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FIA World Rally Championship

Sebastien Loeb Seals Untroubled Rally Mexico Victory

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Sebastien Loeb (Photo Credit: Citroen Racing Media)

Sebastien Loeb (Photo Credit: Citroen Racing Media)

Sebastien Loeb scored his sixth career win on Rally Mexico, beating Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen by 42.4 seconds over the course of the three day event.

Petter Solberg finished third, scoring his second podium of the season after JariMatti Latvala's roller-coaster Mexico weekend came to a crashing end on the mammoth 54km Guanajuatito stage 22.

Caught out by the stopped car of Evgeny Novikov ahead Latvala made a move to avoid the Russian's car, only to roll his own Fiesta. Latvala got his car back on the road and completed the stage, losing over seven minutes to stage winner Hirvonen and dropping to seventh overall.

Latvala's rally then came to its end, stopped from contesting the remaining two stages due to the damage the accident did to the roll cage.

The stage – the longest of the event – was always likely to have a bearing on the final result, but with the margins at the top of the stage times so slim – Hirvonen beat Loeb by less than a second with Solberg third fastest only four seconds in arrears the main impact was in those who hit trouble.

Latvala was by far the highest casualty of the stage that also delayed Ott Tanak on his way to fifth overall and Ken Block, who finished the rally ninth. His Monster WRT stablemate Chris Atkinson – returning to the event under Rally 2 regulations retired for a second time.  

Earlier in the day Thierry Neuville had won his first WRC stage on the final run through the Super Special, making him the seventh different stage winner of the event. After Hirvonen and Loeb won stages 22 and 23 Petter Solberg won the Power Stage from Loeb and Mads Ostberg to bookend the rally with stage wins.

Ostberg finished fourth overall ahead of fellow Ford driver Ott Tanak and Citroen pilot Al-Attiyah. Armindo Araujo, Sebastien Ogier, Block and Ricardo Trivino tenth, the best Mexican driver on the event.

Only one place further back in the overall standings was PWRC winner Benito Guerra who finished four minutes clear of Nicolas Fuchs.

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