Second Mexican hat trick for Loeb

Yet again Sebastien Loeb had a successful weekend which saw him clinched a sixth consecutive Rally Mexico victory and stretch his 2012 World Rally Championship lead. The Frenchman led team-mate Mikko Hirvonen to Citroen's first one-two of the year, having taken the lead from the Finn mid-way through leg one, steadily pulling away thereafter.
Loeb's win was made more valuable by title rival Jari-Matti Latvala's catalog of disasters and Ford seems to have struggled on this event for years. Latvala had found enough pace to lead the Citroens on Friday morning, only to then break his suspension and drop to eighth. A string of stage wins helped him recover to third, despite another impact with a rock causing a puncture delay along the way, only for Latvala to then drop seven minutes when he rolled on stage 22 of 24 this morning.
Latvala continued, but was stopped by officials before the next stage due to roll-cage damage allowing Petter Solberg back up to third in the second factory Ford. The Norwegian had started well with fastest times on Thursday's qualifying stage and opening street stage, only for two Friday morning punctures to leave him playing catch-up thereafter. Solberg did at least manage to deny Loeb the power stage win.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Sebastien Loeb Citroen 4h15m32.7s
2. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen + 42.4s
3. Petter Solberg Ford + 2m11.4s
4. Mads Ostberg Adapta Ford + 4m51.5s
5. Ott Tanak M-Sport Ford + 5m02.6s
6. Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Citroen + 6m41.4s
7. Armindo Araujo Portugal Mini + 12m46.9s
8. Sebastien Ogier VW Skoda + 14m57.8s
9. Ken Block Monster Ford + 22m26.8s
10. Ricardo Trivino M-Sport Ford + 23m30.7s

12th March, 2012