I knew that Chris was coming behind, but we couldn't find out from the team where we were or when we should pull over because the radio wasn't working. In the end, with about three kilometres left to run in the stage, I decided to pull over, I knew Chris would be back there in the dust somewhere. So we stopped and waited and waited, not knowing he'd had a problem of his own. It was so damned frustrating just sitting there."

Having run for much of the morning in seventh, Atkinson's trouble dropped him two places on the leaderboard.

"I haven't started the morning as quickly as I would have liked to," said Atkinson, "but there was no point going too hard and risking going off the road. I got the puncture on a blind corner, we hit it really hard and I kind of knew it was going to go down. It's been a tough morning, but it's fantastic to be back out in one of these cars."

Block ended the morning in 18th place.

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