Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena grabbed their fourth consecutive win in Mexico - taking the lead in the 2010 WRC Driver's World Championship in the process. Petter Solberg (second) and Sebastien Ogier (third) occupied the other places on the podium - both of them driving a Citroen C4 WRC.
Olivier Quesnel, the Citroen Racing Team Principal said, "They did a fantastic job on the second day and that's where they consolidated this victory. The C4 WRCs dominated this rally as they set all the quickest times. They also scored the first triple by a French manufacturer in a gravel rally."
"This victory did us a power of good," Loeb confirmed before stepping onto the podium. "We controlled the race well and I think we can look forward to the next events with confidence, as they'll be run on similar surfaces. Thanks to this victory we've taken the lead in the championship and opened up a small gap over (Ford's) Mikko Hirvonen."
The next World Rally Championship event is Rally Jordan from 1-3 April.
KEN BLOCK MAKES HIS DEBUT AT WRC RALLY MEXICO
With momentum after winning the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri as part of the Rally America series, Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino made their debut in World Rally Championship this weekend.
Driving a Ford Focus prepared by M-Sport, Block started the event in the top ten on all but two of the nine stages of the first day. After the first day he finished in tenth place overall in an 18-competitor field. "It certainly wasn't an easy first day, we had some issues with the car early in the morning and then, on stage six, we pegged a massive rock that was dead center in the road, there was nothing I could do to avoid it. The impact flipped the master switch and it cost us a minute to figure out what went wrong. And then to finish the day, we got a puncture on the last Super Special when I kissed a bank... All in all, my first day in the WRC was quite eventful."
Day two started strong for Block but an accident changed things. After passing a tight downhill section, the Focus went over a steep crest with no traction. Too late, the Focus smashed into a ditch and snapped a control arm. The car was out of commission for the rest of the day. Thankfully, the car was allowed to come back for the last day but Block was too far behind to catch up in the rankings, finishing in last place.
"There are certainly things I would love to change, one of them being the mistake I made yesterday, but even with that, I still am extremely happy with my results this weekend," said Block "When things were going well, my pace was way more competitive than I would have ever expected to be. That said, I'm really looking forward to Turkey now!"
Ken Block is completing a limited schedule of WRC events in 2010, in addition to his assault on the Rally America series. His next WRC event will be The Rally of Turkey on April 16-18.
KIMI RAIKKONEN'S RALLY ENDS AFTER CRASH
Former Formula 1 Driver, Kimi Raikkonen, was competing in his second WRC event for the Citroen Junior team. However, he didn't have a good rally. The F1 star hit a rock on the first stage, damaging the steering arm of his Citroen. He later lost time with a fuel pump problem, before finally crashing out later in the day, the car rolling several times.
FINAL LEADERBOARD ON RALLY Mexico*
1. Loeb/Elena (Citroen C4) 3h42min 41.7s
2. P.Solberg/Mills (Citroen C4) + 24.2s
3. Ogier/Ingrassia (Citroen C4) + 25.3s
4. Hirvonen/Lehtinen (Ford Focus) +1min.47.5s
5. Latvala/Anttila (Ford Focus) +2min 15.1s
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
DRIVER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 13
1st Loeb, 43 pts
2nd Hirvonen, 37 pts
3rd Latvala, 25 pts
4th Ogier, 25 pts
5th P. Solberg, 20 pts
FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
MANUFACTURER STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 2 OF 13
1st BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT, 67pts
2nd Citroen Total WRT, 61 pts
3rd Citroen Junior Team, 32 pts
4th Stobart M-Sport Ford, 28pts
5th Munchi's Ford, 8pts